At the end of February, the Local Media Association held its Mega Conference in San Diego and Brian Kennett, Vice President Business Development, AffinityX was in attendance for an action-packed show!
- Personalization of Content. He reports that one of the main themes was personalization of content (i.e., how do local media companies serve unique audiences and make sure content is personalized for them all). Another popular topic was whether media companies should experiment with branded content — a marketing tactic that has grown from almost nothing to a $10 billion opportunity in just a few years.
- Fake News. From an editorial standpoint, fake news was also getting some buzz thanks to a panel on “Real Tools for Combatting Fake News” with representatives from News Media Alliance, Twin Falls Times-News and American Press Institute discussing how publishers have reacted to instances of “fake news” in their communities, as well as accusations that their real news is fake.
- Voice Search. Voice search and local news was also on everyone’s minds, with the big question being how publishers create content and build audiences around the new ways people are consuming news. Consumers want personalized content and also want it to be in audio format thanks to the growing popularity of voice assistants like Siri and Alexa, for example. comScore reports that 40 percent of adults now use voice search once per day and Microsoft reports that 25 percent of searches on the Windows 10 taskbar are voice — on desktop! Video search could very well prove to be another fundamental shift for media companies, much like the transformation from print to digital.
- Diversification. Diversification around products is always fodder for lively discussion (e.g., which new ones are driving revenue) such as search, deals, events, etc.
- Programmatic Best Practices and Ad Fraud. Finally, it wouldn’t be a media conference without talk of programmatic — especially ad fraud — and strategies to reduce that scourge on the industry. The issue, of course, is not just about programmatic exchanges, but what happens on publishers’ own sites.
On a more positive note, a fair amount of time was devoted to programmatic best practices, especially around “managing yield” or selling inventory in order to maximize revenue. Something else up for debate was which channels it makes sense to sell on. Some argue that it is better to sell owned-and-operated inventory on programmatic exchanges because you can get better rates than with your sales team. Others are in favor of selling locally or having a mix.
Overall, Brian reports he was encouraged to hear real actionable conversations about staying ahead of industry trends, potential pitfalls and ways to increase revenue and protect existing revenue streams. Talk to AffinityX about how we can partner with you to harness these trends.