At the beginning of 2017 we asked a number of opinion formers on the supply-side of the industry for their views on the upcoming year. A few of these have come in, so without further ado…..
Comments from Lisa Menaldo, UK Managing Director, Sublime Skinz
“This year, we have seen publishers experiment with new, innovative formats to improve the user experience – such as skins, content-rich native ads, and videos. But in terms of measurement, we are still struggling – our current definition of viewability just doesn’t work for these formats despite them rising in popularity with consumers. This leaves publishers in somewhat of a catch-22 situation who, as its stands, struggle to support these engaging formats without risking revenue.
“Next year the industry will have to continue to collaborate and agree new viewability standards, which encompass engagement metrics, so publishers can embrace these formats.
“A recent study by Sublime Skinz and Theorem discovered nearly two-thirds of survey participants (57%) believe the focus placed on viewability is deflecting attention away from brands metrics. We expect to see these metrics – which can offer a more complete picture of performance – form part of measurement package alongside viewability.”
Comments from Andrew Buckman, Managing Director EMEA, OpenX
“In the last two years, header bidding has become an essential monetisation tool for publishers. Its ability to boost revenues and fill rates – by opening impressions up to maximum demand – has seen it vanquish the inefficient waterfall bidding system, and in 2017 its adoption will continue to increase.
“Header bidding containers have helped solve a key challenge – page latency – by combining multiple header bidding tags into one large tag. Next year, publishers will enjoy an even more efficient process as they turn to server-side container header bidding solutions. These transfer activity from the user’s browser to the server, making the ad call process much quicker.
“In line with industry standards, the ad server receives all bids – not just the winning bid – removing the potential for manipulation, and meaning partner performance can be accurately measured. This next generation of header bidding will further develop next year to offer publishers the stability, transparency, speed, and yield optimisation they require.”
Comments by Giovanni Strocchi, CEO, ADmantX
The use of first-party data will reign supreme in 2017 with publishers uncovering the true value of previously untapped data sources. By looking at the content audiences read, in combination with a user’s historic interactions with a brand/publisher, specific audience segments will emerge. Having access to this data, on top of a basic DMP infrastructure, is the first step for publishers to effectively utilise first party data for audience modelling.
“Propensity profiles” obtained with the use of artificial intelligence, such as cognitive technologies, will predict what messaging users are more likely to engage with, increasing the effectiveness of online advertising.
Publishers have valuable audience data at their fingertips and by packaging this into digestible segments for advertisers have the potential to maximise inventory value.
Paul Astbury, Business Development Director, Publisher Solutions at Integral Ad Science
Earlier this year IAS predicted that 2016 would be the year the UK moves to transacting on viewability. While we have seen progress towards optimising and transacting on viewability, 2017 will see the sophistication of this approach.
Media quality metrics form an important part of this progression. Having the ability to consistently measure across channels will allow transparent trading, and incorporating data from both the buy and sell sides will facilitate a reduction in reporting discrepancies. Further improvements in media quality measurement will allow online publishers to continually increase the effectiveness and efficiency of ad placements.
As we move into 2017, the publishing industry must adopt an automated approach to streamline ad operations and achieve viewability objectives. While measuring viewability is essential we must also look to other complementary metrics that incorporate the quality of content and site, and level of user engagement, to understand the full impact of a campaign.
Comments from Ben Barokas, Founder and CEO, Sourcepoint
During 2016 we saw innovative publishers begin to directly engage with limited audience segments around content compensation. The publishers utilising consistent messaging, specifically around the implications of ad block software, have started to see positive results. In 2017, we’re encouraging publishers to widen the net and enter into an open dialogue with all users.
To date, the digital publishing industry has relied on an implicit understanding that publishers provide high quality content for “free” and in return consumers view ads that fund the production of said content. However, both parties need to be aware of, and enter into the agreement for it to work effectively.
Engaging in a conversation with audiences about the importance of content compensation, and experimenting with alternatives to the traditional ad-supported experience, will set publishers up for a prosperous 2017.
WNIP would like to thank Lisa, Andrew, Giovanni, Paul and Ben for their contributions