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Hearst UK’s CRO Duncan Chater on how revenue diversification is built around editorial expertise

Two weeks ago we spoke to Dennis Publishing’s CTO Paul Lomax about the issues facing digital advertising, how the internet inherently favours a Big Two in advertising and whether digital display advertising will ever be a healthy proposition for publishers. This week, his fellow panelist for Digital Media Strategies ’17’s diversified revenues session Duncan Chater explained where Hearst Magazines UK is expecting to see digital revenue growth.

Chater, who is chief revenue officer for the magazine group, began by elucidating on why media companies with strong brands are weathering the digital advertising squall better than most. He believes that publishers who have maintained the quality of their brands over the past few years have an advantage that it would be difficult for a competitor to replicate:

“Invariably the common thread for me is that brands want to engage with us for us, it’s all about our content. A lot of brands see us as content experts and audience experts and they want to tap into that insight and our ability to produce really engaging content for our audiences.”

The trick, obviously, is how publishers port their content across into new mediums in a way that maintains the quality of the brand. Every time a publisher begins pushing its content on Instagram, for instance, it cannot rely on the brand recognition that it has in print and is up against a brand new batch of competitors all out for the same ad spend.

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