NYT’s head of ads Sebastian Tomich: The role of the publisher is to sell ideas
Native is not going to save publishers. Instead, agency services are sitting alongside subscriptions, display, commerce, licensing and other business lines.
“T Brand [Studio] is one of the many tools we have in the bag,” said Sebastian Tomich, global head of advertising and marketing solutions at The New York Times, on this week’s Digiday Podcast. “We and many other media companies will go from trying to find the silver bullet narrative of the future of advertising and being a services company now to admitting that we will be a diverse business. We’re going to sell many different things. The ad business of the future will be dominated by the platforms. The role of a publisher is to sell ideas. Branded content as a stand-alone line of business is going to go away.”
Edited highlights from the episode appear below:
Subscriptions compromise scale
“It’s a highly lucrative audience. Advertisers want to reach our subscribers. The more subscribers we have, the better it is for our ad business. The conflict is when it comes to scale. For some publishers, you do a viral post; you sell banner ads against it. That’s not our business. You could grow the subscription business so fast, and those subscribers are more engaged than the average person that comes from Facebook that views a page and leaves that you could end up with more scale. That’s a stretch, and it doesn’t necessarily happen. In terms of the levers for our department to grow the business, the one which has gone away is the surge in traffic and throwing more ads that go in programmatic revenue. We have to double down on direct relationships with clients.”
Trump news is a hard sell
“[Trump news] makes it harder to sell ads. There is no CMO who sits down and says, ‘I want to be next to Trump.’ Subscription-first business or not, it’s the New York Times’ responsibility to cover this stuff. Let’s say if we were an ad-first business, we would still have covered the stories in the same way. [Putting the] subscriptions business first and the tone of what’s going on in the world are not related. There are so many dark events happening around the world that it all converges on the homepage of the Times. CMOs say they don’t want that. We challenge it.”
The subscriptions business changed the Times’ relationships with platforms
“We’re much less dependent [on platforms]. Each platform has a different style when they present. One comes in and asks how we can grow and improve the business. Another platform comes and says they’re making a product change, and it’s going to crush our business. Prepare for it.”
‘One beat in an ongoing movement’: BET+ general manager Devin Griffin on the streamer’s evolution
Pre-launch research for BET+ found a lot of demand for content focused on Black stories and experiences, but 'the supply is not quite right.'
‘Gives us more control’: To grow revenue, Schibsted built its own podcast platform
Publisher's goal: Learn more about podcast usage, experiment with how they drive subscribers and ultimately earn more ad revenue
Member ExclusiveTikTok’s unusual spinoff: 4 outstanding advertiser concerns
From a distracting IPO, to Walmart's end game, these are the key parts of TikTok's proposed sale that advertisers should pay attention to.
SponsoredB2B events were broken before the pandemic, their online reinvention is creating positive change
Kim Darling, executive producer, Inbound Farewell lanyards, business cards and branded pens — it’ll be some time before people get their hands on these souvenirs of in-person events again. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to transform the way people work, buy, sell, socialize and entertain themselves, the global events industry is facing its biggest-ever challenge. […]
‘We have seen increasing demand’: Facebook video powers a user-generated content surge
As the number of Facebook pages approved for in-stream video ads has soared over 100,000, demand for user-generated content has swelled too.
Apple’s latest anti-tracking changes present fresh headache for publishers
Apple's Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature switched on by default for all browsers on Apple devices running iOS 14.