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“We don’t own our audience” – publishers speak out

This week, in Colorado, Digiday gathered together 25 C-level executives from top publishers to discuss the challenges confronting digital media. The leaders split into three working groups to address the promise and perils of platforms, how to go beyond ads, and how to build direct connections with audiences.

They held these meetings under Chatham House rules, agreeing that all discussions be on the record, only without attribution of names and companies. What follows are the candid thoughts these leaders shared during the first day of meetings. Needless to say, Google and Facebook are very much at the top of these leaders’ minds.

Duopoly issues
“I’m 100 percent confident Facebook and Google are not our friends. They don’t think like publishers. They don’t value what we do.”

“Google tells you nothing ever. Nothing, nothing, nothing. They tell us to use their products. They’ll never talk to you about how to rank better in their index.”

“Facebook’s core business is not to be in the business of content — they don’t give a s**t about that. They used to care about gaming — that was a line item in their S1 — but content hasn’t shown up in any of their public documents. Their goal is to grow engagement on their platform.”

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