Reader Revenue Top Stories
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YouTube offers the “most meaningful” long-term revenue opportunities for publishers, study finds

30% of publishers believe YouTube offers the most meaningful long-term revenue opportunities for publishers—ahead of Facebook and Google AMP—according to a survey of 122 publisher executives by Digiday this May.

Facebook and Google AMP get 24% of the vote each, and then the ratings fall precipitously to single digits for the other major platforms—including Instagram, Apple News, and LinkedIn—reflecting the diminishing publisher confidence when it comes to generating revenue from those platforms.

“Publishers’ attempts to earn revenues from many platforms have been tumultuous at best,” says Mark Weiss of Digiday Research. “Facebook and Snapchat promised publishers flashy new sources of income through products like Facebook Watch or Snapchat Discover channels. But those products failed to live up to the lofty expectations of some publishers even after they invested significant resources to them.”

By contrast — and in a time of rapid upheaval to publishers’ business models — ad payments from YouTube have remained a constant source of revenue for many.

Mark Weiss, Digiday Research

The report notes that beyond reliable ad payments, YouTube’s other investments give publishers signs to think it will be beneficial to them in the long-term. “The video platform released the Players for Publishers product last year which allowed publishers to embed YouTube’s video player into their sites and keep 100% of the ad revenue,” it states.

“Compared to some of the other platforms, the rules for how things operate on YouTube have been codified,” said Natalie Mayslich, CFO and Head of Business Development at CH Media (formerly CollegeHumor) to Digiday.

It’s been very clear for how publishers can succeed on the platform which makes it a straightforward partner to work with going forward.

Natalie Mayslich, CFO at CH Media (formerly CollegeHumor)

YouTube Premium is also delivering incremental revenue to publishers, and some see YouTube as a tool to fuel their subscription businesses, the study found. “Our viewership is more intentional on YouTube and the conversion rates we’re seeing for Dropout looks promising,” said Mayslich.

For more details about the survey findings, visit Digiday Research: Publishers rate YouTube’s revenue potential over other platforms’.

Download WNIP’s comprehensive new report—50 Ways to Make Media Pay—an essential read for publishers looking at the multiple revenue opportunities available, whether it’s to reach new audiences or double down on existing super-users. The report is free and can be downloaded here.


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