Here is a synopsis of two key trends that will shape publisher monetization over the next 12 months (including some context from industry trades like Digiday, Adexchanger and Exchangewire).
1. Publishers Will Take Better Care of User Data
“Protective measures, including adblocking, will likely grow as privacy and security concerns continue to grow [even with] less technical end users, due to the publicity Facebook is receiving from its missteps.” - Marty Kratky-Katz
Whether it’s GDPR 2.0 and the looming ePrivacy Regulation in the EU, or the prep for California’s Consumer Privacy Act, it’s clear that publishers will have to take better care of user data -- or risk incurring the wrath of a variety of legislators and enforcement bodies.
“We’re likely to continue seeing regulators guiding companies on the changes required to ensure compliance. It is highly likely that these warnings, and possible fines, will have a significant formative impact on how publishers implement their respective consent strategies …” (via ExchangeWire)
“Expect auditing of vendors, CMPs, and more granular purposes in 2019.” - Vincent Potier, Founder, London Digital Ventures (via ExchangeWire)
It’s not just the fear of legal action, though. Consumer wrath is what drove the development of adblocking platforms -- wrath that has grown into a $42 billion problem for publishers around the world. That wrath is more deeply reaching the average, everyday user, driven largely by events like Facebook’s security breaches, Equifax breach and the myriad of data breaches that have been successful in the past 18 months.
Publishers that want to keep users happy will make it clear that any data collected about them will be well-valued and protected. They will also earn user trust by disclosing data practices where and when relevant so the end user knows what’s happening.
2. Fewer, Better Partners (For Publishers)
“Publishers will continue to rationalize their stacks and reduce adtech partners in an effort to clean up data leakage and 3rd-party access to their audience data.” - Marty Kratky-Katz
Supply-path optimization (or SPO), was likely one of last year’s most-used buzzwords (second only to “transparency”), as various factors forced advertisers to scrutinize the efficacy of their media buys. This scrutiny trickled down to agencies and DSPs, and then down to exchanges, SSPs and even publishers. To put it more simply:
“The aim now from advertisers is, if it’s not visible, then no money.” - (via Digiday)
That said, you can expect publishers to direct that same scrutiny at their ad tech partners this year, with a focus on minimizing fraud and reducing both duplicative demand and overall stack complexity:
“Advertisers’ dissatisfaction with opacity, fraud, and misaligned incentives is as acute for publishers. This will manifest itself in publisher monetisation technology in 2019.” - Ben Walmsley, Digital Director for The Bridge, News UK - (via ExchangeWire)
To keep your finger on the pulse of what's up and coming, check out Marty’s full roster of predictions for the year ahead here on Adotas.
On a related note: As execution for 2019 gets underway, one of our our top (and slightly biased) recommendations for publishers remains: Implement an adblock revenue recovery solution so that you’re not leaving any money on the table (check out our Adblock Revenue Recovery Estimator to see how much you could recover each month).