Publishing Tech Talk

What did we learn at Publishing Tech Talk 2022?

What has a week of online and in-person discussion revealed about the opportunities and challenges for digital publishers and how leveraging new tech solutions can benefit your business? You can catch up here with the articles, podcasts, and key takeaways from our in-person TechTalk sessions.


Key takeaways

  • We need to develop a standardised understanding of what attention is, both in what we mean by it and how we’re measuring it. We also need to be careful not to view attention as ‘the holy grail of metrics’ – it’s important, but it needs to be situated within a broader context.
  • You need to understand what metrics means within your own site – statistics from someone else aren’t necessarily replicable. Then you can identify which areas on your site are most engaging, and work to produce more of that.
  • Context for advertisements is key when thinking about attention. Premium formats can significantly increase attention, engagement, and recall of advertisements – and can outperform social and industry benchmarks.
  • You need a balance between attention and reach, but it’s understanding the individual business goals in a case-by-case basis to get that mix right.
  • Ipsos Iris data is allowing publishers and brands to go beyond blunt audience demographics to understand the attitudinal differences. By understanding the who and the why as well as the what and the how, you can customise your strategies to create more engagement and drive scale.



  • If you want personalisation to succeed, you need to talk about it in terms of revenues. Once you can demonstrate that by achieving X, it’s worth Y, it’s much easier to engage the broader organisation behind your strategy.
  • Do a gap analysis in your team and then invest in acquisition, learning and development, and retention to strengthen those gaps. More and more, we’re asking individuals to have multiple skill sets rather than just one specialisation and this is crucial to successfully developing a personalised experience.
  • Personalisation is done best when you don’t notice it. You need to find the balance between personalisation which nudges users into viewing another page or watching another episode, and personalisation which is too personal and becomes uncomfortable.
  • Don’t be afraid to add in random elements. A blend of personal recommendations, trending pieces, and some random elements often provide the best results.
  • You need a balance between user experience and revenue, and personalisation is key to getting that right for each person. Everyone browses differently and so will respond differently to layouts of content and advertisements.



  • Tackling the challenge of privacy and identity to create a safe web for users that is also successful for publishers and advertisers will require collaboration across the entire ecosystem. If we’re all learning in isolation, we won’t be able to move rapidly enough.
  • An IAB study highlighted that if we completely replace personalised ads with contextually targeted ads, up to $39 billion of advertising and ecosystem revenue could shift away from the open web by 2025.
  • There’s no level playing field in privacy and identity management. ‘Reject All’ on a cookie banner means something different for different publishers, and is often displayed very differently as well. We need enforced industry-wide standards to simplify the relationships across the ecosystem.
  • Publishers should explore staged consent rather than bundled consent. Users don’t understand the nuances and often dismiss a consent banner because it’s a barrier to the content they want to consume. By separating out the consent required for advertising versus editorial analysis versus any of your organisational priorities, you can acquire more informed consent, and build trust with your users.
  • Although they’re not a silver bullet, clean rooms offer a lot of potential for publishers, particularly around building genuine, long-term data partnerships. However, there are a number of challenges still: even testing solutions is an investment in itself, they require new thinking around how you can sell their value to the buy-side, and there is still a lot of ambiguity around the returns they will offer.



  • It is your right to interrogate your supply chain. A joint Supply Chain Transparency study from the AOP, ISBA, and PwC, showed that publishers only get 51% of every pound on average. Spend leakage can be minimised by rethinking strategies, such as using PMPs and minimising the SSPs you work with, in order to ensure everyone in the supply chain is fairly renumerated.
  • We can have different strengths and data sets, but when facing the bigger challenges such as re-thinking your revenue strategies, leaning into other parts of the industry and working with others can be invaluable.
  • Speak with your audience to understand their pain points and what they need – then look at how you can repurpose your own strengths to tackle those challenges, creating both value for your audience and new revenue streams for your organisations.
  • There are constantly new technologies emerging. But before you look to tap into Web3 or metaverse, you need to make sure your approach is sustainable and authentic. Don’t burn a longer-term brand and revenue opportunity in favour of a short-term win.
  • What KPIs are you using to measure success? Competing departments often have competing KPIs, and you need to be laser focussed about what you choose to invest in to get the return you need.


      Working towards carbon neutral digital publishing

      Managing Director, Richard Reeves, Right Thing Media's Gerson Barnett and Essence's Matt McIntyre and Laura Wade explore how tech solutions can help publishers ensure their operations have less impact on the environment and are more sustainable. Advertisers and agencies increasingly focused on their own ESG goals are looking to work with publishing partners with the credentials that match those values; how might technology facilitate trading relationships in a more sustainable ecosystem?

      Maximising publisher revenue and redefining privacy

      Richard Reeves is joined by James Rosewell, co-inventor, SWAN [Secure Web Addressability Network] to discuss how publishers can not only improve privacy but also maximise revenue by offering advertisers the same or better return on investment to the current in-market offerings. “First-party data strategies on their own are just not going to maximise publisher revenue and have many privacy issues”. Listen in as they explore what will happen if publishers worked together to create a new fully compliant utility for identity and preferences which is run for the good of society. Hosted on Acast. See for more information.


      Nine steps for creating a positive advertising environment
      Ten paths to regaining control of the identity narrative
      Five approaches to developing more intelligent metrics
      Six revenue opportunities you could be missing


      Zanny Ali edit

      Zanny Ali

      Director, Commerce and Partnerships, VICE Media Group

      James Aylett Linked In

      James Aylett

      Chief Data Officer, Annalect

      Gerson Barnett Linked In

      Gerson Barnett

      Founder & Executive Director, Right Thing Media


      Katrina Broster

      Marketing Performance & Technology Director, Financial Times

      Richard Chambers Linked In

      Richard Chambers

      Head of Publishers, Northern Europe, Outbrain

      Steve Chester edit

      Steve Chester

      Director of Media, ISBA

      Chris Daniels

      Chris Daniels

      Chief Revenue Officer, Haymarket Media

      Lauren Dick

      Lauren Dick

      Executive Director, Media & Data Services, Mail Metro Media

      Ian Dowd

      Ian Dowds

      CEO, UKOM

      Erfan Djazmi Image

      Erfan Djazmi

      Chief Digital Officer, EMEA, Mediahub

      Samantha Eagles LINKEDIN

      Samantha Eales

      Insight Manager, Mail Metro Media

      Lior Fisher

      Lior Fisher

      CPO & Co-Founder, Browsi

      Asher Glinsman

      Asher Glinsman

      Head of Monetisation, Boons Media

      David Higgerson Linked In

      David Higgerson

      Chief Digital Publisher, Reach plc

      Stephanie Himoff

      Stephanie Himoff

      VP, Publishers and Platforms, Outbrain

      Anthony hitchings LINKEDIN

      Anthony Hitchings

      Global Digital Development Director, Financial Times

      Jo Holdaway bio pic 2022

      Jo Holdaway

      Chief Data & Marketing Officer, IDNML

      Mads Holmen Headshot

      Mads Holmen

      VP, Product Marketing, EX.CO

      Terry Hornsby edit headshot

      Terry Hornsby

      Group Digital & Innovation Director, Reach plc

      TOM JENEN 2

      Tom Jenen

      Chief Revenue Officer, Brand Metrics

      Katherine Le Ruez Linked In

      Katherine Le Ruez

      Director of Commercial Strategy and Operations, The Guardian

      Kieran Lewis Linked In edit

      Kieran Lewis

      Head of Commercial Product & Data, Bauer Media

      Andy Macharg

      Andrew Macharg

      Chief Technology Officer, HELLO! Magazine

      Matt Mc Intyre

      Matt McIntyre

      VP, Programmatic, EMEA, Essence

      Richard O Connor

      Richard O'Connor

      Chief Executive Officer, B2B Marketing

      Dan Powell Rees

      Daniel Powell-Rees

      Global Head of Revenue Yield Management & Operations, Economist Impact

      Matthew Rance Linked In

      Matthew Rance

      Head of Commercial Data, Immediate Media Co


      Richard Reeves

      Managing Director, AOP

      Aurelie Rimmen edit

      Aurelie Rimmen

      Head of Strategy & Operations, EMEA GTM, Google

      Sherzod Rizaev

      Sherzod Rizaev

      Director of Commercial Strategy & Operations, LADbible Group

      James Rosewell Profile

      James Rosewell

      Founder, SWAN (Secure Web Addressability Network)

      Randi Segal

      Randi Segal

      Head of Business Development, Keystone, Outbrain

      Rachel Shekhtman

      Rachel Shekhtman

      SVP Revenue ROW, Browsi


      Morgan Stevenson

      Digital Transformation Director, Newsquest

      Scott Thompson Headshot 2020 cropped

      Scott Thompson

      Associate Insight Director, Publicis Media

      Sam Tomlinson

      Sam Tomlinson

      Partner and Media & Entertainment Leader, PwC

      Mathilde Verron

      Mathilde Verron

      Publisher & Exchange Platforms Privacy Lead, Google

      AOP Laura Wade BW

      Laura Wade

      Head of Sustainability, Essence

      Steve Wilson Beales

      Steve Wilson-Beales

      Head of SEO & Editorial Product, Global

      Pete Wootton

      Pete Wootton

      Digital Media Consultant, Danegate Media Ltd




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