Changing the conversation with brands about digital advertising

Elizabeth Petro, Vice President of Publisher Product – Yieldmo


Digital publishers may want to move to a model that relies on subscription content and direct consumer revenue. However, advertising remains a critical piece of the media revenue equation because it supports consumer access to freely available content – a critical lifeline to information. The last few years have been particularly difficult for digital publishers reliant on advertising, between media budgets getting cut at the start of the pandemic to brands pulling back their spend during our nation’s recent political tumult. According to Pew, digital ad revenue declined 32% in 2020.

User privacy laws serve a huge benefit to consumers, but they represent another significant challenge for digital publishers because brands have become accustomed to buying cookied audiences with increasingly detailed targeting. As users opt-out of cookies on publisher sites, prices for their inventory have plummeted. And brands have moved spend to User Generated Content (UGC) platforms such as Facebook, where user privacy is not a constraint due to the scale of users who  have opted in to allow unbridled tracking in exchange for access to their personal network.

Consumers may pay with their privacy. But these placements don’t come cheap for buyers either. One study estimates that you’ll pay a $3.12 CPM for Google Display Ads vs. $8.60 for Facebook Ads.