I spent a few days last week blogging on the behalf of ad:tech for their conference held in Chicago. It was a busy few days and provided me with a great look at how some of the ad industry’s best minds are going about things. One of the sessions that I covered was on publishing.
Unless you’ve been asleep under a rock, digital technologies and platforms have turned the publishing world upside-down. New-breed publishers continue to enter the landscape and are helping to drive the evolution of what publishing is all about.
The panel I sat in on was moderated by Doron Wesly, VP Media Practice, Millward Brown, who set the stage quickly stating that there is a need to recognize that the online space has moved beyond the “add on / added value” mentality many publishers and marketers have had about it. I would say that is true in the B2C space but not in the B2B space just yet.
The panelists for the session included Fred Lebolt, VP, New Media, Sun-Times News Group; Mike Kisseberth, Senior VP, Corporate Sales, CNET Networks, Inc.; Chad Peplinski, VP, Media Development, ValueClick Media; and Judy Bahary, VP, Research Director, at Starcom MediaVest Group
I found it odd that the panelists spent a lot of time agreeing with each other. The one ‘old media’ panelist, Fred Lebolt, agreed right at the onset that there have been tumultuous changes in the newspaper space and it has forced them to ask some very hard and fundamental questions. Clearly, when your company owns a $125 million printing press it behooves them to get the answers and fast.
Mike Kisseberth of CNET Networks echoed Chris Anderson of Wired magazine opening remarks at the conference by saying that lowered infrastructure costs has bent the old model where the fragmentation of readers has collectively started to impact not just old media but larger online only media as well. “If you only harvest, you end up with a dead field”. It was funny to hear someone in the audience refer to CNET as ‘old media’ which Mike acknowledged. We have come a long way in a very short time online…
All of the panelists echoed what turned out to be a recurring theme at the conference which was that everyone seems to feel a need for new metrics to study consumer engagement and for a way to understand the interactivity between print and online.
Whoever figures out a way to do that in a repeatable fashion stands to make some real money. Any takers?