Programmatic Sales to Surpass Other Advertising at Bonnier in 5 Years

Bonnier’s new director of programmatic: Sales will surge past traditional forms soon; plus, what’s working at Hearst, a report from the Digital Innovators Summit, and more

It’s no surprise that programmatic sales are on the rise – built on the same principles that make organic SEO such a successful part of digital magazine publishing, programmatic advertising is the natural next step in the evolution of internet revenue models.

But when you hear a company like Bonnier say that programmatic sales will shoot past all other digital advertising revenue sooner rather than later, it definitely gets your attention!

We now direct your attention to, which has that news and more.

Download a FREE copy of 7 Ways to Monetize your Portal Audience, and discover how today's top publishers are generating revenue through memberships, events, clubs, sponsorships, and more.

Programmatic Sales on the Rise, Says New Bonnier Director

Bonnier has a crucial new position, a new person to fill that position, and a new strategy for programmatic sales, reports. Semande Agosa is the company’s new director of programmatic, and in an interview, he says programmatic sales are no longer just “sales” – they’re also strategy.

“It’s still a small percentage. Our programmatic sales are still smaller than our IO business, but it’s growing fast. Over the next five years, programmatic will become a larger percentage of Bonnier’s business and eventually will surpass our IO-based buys. It’s a new way of doing business and the tools are getting better to support programmatic,” Agosa told Ellen Harvey.

“What we’re seeing now with programmatic is the advancement in the technology itself. Technology allows for both buyers and sellers to better communicate about a target audience. In the past a buy might have been over the course of an entire magazine, and hopefully the individual subscribing is the right individual. What programmatic is allowing buyers and sellers to do is specifically cookie the user audience that they’re looking for — check for in-view ads, check for bot fraud, and check for duration and engagement. The technology is allowing for measurement and for both buyers and sellers to reach the right individuals at the right time and in the right place.”

Hearst President Shares What’s Driving Company’s Success

In another fascinating interview, this one excerpted by from Samir “Mr. Magazine” Husni, Hearst President David Carey discusses how Hearst is handling challenges and pushing ahead with 21st-century digital publishing strategy.

“On our digital operations we figured out that scale has to be our friend, that we have too much self-inflicted complexity. The only way to make digital work is to have a giant, global content ecosystem, where content gets to travel across brand and across geography without permission, friction, or cost,” Carey tells Harvey.

Download a FREE copy of 7 Ways to Monetize your Portal Audience, and discover how today's top publishers are generating revenue through memberships, events, clubs, sponsorships, and more.

“And that was one of the most disruptive decisions we made, over the course of my career, but one of the biggest, because the profit growth that we’ve had from digital has allowed us to make our numbers and has taken pressure off of the organization. So, that has allowed us to avoid a large staff restructure and so on, because we’ve met our numbers for our U.S. business, largely by taking business model risks that have paid off.”

Dispatch From the Digital Innovators Summit in Berlin

Another legendary publishing expert, BoSacks, has a must-read report from our friends at FIPP’s Digital Innovators Summit, complete with nuggets like this:

“Did you know that over 60 years ago, GE launched a series of comic books to inspire a new generation engineers? Olstein said that the comic books represent a great historical marketing artifact. So what did they do in the 21st century? GE teamed up with Wattpad, a social network for serialized stories, and invited six of its most popular science fiction writers to bring the “Adventures in Science Comic Book” back to life with a modern sensibility. … Post launch the comics received nearly 60,000 reads across nine countries,” Sacks writes.

“In the DIS conference we also heard from Torry Pederson, the CEO and editor of Schibsted. Schibsted, for those who don’t know as I didn’t, is an international media group with 6,900 employees in 29 countries. Pederson said Schibsted has 62% of its revenue coming from digital, and they are a global leader in classifieds. Their approach is to develop world class media outlets and new online services. He went on to say, ‘Everything must be scalable on a global basis.’ That is very close to what we heard from Hearst. So, as you can see, there are media patterns developing here from different companies with very similar global strategies.”

Will U.S. Postal Service Be Publisher Pal by Sharing Data?

Now this is news: might have found a way for the USPS and publishers to make peace and even help each other. With a new program that allows customers to subscribe to postal service emails outlining expected deliveries for the day, opening up unprecedented data and monetization opportunities for the service … and potentially for third-party companies like magazines.

“Publishers could learn what kinds of content are of most interest to their subscribers and provide them the means and the incentives to share digital samples with non-subscribers. They could amass “first-party data” on their subscribers’ interests, which would boost the rates paid for programmatic ads targeted to those interests,” D. Eadward Tree writes.

“The Postal Service, presumably for a fee, could provide the publisher a profile of the magazine’s subscriber base – what else the subscribers typically read, what they’re shopping for, the type of housing they occupy, etc. That could help persuade companies to advertise in the magazine and enable the publisher to rent better ‘look-alike’ lists for its direct-mail efforts.”

Are programmatic sales a part of your digital publishing strategy? Let us know in the comments!

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