Navigating the New Media Revenue Frontier: Unifying Strategies for Success
Today’s media companies are facing complexity never seen before. With the proliferation of distribution channels across platforms and content types, buyers have more options than ever before on where they want to be and how they want to reach their audiences. Sellers are tasked with finding ways to scale the distribution of more content and how they can reach more eyeballs. Scaling advertising revenue management requires expertise across linear, digital and streaming channels with any number of different partners and technologies.
The technologies and processes that support revenue management are not built to handle the dramatic increase in data, volume and detail that goes into every step of the process from proposal to IO to operations to reporting. Sales and operations teams in particular find themselves overwhelmed with manual work to assemble information from disparate systems and align their business to serve advertiser needs.
Luckily, new technologies are emerging to address the complexity of revenue management, by unifying systems, simplifying and automating workflows and delivering faster ROI.
The Realities of Today’s Multi-Media Landscape
Media companies are facing a new wave of innovation and growth. After nearly two decades of digital transformation, which gave rise to digital display and video ads, programmatic media buying, and audience targeting, media companies are now grappling with the proliferation of streaming services within connected TV (CTV.) CTV is projected to grow to $26b in ad revenue by 2026, representing a new layer of complexity to media company ad sales.
Media companies that previously existed with two systems - one for linear and one for digital - are now facing the difficult reality that they need to unify their systems around a single process to sell across channels. And for companies that have integrated technology, many realise that they have a brittle tech stack that is held together by the hard work of sales and operations teams that manually input information between systems that were never truly designed for so much scale and complexity. Additional complexity is also coming from the introduction of new measurement services that specialise in CTV. Without a common “currency” for how buyers want to purchase media types, sellers are forced to support all the ways buyers want to buy and think about buying. This includes the way they’re used to, as well as having to adapt quickly to the new currencies and new ways buyers are choosing to buy audiences/impressions vs. spots/units.
What Media Companies Need to Succeed
Media companies cannot wave a magic wand and automatically replace their technology with something new. Even if they could, it wouldn’t work, because many partnerships and processes still rely on the systems currently in place. Linear systems do more than traffic ads, sharing programming information, for example. Digital systems are integrated with programmatic technologies, billing systems and more.
Instead, what media companies need, and what will work best, is a centralised system that can solve the issues they are facing while integrating with the technology they already have in place. A solution would need to:
- Unify product catalogs: Sales in particular needs access to a “single source of the truth” which aggregates product information across linear, digital, CTV and any other channel. Sales can then create proposals more quickly and accurately, create the best offers with the best pricing, and move more quickly than the competition.
- Flexible Sales Methods: Ability to manage multiple sales channels and deal types including direct-sold, programmatic (open, PG), self-serve, and more.
- Deliver agility: Not only do sales need to respond to advertisers quickly in the proposal stage, both sales and operations need to be agile throughout the life of a campaign. A system should make it easy to make changes, optimise for performance and make changes such as creative swaps with ease.
- Scale as needed: Publishers are facing a “data deluge.” With each new channel, they need to ingest millions if not billions of datapoints about each impression, bid price, and more. As CTV grows and as publishers expand their business in new directions, they need a system that can scale and manage massive amounts of data without slowing down.
- Offer real time reporting: Gone are the days of a single aggregated report at the end of a campaign. Both advertisers and publishers need access to on-demand reporting throughout the life of a campaign. Real-time reports provide insights needed to optimise delivery, course correct and bill accurately.
- Integrate across systems - Publishers have a vast ecosystem of technology partners, and information needs to pass seamlessly across their tech stack to deliver effectively.
New Innovations Solve for Media Company Needs
Technology is evolving in ways that benefit media companies. While their current systems were built to manage simpler channels and less data, new solutions are highly scalable and agile, built for the complexity and volume of information that drives modern media.
One major innovation is bringing the most critical sales and planning workflows into cloud-based technology that can integrate with other systems. This gives media companies the ability to infuse their current tech stack with flexibility and access without having to rip out and replace. Cloud-based order management, for example, empowers sales teams with a unified product catalog and helps operations teams with seamless trafficking. These cloud-based systems can ingest and process enormous amounts of information and interface with legacy technologies, acting as a central revenue driver.
Another new technology for media companies to note is modular design. Rather than having to integrate a monolithic platform, media companies can ease into a new technology platform by picking and choosing the capabilities they need. For example, starting with CTV and streaming first, and then evolving to include digital and linear. They can also leverage product catalogs and unified rate cards for front-end sales support first and move into order management support when they are ready. Modular design allows media companies to start benefiting from systems sooner and reduce the risk of downtime and transition.
Now is the right time for media companies to learn more about these innovations by reaching out to partners and researching new offerings on the market. Advertising is only going to get more complex as the market evolves, and having a system built to manage that complexity and grow over time is critical for future success.
[Editor's note: This is a contributed article from Operative. Streaming Media accepts vendor bylines based solely on their value to our readers.]
What are some of the best ways to craft a stand-out streaming destination in today's overcrowded market? Megan Wagoner of Endeavor Streaming outlines ways to enhance interactivity, content discovery, and how to achieve equilibrium between content production and platform technology.
Beau Decker of Endeavor Streaming discusses how streaming platforms can harness predictive analytics to shape retention strategies, help reduce churn, and sometimes even shape the content being produced.
Greg Smith of Aniview breaks down the history and future of FAST and outlines the top three business perks of running a FAST channel.