Increasing Advertising Revenue: SODP Podcast

Written by Kylie Royle

6 Jan, 2020

Vahe Arabian from State of Digital Publishing sat down with Publift CEO, Colm Dolan to discuss the current state of play for online publishers and explores the opportunities for increasing advertising revenue.

In a world where content is consumed quicker than a seagull on a chip, and attention spans are shrinking to less than that of your average goldfish, times are tough for publishers striving to remain competitive.

In this SODP Podcast from 2019,  Publift CEO Colm Dolan explains why he’s still optimistic and discusses some of the opportunities for publishers to grow and increase their ad revenue. 

Episode Highlights

  • What’s Colm’s take on the state of advertising?
  • What’s happening to overall content consuming habits?
  • Is there a correlation between quality content and the decline of adsense and CPMs?
  • How has the popularity of mobile and video been affecting advertising
  • What should publishers be focusing on to succeed?
  • Is there an opportunity for publishers to create their own video channels?
  • What advice does Colm Dolan recommend to increase ad revenue?
  • How active is Colm in the education process?
  • Where is the balance of innovation at the moment?
  • What’s the best way for publishers to implement their ad stack?
  • How has Publift been able to benefit publishers from a channel efficiency point of view?
  • What’s the impact of header bidding and how can it be used?
  • Why it’s important for publishers to know where their traffic sources are coming from.
  • What’s coming up for Publift moving forward?

A few key quotes from this episode

  • “I’m a quite optimistic person, so I’m always optimistic about the state of publishing. I think it’s been an interesting couple of years – there’s been so much going on but I think you always have to go back to creating good content.”
  • “I liked a quote from a book I read recently … “if you want to make millions, impact millions”* (Unscripted – Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship, MJ DeMarco) … so publishers still have a lot of power, they’re affecting millions, it’s just about how to leverage that.”
  • “… I think that’s a thing to be very optimistic [about] for the publisher … if you’re still producing good content it’s a harder barrier to actually become a publisher now than it was maybe before … so if you’ve got a publishing business already set up, my advice is always focus on the technology and scale … because there’s so much opportunity – especially in the Asian market and in any other market because as an online publisher you really have a global audience.”
  • “The advice I give to publishers is focus on user experience, focus on creating good content.
  • “Advertising has gone through a change in the last couple of years … eighty cents in every new dollar of advertising has gone through Facebook or Google.”
  • “There’s also been a shift to mobile. In mobile-first countries in Asia, and South-East Asia it’s all mobile. I think Australia has been a bit slower to come to the plate with mobile because I think a lot of search is still done on desktop but most publishers now have a mobile-first strategy and the thing about mobile as well is there has been some leeway of people purchasing … purchases have probably still been done a lot more on desktop so that transformation is still happening … but still, do advertisers put more and more budget to mobile? I don’t think that’s shifted that much yet but what’s happening is when you get a lot more people consuming content on mobile and mobile CPMs aren’t as high as desktop, I think that’s where the cpm‘s have possibly fallen down as well.””
  • “Publishers want to deliver a good user experience to their audience and part of having a good user experience is delivering good quality ads.”
  • Header bidding has really revolutionised the industry over the past couple of years … header bidding in its simplest form basically allows one of these networks, like Rubicon, Pubmatic these kinda guys to load in the header of a webpage and send the CPM that they are going to contract directly to Google. So, it’s an automated bid that Google can compete against. We implemented our first header bidding account over 2 years ago now and we have seen a massive increase in ad revenue from that. So, I think that’s been the biggest transformation in the ecosystem. Google has responded with what we talked about earlier, which is a first-price auction mechanism. They’ve also introduced their own competition to header bidding, called Exchange Bidding which is basically allowing its own specified partners like Rubicon, Pubmatic, Index Exchange and a couple more to compete in Google’s ecosystem and that has a lot of advantages as well and we’ve seen massive increases in publisher’s ad revenue from implementing these two strategies.”

About State of Digital Publishing

State of Digital Publishing is a startup market research publisher, producing a publication and community for digital media publishing professionals, content and media owners in new media and publishing technology.

SODP’s mission is to foster sustainable digital media publishing models. They also specialise in SEO for Publishers. 

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