Privately owned Publisher Collective -- which supports websites that focus on video and computer game content through its agency, publishing and network divisions -- is working with eyeo-owned Blockthrough to help publishers recover revenue lost to ad blocking.
The websites in the network are utility and content sites that are focused on gaming. There are about 200 websites in all, of which 15 are owned and operated by Publisher Collective, but the company exclusively represents about 180 sites.
Websites that focus on video and computer-game content routinely have some of the highest ad-blocking rates in the industry because most gamers are power users and put a lot of time and effort into customizing hardware and software. This often means filtering out ads to prioritize utility, speed, and ease of use.
PC gamers are a key group for Publisher Collective as well as the customers it serves, which includes brands such as Amazon Games, Blizzard, Sega, Capcom, and Hasbro. These gamers typically have high-resolution screens with many opportunities to view ads, which makes it all the more important to have a solution to ad blocking.
Rob Brett, Publisher Collective's programmatic director, said the company began as a game publisher, but launched a consulting business to help clients optimize campaigns, providing advice and strategies on how to improve viewability, traffic growth, and design -- for example, making recommendations on how to monetize and drive traffic from search.
Within the network business, Publisher Collective manages and monetizes websites, all display and video ad inventory.
It supports websites through a platform called Atlas. The platform, built in house and launched two years ago, uses code placed on websites to identify all the things that need to occur on the web page.
Ad-block walls that prompt users to disable ad blockers were not an option, as this would be against the wishes of users.
But Publisher Collective did create “a lighter advertising experience” for those who opt in to an ad blocker, when accepting inventory from supply-side platforms TripleLift, PubMatic, and OpenX.
Blockthrough also added support from Google AdX and BTX 1, as well as Engage 2, a way to refresh ads based on viewability and other user engagement signals.
The companies have been working together for two years. By the third month Blockthrough recovered more than $50,000 in monthly revenue for Publisher Collective. In all the company recovered more than $1.2 million in incremental revenue, which it passed back to partners and increased RPMs.
Publisher Collective also achieved an above-average ad-block rate of 32%, nearly one-third of the total audience visiting its sites, about 1.6 billion page views during the analysis period.
Blockthrough today supports more than 160 websites in the Publisher Collective portfolio, with its Revenue Operations, Data Science, and Product teams.