#magfest15: Revolutionising Publishing: “By having the data and technology, you can take control back.”

MagfestWritten for SYP Scotland blog | Revolutionising Publishing panel – Magfest 2015

Chaired by Sarah Berman (Digital Manager, The Drum), the Revolutionising Publishing panel session focuses in on three different areas for consideration in the field. Chuck Cumming (Senior creative, 20/20 Productions), Phil Arnold (MD, Censhare) and Marcus Brook (CEO, Red Fox Media) launch into a diverse conversation that juxtaposes the creativity the morning celebrated with sales and automation.

Chuck begins by talking about video production. For digital video, Youtube is the obvious main platform, with one billion users – that’s one seventh of the planet. “A generation grew up getting content through videos online,” he explains. “Video is normal.” There are several outlets: Instagram and Vine are for shortform videos, Periscope and Meerkat for live streams. Vimeo is another alternative, the first to offer HD.

“Video is the visual representation of an idea,” he continues. “If a picture is worth a hundred words, a video is worth a million. Photography can convey movement, video can show it. It’s great for creating a personal and human connection.

“People act as a hub for sharing,” he adds. “Video content can have a life outside of your publication.” Vine and Periscope can create a buzz around ideas. Online videos are shown to have twice the recall of TV ads. It’s a valuable space. “The strength of your publication is in its content. With video you can take that and multiply its strength.”

Phil is going to talk through some customer-based examples of his work. “Publishing is not about print, web, mobile – it’s about building communities.” Grouping everything together is how enterprises drive businesses. They’ve worked with several people from Bauer and Conde Nast, to GoPro and BMW. So what do they do?

  • Automated Multi Channel Publishing.
  • Commission management – new asset types include a person, contract, video, text, and they’re all connected together. It’s good for things like rights control, image use and so on.
  • Cost control – Used to be hand done, but now completely automated. It integrates purchase orders, licensing and syndication.
  • Media portal – 100% automated, based on rights.
  • Content hubs – content for multiple titles and outlets.

They make things easier to manage vast content and monitor several elements of assets to make it much easier for the company.

Marcus picks up by talking about ADAPPTIVE, with the slogan Right person, right ad, right time. “There’s something going on in publishing and I don’t think it’s right,” he begins. He wants to help publishers reclaim their ads, through cross platform, improving CTR. What they do doesn’t require cookies, so doesn’t rely on a browser.

“We’re all suffering as an industry,” he continues. The amount of money coming to publishers is disproportionate, despite being the ones to create the content and audience. Mobile is a big opportunity, as 86% consumed there is in-app, not in a browser. He calls it mobile magnetism – understand the behaviour of consumers and understand what they like. Apply the principles of targeting to mobile and email. “Therefore, you have control of supply.” It’s about data refinery, programmatic targeting. “Your audience – delivered.”
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It is a highly automated process. He asks, where are your customers? When breaking down the level of cut people like Google take compared to the publisher who this is supposed to benefit, the difference is startling. “Ladies and gentlemen, they are not your friends. By having the data and technology, you can take control back.”

That contrast between the creative feelings of earlier with this data-, revenue-, template-driven discussion is an interesting one. “As publishers, we’ve found it incredibly hard,” says Marcus. You have an object that’s beautiful and has brilliant content, but we have to change the way we think about everything else.

“If you create a template it makes sense,” says Phil. “It frees up time. Let them create something beautiful and take away the dull stuff.”

“We need to know where opportunities are in the framework,” adds Chuck. People can get carried away by big creative ideas. “Find the best creative option for your space. You have to work within the framework, not dilute creativity.”

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