A recent burst of subscription, commerce and licensing operations suggests that publishers might have a future monetizing the attention and trust of their readers more directly. But consumer revenue requires new infrastructure, distinct talent and fresh perspective, as well as the commitment needed to beat out stiffening competition.

At Digiday Hot Topic: Subscriptions & Commerce, hear how publishers have built new commerce brands, integrated subscriptions into their organizations and gotten their readers to open their wallets.

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  • Miki King
  • Angus Macaulay
  • Monica Ray
  • Corbin de Rubertis
  • Jason Sylva
  • Michael Wertheim
  • Bryce Widelitz


Tuesday, February 26

  • 8:30 a.m.
    Breakfast & Networking
  • 9:15 a.m.
    The State of Commerce & Digiday Challenge Board

    Please note that the day is divided into two parts: commerce (9:15 A.M. until lunch) and subscriptions (lunch until 4:45 P.M.)

    • Max Willens



  • 9:25 a.m.
    Fitting a Square Peg in a Round Hole

    If you're a lifestyle publisher or a product reviews site, integrating commerce can feel natural. But what if you're a news publisher, or most of your content is video? Hear how one publisher built a commerce team -- and how they drummed up the organizational support for it.

  • 9:45 a.m.
    Brand Building Through Community

    As competition among commerce publishers begins to heat up, brand affinity will be one of the things that separates winners from losers. Hear how one publisher is building a community around commerce content and the lessons they've learned along the way.

  • 10:05 a.m.
    Sponsor Workshop
  • 10:20 a.m.
    How to Fit Commerce into Ad Campaigns

    Affiliate commerce is a great signal. But it's also a great ingredient in a broader ad campaign, if you can convince the advertiser to include it. In this session, one publishing exec details how they're trying to strengthen two separate revenue streams.

  • 10:40 a.m.
    How to Develop a Product

    Recommending products is one thing -- developing them is a different animal altogether. But as consumers embrace direct brands, publishers are starting to figure out how the data they have can be used to develop stuff that can be sold. Hear the head of a publisher brand lab speak about what they've developed, what's worked and what hasn't.

  • 11:00 a.m.
    Networking Break
  • 11:15 a.m.
    Town Hall

    We'll go through the Digiday Challenge Board and discuss your biggest problems and possible solutions in the world of commerce.

    • Max Willens



  • 11:45 a.m.
    Sponsor Workshop
  • 12:00 p.m.
    Commerce Through Collaboration

    Many successful publishers have the esteem and attention of creators. But what's the right way to incorporate them into a commerce strategy? Hear one publisher speak about how they identify the right partnerships and their roadmap for successful collaboration.

  • 12:20 p.m.
    Roundtable: How Much Should Editorial Know?

    An effective commerce operation takes things like commissions and conversion rate into consideration as they build. But should the writers creating the content think about it too? How much does that information affect editorial judgment? In this session, publishers and content creators come together to debate how much is too much.

  • 12:40 p.m.
  • 1:20 p.m.
    The State of Subscriptions & Digiday Challenge Board

    Please note that the subscriptions part of the day begins here.

  • 1:30 p.m.
    Using an Existing Team to Get a Consumer Product Off the Ground

    Consumer revenue is appealing because it's separate from advertising. So how can you make the most of what already exists internally to build a consumer product? In this session, a publisher will discuss how they built a consumer revenue product with the ad-focused resources they had in-house.

  • 1:50 p.m.
    What the Market Will Bear

    For some publishers, subscription success is all about figuring out how much each consumer is willing to spend and charging accordingly. For others, variable pricing is a dangerous game best avoided. Hear one publisher who’s lived on both sides of the pricing game speak about what everyone should keep in mind as they make decisions about costs for consumers.

  • 2:10 p.m.
    Sponsor Workshop
  • 2:25 p.m.
    Optimizing: The What and the How

    Like any successful digital product, building a subscription product requires a lot of tinkering. But what do you go after first? And how do you start? Hear one publisher explain how they decide what to optimize, and how it helped.

  • 2:45 p.m.
    Networking Break
  • 3:00 p.m.
    Digiday Town Hall

    We'll discuss the biggest challengers publishers identified with subscriptions on our challenge board.

    • Max Willens



  • 3:30 p.m.
    Sponsor Workshop
  • 3:45 p.m.
    Side Products

    For a newspaper, the chief selling point of a subscription is a broad range of coverage and content. But what if you started selling subscriptions to a small slice of content? Hear from one publishing exec who’s done it.

  • 4:05 p.m.
    Platform Dependency

    The world of digital advertising has been taken over by Google, Facebook and Amazon. As publishers continue to go after subscription revenue, what role should the platforms play in that pursuit? In this session, one publishing exec discusses this and what the future will look like.

  • 4:25 p.m.
    Roundtable: To Bundle, or Not to Bundle

    Competing for advertiser budgets is hard enough. Competing for a consumer's hard-earned cash might be even harder. And as subscription products proliferate, publishers have to ask: Is it time to think about a bundle? In this session, publishing execs discuss the pros and cons.

  • 4:45 p.m.
    5 Things We've Learned
    • Max Willens



Past Attendees

Great insights from some of the industry's smartest minds who are doing the hard work of trying to innovate and navigate this rapidly changing business.

— Director, Business Intelligence, CBS Interactive

It was extremely valuable to hear the challenges that others have experienced in their subscription roll outs. Great insights to help avoid similar pitfalls.

— Senior Director, Subscription Services, AccuWeather

It was great to hear the perspective of other media brands and to know we all have similar struggles.

— Marketing Manager, Scripps Networks Interactive

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