Publisher Forum Sonoma: Live Blog

BuzzFeed & Todd Sawicki dissect native

Ah, Sonoma! Your vineyards so lush, your sun so spicy, your breeze so cold. The Monsters have assembled and after some wine-fueled fracas on Sunday night, we’re ready to roll with the Publisher Forum Sonoma agenda. First up, Brian Monahan, EVP and Managing Partner at MAGNA GLOBAL, describing the post-audience era. Curious what that means? So are we. Shhh – listen!


Success in the Post-Audience Era – Brian Monahan, MAGNA GLOBAL

9:20 – There has never been a more exciting time to be in the digital media inventory Whn he started media buying in ’99, they had no idea how high the stakes would become.

9:22 – Buyers have been poudning into pubs’ heads that all they want is audience, how can it be the post-audience era? Well, it’s audience+. 

9:24 – Consumers are fully mediated, which complicated things. Daily media consumption up 70% in last 20 years. Advertising sales ratio are basically fixed, portion of GDP – spread over a significantly greater pool of inventory. But we ain’t seen nothing yet because we haven’t seen the full impact of tablets – fastest growing device segment, only beginning to understand how it affects families.

9:25 – For buyers, programmatic buying is a coping mechanism – can’t figure it out, send in the machines! And we’re yet to feel mobile’s effect – no platform is better suited for programmatic (think of fragmentation). Cracking programmatic for mobile is HUGE.

9:27 –Flip side of totl mediation – lowered consumer receptivity to advertising. 2.3 ad per minute – “If you paid attention to them all, you’d be catatonic.” Ad avoidance is coping mechanism for consumers.

9:28 – Viewability aside, neither polite nor rude (intrusive) ads have any real effect on consumers because they ignore them.

9:31 – Audience quality for a pub is no longer a differentiator.

9:33 – Programmatic premium exists, we’ve seen it! Still going to debate heavily.

9:34 – Banners and boxes are invasive species from the newspaper industry. Great way in a broadsheet to announce a sale or an offer.

9:35 – Bastardized native – think of it as disguising ads as content. Native is not a design principle but a state of mind. Buyers want an emotional connection – something that consumers take away from that experience. That is a premium price point.

9:36 – Differentiater in fully mediated role – place in daily ritual. Morning coffee and sports news, anyone?

9:40 – Responsive design is rethinking how we format content – and ads.

9:42 – Complexity is the enemy – great thing about banners and boxes is that they scaled. Balance between commercial access and consumer experience is scale.

9:49 – Use data to understand audience, then layer underneath to substatiate business case.


Broadcast TV Isn’t Display: Why The Current Approach to Video Ads Is Failing Publishers

10:15 – Adobe’s Cathi Kwon starts off the presentation with Psy’s Gangnam Style (over 1 billion views on YouTube in about a 6-month span.)

10:17 – Kwon discusses the evolution of digital video from short-length viral content to full-length TV and movies. 11 percent of the London Olympics were viewed on desktop, tablet and mobile. Multiscreen creates more engagement, more ad inventory. 

10:21 – As more people are watching TV on desktop, mobile, some of the  TV ad spend (currently $88 billion) will move to desktop and mobile, even a fraction helping to effectively double online ad spend (currently $4 billion)

10:25 – Broadcast networks are making all of their revenue from advertising. While cable companies also make money from affiliate fees (subscriptions). 

10:23 –  “TV Everywhere” Consumers are demanding to be able to watch TV content on mobile devices, wherever they go. Nielsen C3 helps scale programs for mobile and desktop devices straight from broadcast feeds. 

10:28 — But, we’re not quite at there yet: About 46 percent of people  do not know if they have access to TV Everywhere content, while a little over a fifth know they have access, but do not use TV Everywhere content. 

10:30 — Traditional ad serving is not suited for TV. Clip content and episodes are different — as full-episode TV arrives online, traditional ad setups arrive on desktop, mobile content. But, traditional ad setup leads to hard-to-implement midrolls with different video ads playing and stopping in between content.

10:32 — Two-way connection of the Internet allows for more dynamic targeting and ad implementation. Something that traditional television can’t offer. Online also offers opportunity for consumers (and advertisers) to use mutliple screens. 

10:34 — Kwon on Adobe Primetime: an opporunitity to take $88 billion TV ad spend and use it to help leverage opportunities of online video content. Primetime gets rid of the dual player setup — creates one stream (no need for buffering). Primetime brings together different targeting data to create an audience profile for video. 

10:36 — Panel discussion and questions begin. Dave Kappenstein from Comcast joins the stage alongisde

10:37 — “I think we’re still waiting for the ‘aha’ moment,” says Kappenstein. But, people are taking TV Everywhere more seriously — Comcast tablet usage recently surpassed desktop usage, mentions Kappenstein.  

10:40 — Challenges to TV Everywhere: Capabilities across devices, e.g., flash on iPhone and oving towards more standardized formats are the traditional challenges, says Kappenstein. Also, discrepancies between formats also poses a bit of a challenge. What’s more, new devices are developed every day that you have to support — and you have to work fast to do so. 

10:46 — Some frustration still arises from companion ads with online video, trying to fit web display to video ads in content, argues Kappenstein. Standardization to a single experience (and a scalable one) is important to video ad future. 

10:48 — Tips on TV Everywhere: It’s helpful to show each step on each device on each platform; it helps to simplify. TV Everywhere is not a “one-and-done process,” Kappenstein says. You have to work through all the steps. 

Also, you have to have a good understanding of all the different platforms and what they support (for instance HTML5 on Safari does not support audio play). You’ve got to understand the tiny idiosyncrasies, Kwon says.  

10:51 — Data, data, data: Comcast is taking full-episodic content and creating their own channels, competing with Netflix. Future? Taking it outside of the Comcast footprint — moving it out of the market. 

TV Everywhere is going to bring more revenue online, changing how premium video is targeted (moving from content to a more granular level), Kwon says. It’s about taking the best of both worlds — TV and online. 

Revenue Intelligence: Bridging the Great Divide With a Holistic Approach – Roger Corn, OpenX

11:30 – Big problem in digital publishing: Intelligence at the individual level but not the group level. Write it up to a communication failure. Editorial and ad teams have difficulty communicating, ad serving tech same deal. Future requires better communication.

11:35 – “We don’t show the editors the ad money,” anonymous OpenX client.

Media Companies in the Social Age – Eric Harris

4:25 – What does it mean to be a media company in the social age? From portals to search and now social – it’s a new starting point.

4:31 – Social means mobile – 40% of traffic coming from mobile. Majority of Buzzfeed’s referrals are from Facebook. People come to Buzzfeed to find content to share – don’t distinguish social news w/ hard-hitting news. Publishing is now a Paris cafe.

4:34 – If content can be social, ads can be too. 100% of revenue is social content marketing. Trying to drive earned media with paid. Average story – 1%-3% CTR + 30% earned engagement.

4:38 – Social rank – grow content by how much is being shared.

4:40 – Ad content competes with editorial content. Units are story spaces.

4:50 – Church and state division is very important – creative people on social ad content are not in contact with editorial.


Revenue Without an Ad Server, Todd Sawicki

9:13 — Todd Sawicki starts off with laughs as Tuesday’s morning keynote kicks off. 

9:15 — Sawicki announces his new position as part of Zemanta

9:17 — 2001 was the only down year in the history of online advertising, says Sawicki. But, will it stay the same? Sawicki says if we don’t change something the continual growth may wane. Online advertising has grown, set to be second to TV very soon — “It’s making people a lot of money,” Sawicki said. But, we’ve got to be cognizant of changing times. 

9:21 — Typical online visitors on desktop see about 50 ads per session. On mobile? Only five percent of the monetization of desktop. Banner ads are “DOA” on mobile. 

9:24 — “I think we have an opportunity for the first time — when I’m the CRO and I go, who’s gonna fix this problem [mobile]?” asks Sawicki. “I’m not calling my sales guys in New York, I’m going to call you guys.”

9:26 – Link is a form of native advertising – Zemanta turns it into a post.

9:27 – Econ of native advertising: $0.25 to $10 per brand engagement X 5% engagement rates = $12.50 to $500 eCPMs.

9:30 – Problem with Atlantic Scientology piece – “No editor saw that, put their foot down or stood up to the ad people.” Native: gotta run it like advertising, but editorial needs to be involved.

9:32 – CMS and ad server – separate channels, never the twain shall meet. They don’t communicate.

9:34 – Pub ad serving companies have been around for 20 years – and they haven’t changed their offerings much. Same basic tech.

9:37 – Fair deal of overlap between ad servers and CMS – both do scheduling, source attribution, analytics, but not optimization (ad server!). Optimizing content will need something that looks like an ad server: future is a “content marketing server.” Native ads will have to be served like content.

9:39 – Embrace programmatic – direct and indirect automation – so you have the time to worry about REAL problems. Experiment with native.