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B2B Publisher Chooses A DMP To Serve Readers And Advertisers Alike

Cxense Sift MediaSift Media, publisher of such websites as Accountingweb.co.uk and HRZone.co.uk, wanted to use data to create better experiences for the reader and better results for its advertisers. It found its technology match in Cxense, which offers audience data management and analytics geared to the publisher.

“It was the first solution [we came across] that came from a publisher perspective, and not an advertising perspective,” said Ian Robins, head of marketing for Sift Media.

Cxense wasn’t even among the top two finalists during Sift Media’s year-long search for a data-management platform (DMP), said Robins. But when the team finally met Cxense, it was impressed by the platform's ability to apply audience insights to both user and advertiser experiences on its properties. The team was sold and started implementing Cxense about two months ago.

The team started with two initial goals: “First, being able to deliver relevant content to each individual based on what they do on the site. Second, understanding our anonymous audience more, so we can develop a highly targeted advertising strategy that will give our advertisers better results,” Robins said.

On the reader side, Cxense supplies content widgets designed to facilitate deeper engagement with Sift Media content. Based on a viewer’s reading history, it will surface articles that fit with the reader profile, or are logical follow-ups to the story being read. It can also create modules that show top stories.

“Right now, our sites are more interruptive. We want to clean up our sites to create a smaller, more compelling environment. For the brands we work with, that’s a more effective way for them to get higher conversions,” Robins said. In some cases, that will even involve removing ad slots to give a cleaner, less cluttered experience for the reader. (more…)


Down With Excel! The Globe and Mail Streamlines Yield Management

Globe and MailCanadian newspaper The Globe and Mail can forecast revenue and optimize yield across its direct-sold and programmatic inventory, using a partnership between yield management firm Yieldex and ad tech company AppNexus.

When the publisher signed up with Yieldex at the beginning of the year, it didn’t support AppNexus until The Globe and Mail requested it, said the periodical’s digital revenue manager, Michael Hagley.

Optimizing yield management had been a point of interest for the newspaper. Getting visibility into average pricing in different sections or the parts of the site that routinely sold out used to be a long, manual process.

“In the past, we had to get impressions from the ad server, pull it out into Excel, then log into SSP (supply-side platform), run similar reports and do a matching exercise,” Hagley said. “It was labor-intensive and it wasn’t very visible.”

With the new system, The Globe and Mail can see revenue and impressions from both the “premium ad server” which has direct-sold impressions, and the performance supply platforms, which has programmatically sold impressions. “We can bring all the digital revenue that we bring from multiple sources into a single interface, and now how the full business is performing at any time,” Hagley said. (more…)


Programmatic I/O: Publishers Meredith, Yahoo And AOL On The Future Of Open Auctions

Publisher FiresideDo open auctions have a future? It depends which publisher you ask. According to executives from Meredith, Yahoo and AOL, who spoke at the Programmatic I/O Conference on Wednesday, change is coming.

“It won’t live on” in its current form, said Meredith’s VP of programmatic sales and strategy, Chip Schenck. “Because it’s used and thought of as a remnant marketplace. There will be the choice for sellers to not play there because their yield is better in other places," such as private marketplaces.

But even then, he said, "Private marketplaces are just a stop on the way to something else."

“More inventory is going private,” said Yahoo’s Dennis Buchheim, VP of programmatic product management. “Initially, it started out a way for publishers to make that inventory available and for advertisers to be comfortable buying RTB. My question is, there is always a backbone of marketplace – what comes next to private marketplace is interesting, because it’s only scalable to a point.”

AOL Platforms CTO Seth Demsey said open auctions are here to stay. “Yes. I see continued life for the open exchange environment. It comes down to monetization strategy, which is multitiered, multifaceted, with different layers of cake. There’s constant tweaking and tuning.”

Just what that tweaking and tuning will be was subject to a debate that continued in the green room after the on-stage chat. (more…)


The Daily Dot: A Peek Under The Hood Of A New Media Publication

Daily DotIn three years, Daily Dot, an online publication focusing on Internet-related issues, has grown from zero to 10 million monthly unique visitors.

The site’s monthly uniques are up 3.5 times year over year, growth the site says outpaces the third year of Gawker, BuzzFeed and Thought Catalog. If you ask CEO Nick White and CTO Zach Richardson why, they’ll have the same answer: editorial.

Behind every page, however, is the kind of technical prowess that seems to be second nature to digital native publications.

Daily Dot’s skyrocketing traffic puts in the company of other fast-growing websites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, though still has just a fraction of those sites’ monthly traffic. White and Richardson want to increase its traffic through old-fashioned journalism, and are quick to distinguish Daily Dot from “paper-clip solutions” in the marketplace that aggregate instead of sending reporters out in the field.

Daily’s Dot aims for depth. Where one publication aggregates tweets on a trending hashtag, like #FeministsAreUgly, Daily Dot aims to get to the source. While other publications assumed that particular hashtag was created by Internet trolls, the Daily Dot’s editorial team figured out it was created by two feminists. (more…)


Jump-Starting Programmatic Sales At Edmunds.com

data drivers seat edmundsFrom a certain point of view, it's surprising car-shopping site Edmunds.com took the plunge into programmatic selling at all.

During the annual upfronts, much of its inventory sells out, including homepage placements, sponsorships, key sections and so-called "conquest" opportunities. Car manufacturers and dealerships prize the inventory because more than half of those browsing the site end up buying a car, according to a study by Datalogix.

In short, Edmunds' management hardly knows the meaning of "remnant," but management took the plunge into programmatic anyway, starting in April, because it believed clients would spend more if they could apply their own first-party data to its audience.

“Advertisers were looking for automated solutions, and had a desire to overlay data and use that to buy media. We decided to launch a test, because we knew where the industry was going,” said Jennifer Dodez, director of programmatic solutions for Edmunds.com.

In November of last year, Edmunds.com began testing private exchange functionality. In April it expanded that program, with the goal of supplementing its direct buys with data-driven exchange deals. Google’s DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) and Rubicon power all programmatic deals, which can be open, preferred or private.

(more…)


How The Huffington Post Does Native

Tessa GouldFew publishers can match the scale and reach of The Huffington Post’s 86 million monthly global uniques.

The AOL-owned property also has a highly international and social audience, said Tessa Gould, senior director of native advertising at the HuffPost Partner Studio. The studio, created last June, helps brands conceptualize, execute and evaluate native campaigns. “Being at the front page for one day gets up to 4 million page views.”

Brands can do native campaigns in ten different countries. “Not only do we have this organic scale and reach, if an advertiser wants further reach, we can syndicate content through AOL-owned and operated properties.”

The Huffington Post has been doing native advertising since 2010, and created the HuffPost Partner Studio to create and manage these campaigns a little over a year ago. Its creation helped native advertising skyrocket.

From Q2 2013 to Q2 2014, The Huffington Post’s native advertising revenue grew 347%. But it’s also still new: Gould estimated that more than 50% of the clients it works with are first-timers.

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Purch, A Publisher Connecting With Consumers On Their Path To Purchase

Greg Mason PurchBecause advertisers are willing to spend the most at the last click before purchase, it’s where publishers can reap the highest rewards.

That’s the focus of publication family Purch – which rebranded from TechMediaNetwork in April and whose owned and operated sites include TopTenREVIEWS, Tom’s Hardware, Tom’s IT Pro, Laptop and Connectedly.

“We believe the web has very much been used by marketers as a performance medium,” said CEO Greg Mason, who has been at the helm for the past 18 months. “They’re interested in how they can target consumer intent. With product reviews, we attract in-market and intent consumers, and there is a high value associated with that.”

Collectively, Purch’s sites attract 78 million monthly uniques according to comScore, focusing on technology and science content, and drive $1 billion in sales a year. With an audience so close to the point of purchase, Purch benefits from higher-than-average CPMs and strong affiliate relationships. Next up is is strengthening its in-site commerce operations and strengthening its programmatic selling.

Purch And Programmatic

About half of Purch’s revenue comes from display ads, less than a quarter of which are direct-sold, according to Mason, leaving programmatic with a big piece of the pie. Since Purch’s ads are shown so close to the end of a buyer’s purchasing process, “they’re more likely to click on ads, so consequently we get higher CPMs for those ads than a publisher that doesn’t have intent,” Mason said.

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How Refinery29 Finds And Sells To Millennial Women

Destination Refinery29Refinery29 started out as a fashion blog, but it’s since expanded its vision: It plans to be the go-to source for millennials on the subjects of beauty, travel and points of view on subjects ranging from dieting to news coming from Ferguson, Mo.

It's also a high-growth company. The digital publication has 15 million monthly uniques, according  to Google Analytics data as well as its social following. A significant chunk of its traffic comes from what it calls “loyals,” people who visit Refinery29 nine days or more a month; loyals account for 40% of total users. Many of these loyals subscribe to Refinery29’s newsletter, so driving more people to the newsletter is a priority.

The next step for Refinery29 is looking for millennial women across the globe. It plans on opening shop outside the United States in the near future. It’s also expanding its advertiser base. Refinery29’s core of beauty and fashion brands is expanding to travel brands and advertisers like Home Depot, which is pursuing DIY women.

There’s still room for Refinery29 to grow at home, however. The United States has about 40 million millennial women. Refinery29 reaches 15 million of them, according to its visitor statistics, so “there is runway for another 50% growth,” estimated the company's CRO, Melissa Goidel. (more…)


Local Media Consortium Deal Enables Reach Extension Through Yahoo

Yahoo Local Media ConsortiumThe Local Media Consortium, a 55-member-strong organization of local media startups, newspapers and local television news websites, signed a three-year contract with Yahoo on Tuesday enabling reach extension through the Yahoo platform.

Members will also be able to take advantage of Yahoo’s targeting capabilities on behalf of their advertising clients.

“If you take a local dry cleaning business that wants to reach professional women under 30, I can only offer them so many of those targeted advertising clients through my own website,” said Rusty Coats, director of the Local Media Consortium. “By offering Yahoo inventory as well, I’m expanding that reach.” Members are not obligated to use Yahoo’s reach extension.

Many local media outlets also benefit from “exposure to great digital advertising sales practices, like ideas about selling audience and not product [and] how to structure sales teams,” Coats said. He anticipates Local Media Consortium members will also learn the ins and outs of native advertising: “[Yahoo] will help us not only to sell into native, but to learn how people are habituating to native.” (more…)


"It’s Like Steering A Rocket Ship:" President Greg Coleman On Joining A New Media Giant

Greg Coleman BuzzFeed“Remember, I’m on day five,” Greg Coleman said on Friday. The former president of Criteo, which went public earlier this year, recently hopped aboard BuzzFeed, where he’ll serve as president and on the board of directors. The switch reunites Coleman with many of his old co-workers at Huffington Post, including BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti.

Shortly after the hire, BuzzFeed raised $50 million from Andreessen Horowitz. Among other things, the money will help fund BuzzFeed’s nascent video business. Figuring out how to best organize sales for this video business will be part of Coleman’s job.

Also on the table is international expansion. “Today we have a large operation in London, and a smaller one in Germany and Australia. Part of my mandate from Jonah and the board is to go through the diagnostics around what countries we should be in, and how should we fund them (either alone or with a joint venture). This company has global legs, and we need to find countries that love what we do,” Coleman said.

Since his hire, he’s had a barrage of emails, and tweets congratulating him on his move. For someone that’s usually gone against the grain in his job choices, that makes him a little nervous. “When I left Reader’s Digest for Yahoo, right after the dot-com crash and the Internet blew up, everyone thought I was crazy. When I joined Huffington Post, everyone said, ‘Why are you joining this left-wing political blog?’ When I joined Criteo, everyone told me, ‘Why are you joining this company no one’s heard of?’ Then we took it public. So I’m a little nervous because everyone is saying this is a no-brainer, when everyone’s challenged my previous moves.” (more…)