A Path Forward That Publishers Are Ignoring
AdExchanger | February 13, 2019 - The age of the platform has, without a doubt, taken a serious toll on publishers.
Direct content consumption on publisher sites gave way to content discovery via search, which – in relatively short order – overwhelmingly gave way to content discovery via social platforms. In the seeming blink of an eye, publishers lost control over how people find and consume their content. They traded this control for scale, and they’ve been subject to the whims of algorithmic platforms like Facebook and Google ever since.
This loss of publisher control over user attention to the platforms has been lamented by many and solved by virtually none. But the answer has been sitting in front of publishers all along – in the form of those little rotating modules sprinkled liberally around their sites. You know, the ones that make all the money.
Over the past decade, publishers have continually incorporated new innovations into their sites. The problem is that those innovations have been almost entirely restricted to their ad units. These days, the most targeted, machine-learning-driven, personalized elements on a publisher’s page are the ads.
Publishers have poured all of their technology investment into precisely the thing that’s causing people to flee their sites. What sense does that make?
The greatest value offered by today’s leading publications is the quality of the content they produce. But that quality is no longer a strong enough competitive differentiator to keep many publications afloat – not when today’s tech platforms have trumped quality with ease of content discovery.