The NewtonX 2021 Year in Review is live! See how we unlocked new insights to solve your biggest business challenges in 2022 and beyond.

Media & Internet Publishers

Industry Overview

Competition among media companies for both viewers’ attention and advertiser dollars is more intense than ever.

Increasing concerns about trust, brand safety, and privacy have made it more difficult to maintain a competitive advantage and more important to make decisions based on robust data and accurate insights.

B2B market research has shown that media companies and publishers are facing serious challenges in maintaining the trust of their advertisers, protecting advertiser brands from objectionable content, and delivering targeted ads to viewers who are increasingly protective of their privacy.

In the months and years to come, a better understanding of advertiser perceptions and priorities on these challenges will be crucial to the growth and sustainability of media companies.




1. Earning trust from advertisers

The degree of trust that an advertiser has in a publisher is largely driven by that publisher’s audience reach, ability to target specific audiences, and ability to optimize campaigns based on data and reporting.

NewtonX research has shown that advertiser concerns with reach, specificity, and data transparency have caused many advertisers to reduce or stop spending on issue-prone media.  That spending is most often diverted to competing publishers and platforms.  Even when trust-issues don’t cause a reduction in spending, they often cause advertisers to put much greater scrutiny on their ad spending.

How can media companies and publishers earn the trust of advertisers?

Media leaders need to evaluate the nuanced factors that drive advertiser trust.  When various advertisers talk about trust in a publisher, they’re not necessarily defining trust in a consistent manner. Publishers also need to understand how advertiser priorities differ and the factors that drive those differences.  They need fact-based insights on how much advertisers are willing to tolerate trust-issues with publishers.


2. Protecting advertiser brand safety

Increased political and social tensions have been reflected in the media landscape, heightening the sensitivity of many advertisers to protecting brand safety.

Many advertisers have reduced or stopped spending on publishers that can’t guarantee that ads won’t be displayed next to objectionable content. A number of high profile advertisers have shied away from spending on any media site that has objectionable content, period. However, some other advertisers don’t think that viewers associate ads with the adjacent content and put great emphasis on spending with publishers that can deliver results.

How can media companies and publishers navigate the diversity of advertiser perspectives on brand safety?

Advertiser sensitivity to brand safety varies and it’s important to get fact-based insights of how brand safety compares against other priorities for various advertisers. They also need to have a nuanced understanding of what topics different advertisers consider safe and what they consider objectionable.


3. Effective advertising in a post-cookie privacy-aware world

A confluence of greater consumer concern for privacy and tracking, more stringent privacy regulations in many markets, and operating system features like App Tracking Transparency could have a calamitous impact on media publisher ad revenue.

Advertisers and publishers will need to rely more on their own first-party data and improve their contextual targeting, while relying less on third-party cookies and identifiers in order to maintain the effectiveness of their ad spending.

How can media companies compete in a world without third-party cookies and identifiers?

Media leaders need insight on the readiness of their advertisers, data providers, and competitors to operate in a post-cookie world.  They also need to gauge how concerned advertisers are about the targeting precision and cost-effectiveness of their ads and track this on an ongoing basis as the landscape evolves.  Many will also benefit from learning how best-practice media and publishing peers in various sub-sectors approach the modern challenges of targeted advertising.

The best media and publishing strategies are powered by accurate insights and high-quality data. As the world’s leading B2B research company, NewtonX is the partner of choice for media companies seeking to not only survive, but to thrive and win in an era of hyper-competition.

Through NewtonX, you can learn what your advertisers want, what they like and don’t like about your platform and media product as well as your competitors’ platforms and media products.  NewtonX can provide valuable insight into what makes advertisers spend and how changes in your product and pricing can affect your revenue.

Our proprietary, AI-driven NewtonX Knowledge Graph scans and verifies an open network of 1.1 billion professionals across 140 industries to find insights and answers to any business question. We go to every corner of the world to connect you with the right sources, delivering 100% verified professionals to give your thinking a flawless foundation.

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Our clients include the world’s most influential media and publishing companies. Reach out to learn more about how we helped.

  • Quantitative Survey on Advertiser trust
  • Qualitative interviews on Brand safety
  • Qual-Quant-Qual (Proprietary Q3 approach) on Data management and targeted advertising
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