In April last year (2021), the Independent Publisher Alliance held a number of roundtables for our Independent Publisher membership. The aim? To understand the biggest pain points for publishers and to ascertain what’s needed to run a successful and profitable independent media business during these times.
It was clear that the front runners last April were the Future of Ad Trading and how to prepare for it (Google latterly postponed deprecation of 3rd party cookies); and Diversifying Revenue specifically around reader revenue – subs, paywalls, affiliate and ecommerce.
The feedback from these roundtables gave us the subject matter for our face-to-face events over the rest of the year (highlights of which you will find further down this page). We’re happy to say that the feedback was almost 100% positive – apart from the fact we should have kept the space at the Crown and Two Chairmen for longer!
But that was then and this is now. We held 2022 roundtables with our members on 27th January, 6 days before the Belgian Data Protection Authority found that IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), the industry solution for conveying consent data in the programmatic auction, is illegal in its current form.
More to come on that once we’ve fully understood it’s ramifications for Independent publishers (and taken some legal advice!).
Anyway on to the topics of conversation from our publisher members…
- Recruitment – Number one topic. Hiring and retention of staff, particularly in Product, Developer and Sales roles. How do we compete with the corporates?
- Growing traffic sustainably – This could be from new geographies, through social channels, how to grow and keep your audience, etc. A whole range of requirements for strategies around growing a sustainable audience for your site. It’s likely this can be addressed at one of our face-to-face afternoon events.
- First Party Data – What does a publisher need to do to activate their first party data and how do they then take that data to be sold programmatically. ID companies and their value were also questioned too.
- Business growth. How to take your business from a 15 person business to the next level. What are the steps a business should take to enable sustained growth to reach the ‘next level’?
- How do we punch above our weight? How best to think about site redevelopment? What platform is going to allow us to stay in control and keep tightly organised?
Other points of concern include: Site security; bots scraping content, how to react against content aggregators?; A survey on CMP consent rates; Which ad refresh solutions are in the publisher’s interest?; How do you pick the right tech partner?
We have four events taking place this year. Three face-to-face subject facing events and a Christmas lunch which will give publishers the opportunity to catch up and share experiences over 2022 (we hope they are good ones).
In addition we will be holding video roundtables and clinics to cover some of the above but also invite platforms and vendors to communicate their support strategy (unpaid and no sales pitch) for independent publishers.
Watch this space for the 2022 programme.