Moving Toward the Chosen Internet: How Publishers Can Lead the Future of Identity

The Internet is rapidly transitioning to a consent-based, subscription-enabled environment that is set to change the way brands, publishers, and consumers manage their online identity.

These changes will provide publishers with a unique opportunity to innovate and improve the online experience by providing more consumer controls for users. It will also preserve the value of exchanging ads related to premium content to allow publishers to double their revenue.

As part of The Drum’s Cannes-Do 2022, we have partnered with The Trade Desk, the world’s largest independent media buying platform that considers global brands and agencies as clients, to host a live panel from Croisette in sunny Cannes to discuss the future of online subscription.

The value of exchanging ads related to premium content will allow publishers to double their revenue

Lynne Lister, General Manager, Global Events at Drum and Moderator, joined:

  • Deb Brett, Chief Global Business Officer, Condé Nast

  • Joey Robbins, Chief Revenue Officer, The Washington Post

  • Jeff Green, founder and CEO of The Trade Desk

The panel, titled Going Online, questioned our experts about some of the challenges publishers will face as we move more toward online subscription, and opened up a discussion about how publishers can work together to be pioneers in the future of identity.

Over the past few years, media companies have felt increasing pressure to act like technology companies in order to remain innovative leaders in the industry. But knowing where to sit can be difficult.

“I think we’re digital first, which is new for us at Condé Nast. Our revenue is digital first, our CEO thinks digital first. But at the same time, I think we’re really good at figuring out our core competencies. And I think that’s not technology, it’s content. ‘ says Brett of Condé Nast.

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For Robbins of The Washington Post, it was a very deliberate decision to sit at the meeting point of technology and journalism. “We see ourselves responsible for really helping the industry navigate the publishing side, navigating complex existential threats, and identity being the latest,” she says.

It is essential for premium publishers to remain sensitive to the evolution of consumer sentiment. Without relevant ads, publisher revenue goes down, advertisers lose value, and the consumer experience plummets.

The Green Office of Commerce suggests that within the next five years, there will be “more connection between the consumer and the content they love, so they can manage their privacy and have a direct dialogue with companies they trust.” This means that instead of going through intermediaries like Apple, managing The privacy of customers, they will have a more direct relationship with companies.

Green anticipates that, “We will move from an opt-out internet where cookies are turned on automatically and you have to turn them off and you have to understand a very complex ecosystem in order to really opt-out, to an opt-out internet.” This will enable users to manage their relationships with owners of content, apps, and channels. .

Despite the opportunities this may bring, many publishers feel overwhelmed by the growing complexity of this model and the challenges it poses.

“It becomes very difficult when each ecosystem has its own walled garden,” Brett says. “Globally, we don’t want to create a garden surrounded by online identity. We want to make sure that what we do is open and flexible, and we respect that real ambition of trying to break ourselves off from that. And when you can, I think you’re creating really healthy competition.”

Robins agrees that our current model of limiting user access to network-based content and services based on the amount of data they want to share is problematic. “We’re kind of sacrificing what’s best for everyone in the name of competition. And by doing that, we’re making the opportunity smaller for ourselves,” she says.

“None of our companies are big enough to say, ‘We’re going to build a walled garden, on our own, and we’ll compete with other walled gardens. None of us have that luxury. And frankly, if I had it, I wouldn’t want it. Because what I want is a competitive internet. “I just want a fair fight,” says Green.

In a post-cookie environment, first-party data is set to become more important. Advertisers’ CPM will increase significantly if they know that a certain audience will see their content. It will only get more if they think this audience is interested in their product. However, neglecting third-party cookies will come with its own challenges.

“If you asked me a question like, ‘If every cookie disappeared tomorrow, would you be 100% ready?’ “As much as we were planning on this, I still don’t think we’ve figured out everything,” Robbins says. “I think it is important that we guide advertisers to help them understand the important signals, rather than pure identity. And that is what we have to continue to focus on.”

Advances in identity, measurement, and data are all key to helping advertisers maximize value and publishers improve revenue. Greene says, “Technology is definitely there. What isn’t there is the reach that we have of old metrics or old methodologies. Of course we adopt it, but then others have to, and we have to make that more global and then more interoperable.” And there’s a lot of work to be done there, even though we’ve done the initial work and the technology is there.”

Brett agrees that technology is not the limiting factor. “We’ve seen this over and over again, and again, amazing technology comes along. But for whatever reason, as an industry, we want to stick with the things we’re used to.”

It is clear that change is coming quickly. If publishers want to keep up, collaboration is key. “It’s like a scrum, in rugby, where we all need to lock arms,” ​​says Green. “Without that, we’re in trouble. So, look for partnership opportunities. If we do that, the internet is a lot better. All of our business is better off on the other side of this.”

To learn more, you can watch the full discussion panel above


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