Publishers confess their 33 greatest challenges

Publishers confess their 33 greatest challenges

Being an online publisher in today’s ridiculously-quickly changing digital landscape is not for the faint-hearted. If you work in this industry, you’d better thrive on a challenge… or 33 at once.

During the opening session of the Miami Digiday conference in September 2016, the speaker asked hundreds of participants to write down their greatest challenge on a sticky note and stick it anonymously on a wall. Keen as we are, we saw this as a great opportunity to better understand our customers. We took photos of the entire wall, wrote out all of the publishers’ challenges and confessions, and combined similar statements to compile this very list.

This exercise has led to many a discussion in the offices about what more we can do. We’re constantly developing our technology to help publishers better monetize their websites while tracking the effect on UX of different, customized, ad products.

But with all the ambition in the world, we can’t solve every challenge alone!

So we invite you to share this list, hoping that other ad-tech partners and platforms will be inspired to find real solutions to the challenges on here. At the very least, if you’re an online publisher, maybe you’ll find some sweet satisfaction in knowing that leading publishers worldwide face your exact same struggles.

Top challenges of online publishers

  1. Competing for the time and attention of users
  2. Driving return visits with a non-faithful audience and changing algorithms
  3. Driving traffic from sources other than Facebook
  4. Managing crazy swings in traffic
  5. Differentiating between too many vendors who do the exact same thing
  6. Managing relationships with multiple tech partners
  7. Knowing which third party verification partners to trust
  8. Preventing ad fraud
  9. Tracking and analyzing the performance of partners in our header bidding container
  10. Optimizing all the SSPs on our pre-bid container
  11. Hiring the right people with the relevant digital skills
  12. Attracting millennials in place of seniors
  13. Recruiting developers
  14. Finding the right balance between revenue and user engagement
  15. Balancing all the page elements, ads and content, in the design
  16. Raising RPM without increasing the number of ads per page
  17. Monetizing mobile
  18. Engaging different audiences across all devices
  19. Improving the mobile user experience
  20. Converting ad-block users
  21. Developing Latin America and emerging markets
  22. Investing in our social media efforts
  23. Creating expensive video content
  24. Monetizing video on Facebook
  25. Improving programmatic video fill
  26. Increasing the number of paid subscriptions
  27. Building audience lists
  28. Reducing page latency and load on the browser
  29. Dealing with latency from the ad networks
  30. Understanding RPM on a URL level and audience level
  31. Generating more content and output
  32. Juggling limited resources
  33. Remaining alive in an ever-changing digital world