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Ad Overload

Posted on Thursday, November 30, 2017 at 12:26 PM

In the news: How can publishers deliver ad content that drives profit while not annoying the reader?

Publishers have long grappled with conflicting needs: delivering revenue-generating ad content and trying not to annoy readers with intrusive ads. Sometimes profit comes at the expense of reader satisfaction. Recently, Jessica Davies of Digiday.com discussed this struggle with an anonymous media veteran. Summing up the problem, the anon says, "People are still bombarded with ads, their computers stuffed with tags and cookies. They have autoplay video, with the sound off by default if they're lucky, and all these things affect the page-load speed."

The problem, the insider writes, is that well-meaning publishers are pursuing short-term windfalls that don't pan out in the long term. In the process, they're alienating readers with ads that interrupt their reading experience or, worse yet, autoplay at high volume. So how should publishers approach the ad delivery experience? The anon says, "We need to accept that traffic is limited, that reach is not infinite ... [and] not try to bend the reality by looking for reach at all cost.... If we can do that, the good publishers will move on and bad publishers will die." Read the full interview here.

Also Notable

Can Paid Content Models Succeed?

Several years ago, we talked a lot about paid content models, including meters and paywalls. These are coming back in vogue now; more and more publishers are trying out these models again to drive revenue. Caysey Welton of Foliomag.com discusses the idea in response to this week's news that Wired.com will be adopting metered subscriptions starting in January. He argues that paid content models are necessary moving forward, as ad revenue alone will not be enough to stay afloat. "You don't have to look too far back to when the business model was simple," he writes. "It was a mix of ad sales and subscriptions, along with some ancillary streams like licensing or events. But it was all anchored by a print product, or rather a print brand. Now the business models include all of those things and a whole lot more, and on multiple platforms." Read more here.

Meredith Corp. Acquires Time Inc.

This week, Meredith Corp. acquired Time Inc. for roughly $2.8 billion. Per the press release from Meredith, "The transaction will create a diversified media and marketing company with calendar 2016 combined revenues of $4.8 billion -- including $2.7 billion of total advertising revenues with nearly $700 million of digital advertising revenues -- and adjusted EBITDA of $800 million." The deal brings with it some controversy, as $650 million of the deal's financing came from Koch Equity Development, owned by the Koch brothers. Read the full press release here.

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