Publishers are emerging from a winter of reckoning with an air of realism. Multiple media companies have announced layoffs as the digital ad economy faces pressure while growth flows to U.S. tech platforms. Yet publishers still need to rely on platforms for reach, giving up full control over their audience and strategies. On top of that, the aftermath of data privacy rules, like the General Data Protection Regulation, have tightened the grip on data sharing for ad targeting, squeezing programmatic revenues.

Publishers gathered in Milan, Italy, on March 5 – 7 to discuss these issues and more. Here’s what attendees learned:

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