Publishing Digital Media

The issues facing the publishing business are only going to get more challenging, so what next for media owners?


By Diane Young, Co-founder

March 23, 2015 | 3 min read

I was recently at a seminar for owners of small to medium sized-businesses where one of the speakers was a media buyer, there to explain the benefits still associated with print advertising.

Diane Young, co-founder of The Drum

She outlined the many advantages that print readers bring to advertisers including access to niche audiences, engagement, longevity and cost-effectiveness. All this even in spite of diminishing numbers of print readers.

Sitting listening, as a media owner, this was all great to hear, especially from a buyer.

Unfortunately she then went on to outline a number of ways that it is advisable to completely screw the media owners, beating them down on price and keeping them in the dark until close to deadline.

Oh and then never, never, never telling the publication that your ad worked, because they will just want you to pay more.

Of course it's the media buyer's job to negotiate hard on behalf of the advertiser, but as I listened on, I grew increasingly agitated.

Does it occur to them that if they worked in partnership with the publication and shared information about what worked, they might be able to get more ideas for similar activities and approaches that might work even better?

But more importantly, isn't it a bit daft to bite the hand that feeds you and the hand that (by her own admission) feeds plenty of good ROI for her clients? After all, it still costs as much to create the quality content that keeps those readers coming back.

I'm not on here to moan, just to highlight that the issues faced by publishers on the print front are not going away and will continue to get more challenging.

We are fortunate that we have re-engineered The Drum's business so that more than 85 per cent of our revenue is not related to print advertising.

However the re-engineering process is far from over. I wonder whether it will ever stop.

The next steps are looking at the opportunities offered by branded content, programmatic, video, dark social and so on.

We looked round the industry to see who we really admired for innovation and success in our field and invited them to come and explain what they've been doing and the results.

We are all getting together for the day at out Media Slap event in London next month. We've opened it up for other publishers and media owners to attend and I'm looking forward to working out how to move that percentage to 95 per cent plus.

Full details of the Media Slap agenda can be found here.

Diane Young is co-founder of The Drum

Publishing Digital Media

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