Advertising Digital Publishing
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Publishers unite: Valnet & DTMG partner to provide greater audience reach

Two publishers, Portland-headquartered Digital Trends Media Group (DTMG) and Quebec-based Valnet, have announced an informal partnership to pool resources and work collectively in order to provide larger targeted audiences, greater reach, and more in-depth data to advertisers.

The partnership between the two publishing groups will subsequently allow them to offer advertisers a combined 200 million unique monthly readers. In a joint statement, both publishers said that although casual conversations about working together have been ongoing, the trend by advertisers to focus budgetary spend on fewer publishers was a deciding factor.

As Valnet continued to add to its stable of sites and DTMG was oversubscribed in Q2, the conversations took on more urgency for both companies. The movement by advertisers to consolidate their spend on fewer publishers was the final point.

Company spokesperson speaking to WNIP

Founded in 2006, Digital Trends Media Group owns a number of Millennial-focused media brands based on tech and consumer electronics products serving 125 million unique visitors per month across multi-platforms. Valnet has a complementary audience and, with over 22 websites and YouTube channels, is the world’s largest authority on pop culture across several entertainment verticals.

With existing well-established portfolios, I am eager to see how we can build upon each other moving forward.

Jonathon Shaevitz, SVP of Strategy, Data & Partnerships, DTMG

A company spokesperson added, “The partnership focuses on leveraging the direct sales capability of DTMG and the reach and high-value audience of Valnet. We have integrated our inventory allowing the most interesting and successful custom programs to run across both sites. Additionally, Valnet tremendous success in the video space, both online and through their YouTube channels, provided new opportunities for reach and visibility.”

“Given the challenge of mid-sized publishers to win budget, even if they over-perform, the aggregation of strategic inventory and expertise of across publishers can make a lot of sense.  However, the devil is in the details.  Both Valnet and DTMG are fortunate to have deep expertise in ad operations which is a pre-requisite for these deals to succeed. The goal is to grow together. No additional transaction are contemplated or even discussed.”

A clear trend

As publishers seek to protect advertising revenue, informal advertising and data partnerships are becoming increasingly important. Speaking to WNIP as part of our recent report into the sunsetting of third-party cookies, Scott Switzer, CTO of Ozone (a collective of UK news publishers who jointly operate an audience platform) said:

Smaller publishers should consider combining data assets and advertising operations with other publishers so that advertisers can buy their audience data at scale. Data is now firmly controlled by the publisher.

Switzer’s view is echoed by Mattia Fosci, Founder and CEO at EU-funded privacy-first DMP, ID Ward, who adds:

Publishers should build and enrich their first-party data to drive behavioral and contextual targeting on their site. The next step is to join a publisher walled garden, with companies federating their first-party data so as to create bigger and better audiences that are more attractive to advertisers. Their vision should include building and selling premium audience segments through PMPs and programmatic guarantees without privacy shortcuts.