Revenue or user experience? What should media owners focus on?
By: Guest Author
I’m sure many of you finished reading that headline with a bemused expression on your face, shaking your head slightly while thinking “What are they on about? It’s revenue. Always revenue!”
Well, it’s not that simple. While many content publishers find advertising to be an easy solution to fund their efforts, the one thing they, advertisers and ad tech suppliers, all seem to overlook is what it’s actually like to spend any time on the domains they are working so hard to expand and monetize – on the other side of the looking glass, so to speak.
As the digital advertising world finally glances up from its analytics dashboards, we discover a frightening number of people have chosen to implement ad-blocking technology and are happily browsing the Internet with minimal exposure to advertising. Web pages look better, load faster and don’t annihilate mobile data plans when you choose to enjoy content while disconnected from the WiFi.
Since late 2015, we’ve seen the consumer tide beginning to turn. Media owners are slowly coming to terms with the benefits of sparing a thought for the people who ultimately keep their lights on. But is it too little too late? Will content publishers and advertisers struggle to salvage the trust of their audiences? Time will tell. Until then, media owners may have plenty of head scratching to do as they figure out whether their business models can adapt quickly enough to a world where the individual has regained (some) leverage.
So far, we’ve seen at least one publisher who was brave enough to join us in our quest to put user experience ahead of short-term revenue and, as any SaaS investor will tell you, it is growth as well as increased Customer Lifetime Value that are most critical to the success of your business.
The example cited above illustrates how, within the world of real time programmatic ad buying, the economic principles governing supply and demand still hold true. Even more interesting to us are the longer-term benefits of an advertising ecosystem that prioritizes the user experience über alles.
We believe a superior experience leads to greater value and reward for our users, which, in turn, leads to deeper engagement with our network, and increased customer value.
Anyone can cram their domain full of advertising and squeeze every drop of revenue out of their traffic, but it is the media owner who is truly passionate about user experience who enjoys the greatest success. He’s also the only kind of media owner who will survive.