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.”
French advertising organizations lodge complaint with competition regulator over Apple privacy changes
The coalition of trade bodies allege Apple's upcoming changes, related to its identifier for advertisers, are a sign of it leveraging its dominant position to distort competition.
‘Great position to steal share’: As use-it-or-lose-it ad spending picks up, TikTok emerges as an unlikely beneficiary
TikTok could emerge as one of the unlikely winners during the end-of- year scramble from advertisers to dump as much of their media dollars as possible.
CNN, Tastemade and ForwardPMX are Digiday Marketing and Advertising Awards Europe shortlisters
As an unprecedented health crisis has swept across the globe, marketers and advertisers across Europe have been forced to communicate with consumers in unprecedented ways.
SponsoredBrands are tapping gameday energy to drive engagement with content on social
As the world adjusts to the new normal, sports and entertainment publishers are faced with a challenge — with live audiences no longer able to take their seats at stadiums and arenas, how do they get passionate fans involved in the energy of the moment on social media? From the NBA to MTV, publishers had to […]
The 74’s publisher Jim Roberts on bridging equality divides in education and making trust bonds with audiences
One of The 74's central focuses before the pandemic was the achievement gap in America's education system.
‘Scale with great context’: The Independent eyes global expansion
The U.K. news title marked 'double-digit' revenue growth this year and posted a profit, despite the pandemic. It plans to grow headcount by up to 25%.