Emodo Study - More Publishers Explore Incremental Revenue Streams

Emodo Study – More Publishers Explore Incremental Revenue Streams

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With third-party cookies on their way out, has audience attention surpassed identity as the top concern for publishers? According to a new report by Emodo, Ericsson’s mobile ad tech business, the answer is a resounding yes. Polling top decision-makers in publishing from across the U.S. and the U.K., Emodo’s research arm, Emodo Institute, found that more than half of publishers cited attention and economy as their top priorities in 2023.

Identity concerns ranked No. 3, despite 65% of respondents expressing concerns about the sufficiency of first-party data and alternative IDs in addressing ID loss and privacy challenges. Publishers that considered their programmatic businesses to be demand constrained were 2x as likely to consider the economy as a top 3 priority.

Researchers found that concerns about the state of the economy are leading more publishers to seek incremental sources of revenue and growth, with a heightened focus on unique, high-quality demand sources. Emodo found more publishers tapping into incremental new budgets by offering differentiated services, as well.

“Our study offers a clear picture of the current state of play,” explained Megan Saunders, global senior vice president of marketing and growth at Emodo. “The findings highlight that publishers, driven by economic concerns, are actively exploring incremental revenue streams and growth opportunities. They are placing greater emphasis on unique, high-quality demand sources, innovative pricing strategies, and differentiated services to tap into additional budgets.”

If they want to attract higher quality advertisers and help incrementally increase revenue, Emodo found that growth-focused publishers will need to find ways to differentiate themselves, and they’ll need to compete on value rather than inventory cost.

Publishers Downplay SPO

Perhaps surprisingly, Emodo researchers found that supply path optimization (SPO) is not currently a top focus for the majority of publishers. Just 30% of those polled said they consider SPO to be important in 2023. Publishers who said they are focused on improving SPO were more likely to have experienced revenue loss due to demand-side partners turning inventory off as a part of an SPO initiative.

“Publisher perspectives on bid density and SPO indicate that demand-side pressures alone aren’t enough to make publishers prioritize SPO,” said Emodo Vice President of Marketplace Development David DiAngelo. “They need to have their own reasons for doing so. It’s a nuanced decision-making process for publishers and they seek monetization partners that offer innovative, value-adding elements to create superior marketing opportunities for brands and revenue opportunities for themselves.”

Attention Metrics

Researchers found that attention appears to be gaining ground as a key performance indicator in 2023 because traditional metrics, such as reach and viewability, can no longer adequately capture performance. Lower funnel metrics are also becoming harder to measure reliably in the face of privacy changes and ID loss.

According to the research, publications that prioritize attention metrics are 62% more likely to prioritize partners based on unique creative formats.

To better capture audience attention, Emodo researchers found that publishers should seek out partners that can help them harness the potential of tech-powered creative innovation, which has been proven to drive higher attention and memorability.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.