The AOL Networks Blog Talks Premium Inventory at the Digiday Publisher Summit

11/12/12 Talks Premium Inventory at the Digiday Publisher Summit

Recently, I spoke at the Digiday Publishing Summit in Palm Beach focused around “The Publisher Transformed”. was a sponsor of the event which drew a large and diverse crowd of premium publishers such as NBC News, Thomson Reuters, Weather Channel, CBS Interactive, NYTimes, Condé Nast, Gannett, Tribune Interactive and many more. We kicked off the summit by hosting a dinner at Café Boulud for a select group of industry experts including Vikram Somaya (Thomson Reuters), Bob Hanna (Christian Science Monitor), Blake Miller (Career Builder), Lori Tavouloris (Tribune Interactive), Ben Trenda (isocket) and Douglas McIntyre (24/7 Wall St.) 

At the summit, I moderated a panel titled "The Role of Premium in the Non-Reserved Space". Joining me on stage were Bill Murray, VP Advertising Operations for Weather Channel and Vikram Somaya, VP Global Operations and Audience for Thomson Reuters. To kickoff the panel, I asked “What do publishers consider to be premium inventory?”, followed up by “is premium a function of size - like the IAB rising star ad units like Devil or is it the placement of the advertisement?” and “should publishers hold back this inventory for their in-house sales team to sell?". The resounding answer from both panelists was that "premium" means two things to a publisher: 

(1) New ad units with special functionality – but these new units pose the problem of scalability, so in a sense they are premium, but they will not move the needle for a publisher in terms of revenue. 

(2) The most valuable impressions are in a programmatic setting – which is scalable for the inside sales team and allows a 3rd party access to inventory. 

DPS Summit

By the end of the panel, there was agreement from all parties that publishers need to accept that they cannot sell their entire inventory effectively and need to embrace different buying channels. There is still a place for in-house sales teams to sell integrated sponsorships for Homepage placements, but the majority of their inventory should be evaluated by programmatic buying and sold to the highest bidder. 

The two day Digiday Publisher Summit was  filled with stellar presentations and dialogue regarding how publishers can best monetize their site through display, mobile, social and video advertising, generate content and traffic, while maintaining brand integrity – the goal of every premium publisher. It was a great platform to engage new and existing partners and gain industry insights on programmatic buying, native advertising and the future of mobile. 

Click here to see a video of the The Role of Premium in the Non-Reserved Space panel.

Anita Pollert
VP, Publisher Services
Twitter: @AnitaPollert

Tags:, Anita Pollert, Digiday, Pictela, Premium Inventory, Programmatic buying