Tom Webster is Global VP/Demand and Business Development at Minute Media.
AS THE OVERALL PUBLISHING INDUSTRY IS FACING DECLINING CPMS FOLLOWING COVID-19, WHAT WAS THE STRATEGY THAT YOU HAVE TO USE TO INCREASE REVENUE AND MONETIZING AUDIENCES?
We’ve all heard it before, but having a diverse revenue stream has been crucial to weathering the storm. In addition to our direct and programmatic ad sales, we also offer our publishing technology to media companies on a revenue-share model – which has been, and will continue to be, a huge focus of ours.
Additionally, we believe that strong content will always drive viewership, and as a result, revenue opportunities. During this time, we’ve remained focused on the creation of meaningful and timely stories, and as a result, seen increased CPM opportunities across some of our brands.
WHAT IS THE CRITERIA OF CHOOSING AN EFFECTIVE TECHNOLOGY PARTNER IN BUILDING NEW PRODUCTS, AND HOW DID REVCONTENT BECOME THE EVENTUAL CHOICE?
It was important for us to find a flexible, responsive partner dedicated to helping us optimize for the best user experience. It was also crucial that this partner have direct budgets. Revcontent demonstrated the ability to turn around declining CPMs and drive revenue, consistently exceeding its guarantee floor while driving powerful performance for Minute Media properties.
CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THE VOLTEX, THE NEW PUBLISHING-AS-A-SERVICE (PAAS) SOLUTION?
Voltax Video is an online video platform designed to help digital publishers get more out of their online video strategy, while reducing costs. Serving as a Publishing-as-a-Service (PaaS) solution for other digital publishers, Voltax Video includes a suite of video technology tools designed to grow engagement, content, audience and monetization with a unique revenue-share model that removes upfront cost and is designed to scale. Additionally, Voltax Video is designed to create a more efficient and effective video experience for both publishers and viewers, while providing sophisticated insights and reporting.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM THAT MINUTE MEDIA’S TEAM IS PASSIONATELY TACKLING AT THE MOMENT? HOW IS THE RECENT $40 MILLION RISE HELPING WITH THIS?
We believe that the current media landscape is lacking in centralized technology that enables publishers to power their end-to-end needs at a reasonable price. As a publisher ourselves, we know how crucial that is to survive during turbulent times. Our proprietary publishing platform and OVP have been critical to our success, and our latest fundraise has enabled us to scale our platform with the goal of providing this same solution to other publishers looking to drive efficiencies while increasing profits.
WHAT SHOULD PUBLISHERS BE DOING TO DEVELOP LOW-RISK MONETIZATION STRATEGIES DURING AND IN A POST-COOKIE, PANDEMIC?
Performance matters most. Publishers should look for a dependable revenue partner that doesn’t rely on third party data. Content discovery platforms can help advertisers drive highly engaged audiences, but publishers should test contenders for performance and avoid getting locked into contracts. Given the current environment, all parties need to be flexible right now.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS LOOKING TO BUILD THEIR OWN PRODUCTS?
Think efficiency and scale when building products. Right now, we’re seeing many companies streamlining their resources while tightening their purse strings. As a result, they’re going to need their tech to do even more for less.
Also, don’t just solve for current industry needs, but instead, be forward-thinking and build with flexibility in mind. That way, as publisher needs evolve, you’re able to pivot easily.