Last month, a 60-day study from the Association of National Advertisers and an ad fraud detection company revealed that 25% of detected fraud (i.e., ads being served to bots) were showing up on Alexa’s 1,000 most visited websites, meaning that high traffic volume doesn’t necessarily equate to “premium” publisher.
So what does “premium” even mean? If it’s not third-party-validated traffic volume, is it more subjective, like a site you’ve “heard of” or one with a long legacy, perhaps in print? How do you define quality inventory?
Kicking off the new year, Digiday’s Lucia Moses decided to dig into the definition of premium publishing by asking a handful of thought leaders in the media industry what they thought it to be. Below are the three excerpts from the quotes that we thought were spot on.
“For the audience, “premium” means a media experience that the audience pulls toward them — a premium publisher is one readers or viewers actively seek out, or are in a relationship with in some meaningful way. This is not purchased traffic or link bait; this is a deep and ongoing connection.” – John Battelle, chairman and CEO, NewCo
“It’s mainly about what is most important to someone — the popularity of content, the value or utility an experience provides, the uniqueness of a particular perspective or voice. What is “premium” to one brand or publisher may very well not be valued the same way by others, and you need to have a focus to define it appropriately. Do I value the stickiness of time spent with niche content over the sheer reach and scale of something more mass? Is it about the aesthetic of the environment or experience being delivered? Is it about the loyalty of the audience? For many, it’s some combination of these aspects.” – Adam Shlachter, chief investment officer, DigitasLBi
“A “premium publisher” is defined by the brand equity that a particular publisher offers. While so much discussion recently surrounds audience, we often forget that there is also an equity exchange between a publishing brand and an advertiser brand that can be very valuable. Properly executed alignment with a premium publisher should pay dividends for a brand beyond simple message reach.” – Jon Anselmo, SVP, managing director of digital innovation at MediaVest
One extra opinion that we found interesting was that of Lisa Purpura, VP and Director of Digital Strategy at Cramer-Krasselt, when she spoke at OMMA’s Premium Display conference in September. “Premium means a top publisher that can “bring [one its brand client’s] strategies to life,” she said.
Perhaps premium, then, is sometimes less about the publishers’ audience and more about the capabilities it has to integrate brand messaging seamlessly with its content, providing the best user experience for its readers while still delivering on the objectives of the advertiser. We are looking forward to seeing more publishers adopt that definition — at least in part — in the coming year.
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