The last week of March marks an exciting time for anyone working in digital advertising. Digiday will host its renowned Publishing Summit on 29-31 in Vail, Colorado.
I will be attending the summit, and I’m sure we will have interesting discussions regarding the future of digital publishing and monetization. If you want to take a break from the slopes and meet, book your time from this link.
I’ve outlined three key topics publishers and ad technology partners we expect to be covered at the summit. Have a read and let me know if you agree.
1: The Role of AI in Online Advertising
We can’t detail trends without discussing the profound impact of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Programmatic advertising will benefit immensely from a machine learning component, AI will overcome the challenge of effectively combining, arranging, and analyzing data to improve the entire operation from selling to creating and serving the right ad.
The applications are endless on both for advertisers and publishers. Machine learning will help weed out bad traffic, predict ad response, and refine measurement and attribution models – these are a few examples of possible applications.
Advanced AI tools can create actionable triggers to alter content and ad layout based on how different types of audiences are behaving on the page. They help create the best performing ad placements and only show them to people most likely to act on the message.
Cracking the code to automatically optimizing which ads to show, how often, and when will change the monetization game entirely. It’s just a question of who will provide the best AI solution to cater to this obvious need.
2: Ad Inventory Moves into the Content
Ad serving has not changed much in the past 20 years. Standardized ad slots might have made it easy to sell ad inventory at scale – yet these hard-coded placements are not working anymore. CTRs and effectively CPMs have been on the decline. Many publishers have tried to salvage their revenues by adding more ads on their pages, resulting in aggravated users and – you guessed it, ad blocking.
What to do?
Moving ads directly within the content stream will definitely change monetization for the better by creating high-viewability ad opportunities. Just think Facebook: the platform saw their ad revenue soar after moving the ads within the main content stream.
At Kiosked, we’ve seen that in-content ads command up to four times higher CTRs compared to traditional banner placements. Couple that with dynamic, AI-based ad serving, and you’ll power the monetization engine with a solution that benefits the bottom line, and improves the user experience – you’ll be able to show fewer, higher-performing ads overall.
3: Ad Blocking vs Ad Light Experiences
90 million Americans will use ad blockers in 2017. As a publisher, you need to rethink your ad blocker approach. While it might feel lucrative to fight fire with fire, prohibiting ad blocker users from accessing your content isn’t the most feasible option.
Our product team has been testing alternatives that place users in control. Once we detect an ad blocker user, we suggest they consider whitelisting the site in exchange for an enhanced experience that shows fewer ads. It is a win-win; publishers are able to monetize ad blocker traffic without an aggressive counter-attack.
The ultimate solution to ad blocking is of course to rebalance the value exchange between users, advertisers, and content providers. I look forward to discussing this in Vail.
Would love to hear your perspective. Reserve a time from the link below.
Antti Pasila, CEO and Co-Founder, Kiosked