Key Take Aways For Publishers, and What We Learnt From This Year’s PPA Festival

What can affiliate marketing learn from publishers?

Well…lets put a little bit more detail on that! What can affiliate marketing learn from large print media publishers and digital content owners?

Trackonomics went to the PPA Festival at London’s Tobacco Dock to find out. The PPA Festival is a day-long event run by the Professional Publishers Association (PPA), which is a publishing industry body promoting companies involved in the production of media in the UK.

Trackonomics is a member of the PPA, because it’s important for us to understand the market our key clients operate in.

We started the day in good company

The PPA Festival is an annual event for the publishing industry. This year it boasted an incredible 80 speakers across 4 different stages, focusing on leadership, editorial, revenue generation and industry innovation. It featured publishers from the news, insight and entertainment sectors.

The event was opened by outgoing PPA Chairman Marcus Rich. The tag-line of the event was “Changing The Conversion”, and Rich echoed this by talking about the need for the publishing industry to move its narrative away from the decline in print circulation. Indeed, many of the sessions talked about a concept that Rich summed up very well – how to turn “loyal readers into loyal customers”.

Next up was Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who gave an engaging talk about the importance of media publishers, describing the industry as providing “the outlets and forums that bring our society together”.

He also posed an interesting question for the industry, asking “do the commercials offered in digital advertising offer fair compensation for publishers?” It became clear across the rest of the day that the industry’s current answer to this question is a definitive “no”.

Diversification of Monetization strategies

The publishing sector is searching for ways to diversify revenue generation away from traditional advertising (be it in print or online). Many of the innovation sessions focused on making content generation more efficient, and placing the reader at the heart of revenue generation. There is a focus on publishers doing this by placing their content behind pay-walls and subscription models.

But this left us thinking whether monetizing unique pieces of content using affiliate marketing is a way that publishers can avoid the type of pay-for-content models that are a barrier to greater circulation numbers.

The role of affiliate marketing for large media publishers was made particularly clear when the issue of ad fraud was raised. Almost half of the views on digital display ads last year are believed to be driven by bots rather than humans, crushing advertiser confidence in an advertising model so crucial to large media publishers.

Supporting publishers with affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing’s performance-based model, powered by links embedded in content articles, could be an important way the publishing industry protects itself against the issue of ad fraud – an issue not of its making, but one that is having a profoundly negative impact on revenues.

The day ended on a great note for Trackonomics when we were shortlisted for the Partner of the Year Award at the PPA Awards, due to be held on 19th June. We're immensely proud to be recognized amongst the publishing industry as a partner that is helping to drive forward the future of publishing.

If you would like to hear more about how Trackonomics is helping publishers please get in touch.