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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Speakers

  • Julia Beizer
    CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER
    BLOOMBERG MEDIA
  • Grant Belaire
    VP, DIGITAL AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
    MCCLATCHY
  • Ryan Brown
    SVP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
    GIZMODO MEDIA GROUP
  • Anna Caselli
    SENIOR STRATEGIST
    PIANO
  • Mike Finnerty
    GENERAL MANAGER
    ZIFF DAVIS
  • Leilani Han
    SENIOR MANAGER, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
    WIRECUTTER
  • Wyeth Hansen
    EXECUTIVE CREATIVE director
    COMPLEX NETWORKS
  • Michael Hogan
    EXECUTIVE DIGITAL director
    VANITY FAIR
  • Miki King
    CMO
    WASHINGTON POST
  • Angus Macaulay
    CRO
    STAT NEWS
  • Monica Ray
    HEAD OF CONSUMER MARKETING
    CONDÉ NAST
  • Corbin de Rubertis
    HEAD OF INNOVATION
    MEREDITH CORPORATION
  • Claudius Senst
    HEAD OF CONSUMER SUBSCRIPTIONS
    BI
  • Jason Sylva
    GENERAL MANAGER OF CONSUMER MARKETING REVENUE
    NEW YORK MAGAZINE
  • Bryce Widelitz
    director OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
    CNN

Agenda

Tuesday, February 26

  • 8:30 a.m.
    Breakfast & Networking
  • 9:15 a.m.
    Beginning of Commerce Sessions

    Please note that the day is divided into two parts: commerce (9:15 a.m. until lunch) and subscriptions (lunch until 5:10 p.m.)

  • 9:15 a.m.
    The State of Commerce & Digiday Challenge Board
    • Max Willens

      PLATFORMS REPORTER

      DIGIDAY

  • 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 from Bryce Widelitz, director of business development at CNN, on how they built a commerce team -- and how they drummed up the organizational support for it.

    • Bryce Widelitz

      DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

      CNN

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 9:45 a.m.
    Finding Efficiences

    Digital publishing is all about maximizing resources, reach and efficiency. Hear from Mike Finnerty, general manager at Ziff Davis, on how they can -- and can't -- leverage the scale it's built across its network of sites to make the most of its commerce operations.

    • Mike Finnerty

      GENERAL MANAGER

      ZIFF DAVIS

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 10:05 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 Ryan Brown, svp business development at Gizmodo, is building a community around commerce content and the lessons his team has learned along the way.

    • Ryan Brown

      SVP, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

      GIZMODO MEDIA GROUP

  • 10:25 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 Corbin de Rubertis, head of innovation at Meredith Corporation, speak about what they've developed, what's worked and what hasn't.

    • Corbin de Rubertis

      HEAD OF INNOVATION

      MEREDITH CORPORATION

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 10:45 a.m.
    Networking Break
  • 11:00 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

      PLATFORMS REPORTER

      DIGIDAY

  • 11:30 a.m.
    The Commerce Publisher of the Future?

    Commerce has grown from incremental curiosity to stable revenue source for many publishers. But as more publishers pile in, a certain sameness has started to manifest. What does the commerce publisher of the future look like? Wirecutter senior manager, business development Leilani Han shares her thoughts.

    • Leilani Han

      SENIOR MANAGER, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

      WIRECUTTER

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 11:50 a.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 Complex's executive creative director Wyeth Hansen speak about how they identify the right partnerships and their roadmap for successful collaboration.

    • Wyeth Hansen

      EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR

      COMPLEX NETWORKS

  • 12:10 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.

    • Corbin de Rubertis

      HEAD OF INNOVATION

      MEREDITH CORPORATION

    • Bryce Widelitz

      DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

      CNN

    • Leilani Han

      SENIOR MANAGER, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

      WIRECUTTER

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 12:40 p.m.
    Lunch
  • 1:25 p.m.
    Beginning of Subscriptions Sessions

    Please note that the day is divided into two parts: commerce (9:15 a.m. until lunch) and subscriptions (lunch until 5:10 p.m.). The subscriptions part of the day begins here.

  • 1:25 p.m.
    The State of Subscriptions & Digiday Challenge Board
    • Jack Marshall

      MANAGING DIRECTOR

      DIGIDAY+

  • 1:35 p.m.
    The Promise -- and Peril -- of a Flexible Paywall

    In theory, a flexible paywall allows a publisher’s audience to develop more of a habit, hit advertising campaign goals more easily, and test out more hypotheses. But they also risk confusing readers. Hear from Jason Sylva, general manager of consumer marketing revenue at New York Magazine, speak about their decision to go flexible.

    • Jason Sylva

      GENERAL MANAGER OF CONSUMER MARKETING REVENUE

      NEW YORK MAGAZINE

  • 1:55 p.m.
    What the Market Will Bear

    So you've got subscribers through the door. But how do you get them to stay? The question of retention looms large over publishers. In this session, Angus Macaulay, chief revenue officer at STAT, discusses what they've done to keep subscribers.

    • Angus Macaulay

      CRO

      STAT NEWS

  • 2:15 p.m.
    How do subscriptions actually work?

    Learn what it really takes to succeed in digital subscriptions. Piano has data from billions of user interactions and unique insights into subscription best practices. Anna Caselli will share the latest information from their proprietary benchmarks.

    • Anna Caselli

      SENIOR STRATEGIST

      PIANO

  • 2:30 p.m.
    How to Get Everybody Rowing in the Same Direction

    Many publishers have marketing resources scattered across different parts of their organization. All of them can -- and should -- be helping drive subscriber growth. Hear from Miki King, chief marketing officer at the Washington Post, on how you can get everyone organized and working together.

    • Miki King

      CMO

      WASHINGTON POST

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 2:50 p.m.
    Networking Break
  • 3:05 p.m.
    Digiday Town Hall

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

    • Jack Marshall

      MANAGING DIRECTOR

      DIGIDAY+

  • 3:35 p.m.
    How Product Mindset Drives Subscription Evolution

    Figuring out how to fit a product into a customer’s life is key to making it indispensable. Hear Julia Beizer, chief product officer at Bloomberg Media, speak about how they're making themselves more useful to more of its subscriber base.

    • Julia Beizer

      CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER

      BLOOMBERG MEDIA

    Moderator
    Jack Marshall
  • 3:50 p.m.
    Side Products

    For local news, the chief selling point of a subscription is a broad range of coverage and content. But what if you started selling digital subscriptions to a small slice of content? Hear from Grant Belaire, vp, digital audience development at McClatchy, on how they've done it and what they've learned along the way.

    • Grant Belaire

      VP, DIGITAL AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

      MCCLATCHY

  • 4:10 p.m.
    How to Sell Subscriptions to Lifestyle Content

    Publishers thrive only when they build something distinct for their audiences. So how can you take what's worked with one subscription product and apply it to your own? How much should you take? Hear how Vanity Fair took what worked at The New Yorker and Wired and figured out how it could shape their own consumer revenue strategy.

    • Monica Ray

      HEAD OF CONSUMER MARKETING

      CONDÉ NAST

    • Michael Hogan

      EXECUTIVE DIGITAL DIRECTOR

      VANITY FAIR

    Moderator
    Max Willens
  • 4:30 p.m.
    To Bundle, or Not to Bundle

    Eventually, every publisher runs out of super-fans who will pay full price for their content. And to expand their customer base, some have turned to bundles. But what are the risks and challenges of bundling? Hear from Claudius Senst, head of consumer subscriptions at Business Insider, on their experiments with bundling.

    • Claudius Senst

      HEAD OF CONSUMER SUBSCRIPTIONS

      BI

  • 4:50 p.m.
    5 Things We've Learned
    • Max Willens

      PLATFORMS REPORTER

      DIGIDAY

Attendees

Partners

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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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