Mixpo Releases New Report: The State of Digital Advertising for Publishers

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Survey of U.S. publishers uncovers top challenges and opportunities facing digital media

The State of Digital Advertising for Publishers

The State of Digital Advertising for Publishers

The report reinforces big opportunities in video and programmatic, with new insights and dives deep into major publisher concerns about mobile, attribution and measurement, and social.

Mixpo today released its latest report, The State of Digital Advertising for Publishers. Through a combination of interviews and survey data, the report reveals new findings on the priorities and challenges facing digital publishers. The report highlights the top ten trends that emerged from the research and provides insights on how publishers think about, and can tackle, the most pressing issues in digital advertising.

“We created this report to get a holistic perspective on the publisher’s digital reality. Publishers are up against many challenges—Facebook battles to replace them as the daily homepage for information, mobile consumption is disrupting ad formats and inventory volume, and campaign execution has become even more complex,” says Kyoo Kim, chief revenue officer at Mixpo. “Our research found, however, that as digital advertising matures publishers are beginning to operationalize in a much more thoughtful way, which allows them to realize more stable revenue opportunities.”

The report reinforces big opportunities in video and programmatic, with new insights and dives deep into major publisher concerns about mobile, attribution and measurement, and social. Facebook, in particular, is a pressing topic, magnified by the social giant’s most recent algorithm change that caused publisher referral traffic to drop. Specifically, the report found that publishers are wary of becoming dependent on third-party platforms that define how their content is monetized.

The report also reveals the tactics being used by publishers to manage and grow within an ever-changing digital environment. For example, programmatically-powered audience extension is their fastest growing revenue source for a majority of publishers, with 59% currently leveraging programmatic for audience extension, and another 17% planning to do so in 2017. Video also continues to grow its value in the market, with publishers ranking pre-roll, interactive pre-roll and in-banner video as the digital ad formats with the highest perceived ROI.

Other key findings include:

  • Video grows beyond pre-roll: Digital video’s value is growing and publishers are adopting new video ad formats as part of their strategy to meet demand.
  • Mobile is still a challenge, but for new reasons: 48% of publishers are "very" or "extremely" concerned with the increase in mobile consumption, while device fragmentation was among the least disconcerting issues. Most publishers have good mobile experiences, but fewer ads and less direct traffic can mean less revenue from the small screen.
  • Social video is dominated by Facebook: 50.2% of those surveyed have run video ad campaigns on Facebook, compared to only 31.1% on YouTube, 17% on Twitter, 13.2% on Instagram, and 1.7% on Snapchat.
  • Facebook is changing everything: Facebook helps publishers reach audiences, but the new user path to content is disruptive for traffic and monetization.
  • Ad blocking is a threat, but not top of mind: 46% of publishers said ad blocking is either “extremely” or “very”concerning, but on the long list of publisher concerns, ad blocking isn’t at the top.
  • Vendors complicate campaign performance: A majority of publishers surveyed work with at least four ad tech vendors and 5% work with more than sixteen. This dynamic makes it difficult to consolidate metrics and understand performance.

The full report is available for download here.

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Erin Martin
Mixpo
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