The ad ecosystem continues to evolve at a breakneck pace. This velocity can be challenging for publishers who are trying to keep-up with the latest innovations. So, what will 2017 look like? What are the key developments publishers will face?
At MediaRadar, we spoke with our clients and pulled data from our platform to help make sense of it all. With that in mind, here are three critical trends publishers need to consider as we head into the New Year.
1. Native Renewal Rates Are Going Up, and Down
With more than 1,000 sites selling native advertising, the market is maturing. But while native is ubiquitous, this does mean campaign performance is so equally widespread. We see and forecast renewal rates on native to polarize. Some publishers are much better implementing and measuring their impact. Strong performance will lift renewal rates for publishers who are consistently showing their advertisers results.
According to MediaRadar data, average renewal rates for 2016 were 33%, with 20% of advertisers at a less than 20% renewal. However, some publishers, like The Atlantic and QZ, have consistently strong performance that outstrips so many. The top native sellers win renewal rates between 60-80%.
2. Significant Programmatic Expansion in B2B
Last year was the year of programmatic for national consumer publishers. But there was also substantial penetration in programmatic in B2B publishing. Per MediaRadar data, year-over-year, the number of B2B websites selling programmatic more than doubles, from 39% to 82%.
Today, programmatic has created a paradigm shift. Traditional B2B publishers now compete with companies like Demandbase, Madison Logic, LiveIntent and others who sell online ads targeted to B2B audiences. We predict that programmatic will continue to see dramatic growth in B2B with more sophisticated offerings including PMPs, tiered pricing, and fixed time periods to maintain inventory value. B2B publishers will master programmatic in 2017 and be able to sell inventory at a high rate due to super targeted, niche audiences.
3. Ad Blocking, A Diluted Threat
Despite industry fears, ad blocking didn’t take off as expected, nor has it affected ad sales. Yes, many consumers do use ad blocking software. An IAB study found 26% of desktop users as having installed blockers. But we’re not seeing the decline in the number of ads served or total volume of ads purchased.
Ad blocking will continue be more hype (and threat) than it will actually create a ceiling on ad spend. Why? Publishers are making ads more palatable, they are speeding up pages (think Google AMP), and demand from marketers for digital solutions remains robust.
As publishers try to make sense of the year and finalize strategies for the first quarter, these are areas to plan around.
Todd Krizelman is Co-Founder and CEO of MediaRadar (@MediaRadar). Growing up near the epicenter of technological innovation in Palo Alto, California encouraged him to become an entrepreneur and co-found of one of the world’s first social media sites, theGlobe.com. Krizelman also held leadership positions at Bertelsmann’s Gruner + Jahr and Random House. With his expertise in ad sales and innovation, Krizelman joined veteran web architect, Jesse Keller, to found MediaRadar in 2007.