Podcast: Publishers, Make Your Data Do More

In the podcast studio this week, News Corp. VP of Ad Technology Stephanie Layser talks about how publishers can make their data work harder from a revenue and yield standpoint. Layser will present on this topic at AdExchanger’s upcoming Programmatic IO New York conference on Oct. 15-16.

Publishers are awash in audience and revenue data but they’re still barely scratching the surface of what can be done with it.

“We are getting more data than we ever have about the value of our users, and we’re able to ingest it in an easier way,” according to Stephanie Layser, VP of ad technology at News Corp.

That comes with implications for content recommendation, paywall strategies, audience development and revenue optimizations resulting from the bid behavior of individual DSPs. Capturing those opportunities requires a unified approach.

News Corp. has combined its DFP logs and pre-bid logs and aligned them with its unique identifier to make granular decisions that improve yield.

“There are tons of ways to apply it,” she says. “How do we value our users across all of our different properties? How is it different when they come in on one website versus another website? How is it different at different parts of the day?”

Layser has developed programmatic strategies for Ashton Kutcher’s APlus, DailyMail.com and other media companies. At News Corp. she has a dual role as internal consultant on ad tech and overseer of News IQ, the company’s first-party data product.

Sitting at the intersection of engineering and sales, she sees a need for bridge-building on metrics. Specifically, she says media organizations should implement a unified set of high-level analytics.

“I’ve found that engineering is always very interested in page performance,” she says. “That’s going to help with SEO and tons of different things. Meanwhile ad ops is being browbeaten, typically by a CRO … so they try to figure out how they can bleed as many partners into their header bidding solution as possible. But what isn’t given is a high-level look at metrics that matter across the whole.”

Finally, Layser has strong words for publishers that outsource their technology decisions to platforms.

“That’s where we end up falling behind in media,” she says. “We let technology companies run technology … and we don’t ever think to ourselves, ‘Maybe I can build it myself and make it the way we want to make it because it fits my business.’ We need to really lean in to technology and not always just farm it out to third parties who we may think have our best interests at heart.”

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