2023 AMO Summit Preview
by Organic Team on Oct 6, 2023 2:25:09 PM
With an impressive lineup of speakers, the inaugural AMO Summit from A Media Operator's Jacob Donnelly promises to be an illuminating event for digital publishers. Read on for Organic's event preview—and meet us there!
We sat down last week with Jacob and Aaron Oberman from Omeda to learn more about the 2023 AMO Summit. There's a lot for publishers to look forward to, starting with a dynamic roster of speakers, and several opportunities to network and discuss pressing questions facing digital media today.
Read on for Organic's summary of the event, a few themes we anticipate will arise during the proceedings, and our forecast for top concerns for publishers in 2024.
#1: Attendees will be in good company with other leading media professionals
- Flying Magazine: A Case Study on the Future of Magazines with Flying Magazine's Craig Fuller, CEO, and Preston Holland, COO
- The Next Era of Niche Media with Snigda Sur, CEO of The Juggernaut, and Anna Palmer, CEO of Punchbowl News
- The Ins and Outs of Building Monetizable Communities with Adam Agenksy, President & COO of Sylva, and Scott Gerbe, CEO of Community.co
- SaaSification of Media with Rachel Loefler, EVP & GM of Politico Professional, and Jason Yanowitz, co-founder of Blockworks
- Skift: A Case Study in B2B Media with Skift co-founder and CEO, Rafat Ali
- AI in Media with Mike King, founder of iPullRank
- State of Media M&A with Dennis Berman, Managing Director of Lazard, Maureen Sullivan, Partner at TCG, and Chris Ferrell, CEO of Endeavor Business Media
- Keynote with Neil Vogel, CEO of Dotdash Meredith.
The event will resonate for those in B2B and consumer media companies, and will showcase insights from brands with established sustainable business models. There are opportunities to connect with like-minded media practitioners in between thoughtful sessions, including an evening networking reception sponsored by Omeda.
Meet with Organic's Justin DeMaris, CEO & Co-founder, and Amy Fuchshofen, Senior Director of Product Management & Board Member, who will be attending in person, or touch base with our team after the Summit.
#2: Revenue is the most pressing publisher concern in 2023
Revenue is always top of mind for any business, and that's never more true for digital publishers than when ad spending is down, or search engine algorithms shift. For publishers feeling the pinch from recent ad market or algorithm volatility, there are ways to recover lost ground and boost earnings.
In a recent article, The Sales-Audience-Edit Teams Relationship, A Media Operator discusses the traditional divide between business and editorial teams within a media company, and also why and how to bridge that gap in order to help a publication thrive. When editorial team members understand how the business works, brands have informed and creative problem solvers on their side. Likewise the business side can learn to make suggestions to editorial teams as audiences they'd like to pursue rather than a list of articles to be written. This approach allows editorial teams to do what they do best, speak to readers, while helping the business meet objectives, and circumventing the age-old tensions between revenue and editorial teams.
Organic has experience helping editorial and engineering teams boost revenue. To that end, Organic's goal for this year's summit is to discuss the best ways to use SaaS to "growth hack" revenue, increasing earnings sooner rather than later, and in a way that engages editors and writers in the process.
Five ideas comes to mind:
- Reach new readers and grow revenue through syndication.
- Invest in affiliate product partnerships to serve readers while bolstering an additional revenue source.
- Prioritize fast site speed, even while serving ads, for better site performance and to position your site well for search rankings.
- Upgrade your E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trust) with more options for author bios, which is even more relevant as AI-generated articles appear on competitor sites.
- Execute quick, immersive redesigns to increase pageviews and time on site.
If you'd like to discuss how to growth hack publisher revenue, contact us.
#3. M&A value comes from sustainable audience and revenue growth. Going forward, mitigating risk comes down to focused diversification.
We're eager to hear the story of Flying Media Group from Craig and Preston at the AMO Summit. Craig bought Flying Magazine in July 2021, and has since added AvBuyer, Airline Geeks, Sky Allies Capital, and others to their portfolio.
In talking with Flying Media Group (who uses Organic's products), as well as other active buyers in media M&A, there are a few recurring themes we've noticed:
- Find real audience: Institutional investors are still figuring out what's real and not from COVID-significant audience spikes. Publishers thus need to demonstrate influence amongst those in the know in a given endemic category they can own. With the erosion of third-party cookies, audience targeting will be up to the brand.
- Single platform: Google's algorithm updates continue to be system-level shocks for publishers trying to figure out how to improve search rank. At the very least, a single platform allows publishers to update all aspects of their site's content to address algorithm-related concerns. The name of the game will continue to be optimizing the experience for the end user via E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust).
- People Magazine: One of the highest profile acquisitions in the last year; we'll see what kinds of details Dotdash shares at the Summit.
#4. GA4, everyone!
We're looking forward to hearing the feedback from publishers during the SaaSification in Media session. In particular, we're curious to learn about any pain points that have arisen to due the switch from Google Analytics UA (Universal Analytics) to GA4. Analytics is one of the most important SaaS platforms for publisher data, and Google's revamp of its SaaS solution has left some publishers scrambling to figure out data discrepancies, and understand gaps in data or platform functionality.
On the CMS front, there are more changes to the SaaS landscape, as Drupal 7 prepares to sunset this year. Publishers, as always, are having to adapt.
Organic's Analytics products can help publishers glean actionable insights from their data even as Google Analytics' core functionality changes, and our CMS product with headless frontend is a step towards greater stability for brands contemplating a new platform due to market changes.
Need help with Analytics or CMS? Contact us.
#5. AI isn't necessarily for content creation
Sure, many people at a media conference in 2023 are going to want to talk AI. As publishers face a new reality, different attitudes towards this emerging tech are being adopted. That said, if AI is here to stay then publishers need to make it work for them.
Nikkei Business Publications' Yasuo Metsugi and Yuko Tanaka say that AI will replace human roles within their company in the future, and that readers will accept AI created content in cases where human creativity is not required, in this piece from Media Makers Meet.
- "Employees will need to understand AI and use it, and experience it. Then, they will need to change their mindset to consider the opportunities of AI, not the risks."
- "Eventually, there will be a split between cultures that can position AI as a colleague or a partner rather than just a tool, and those that cannot. The former will be more capable of survival in the AI age."
Bustle Digital Group editor-in-chief Charlotte Owen says her organization is thinking of AI as a sales tool and also a guide of what to not do in content creation, in this Digiday piece.
- "We are mainly thinking about how it can just speed up internal processes at this point,” Owen said. Her teams aren’t working on any consumer-facing AI products yet.
- “We think about what we can be doing that AI can’t,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean we’re shoving our head in the sand.”
So does Owen think generative AI will take writers’ jobs? “I bloody well hope not,” she said.
#6. Own your platform
We've been hearing that publishers are frustrated with the ups and downs of relying on platforms and monetization streams they can't own, including Youtube, Amazon Onsite Publishing, Medium, and Facebook. These companies control monetization levers completely, and we've heard several horror stories of platforms reducing or shutting down traffic and earnings in an instant.
As a result of some of these scars, we think the industry will start seeing more YouTube creators, podcasters, TikTokers, and others posting content to their own websites and capturing subscribers there.
Finally: Publisher SaaS, not point solutions
One final theme heading into the AMO Summit from our perspective: the proliferation of single-point SaaS solutions managed concurrently by publishers. In a recent DoubleVerify survey, 73% of publishers indicated that their organization spends “too much time manually processing inventory performance and revenue data" and 80% stated the excessive time spent on data collection and processing “limits our ability to optimize inventory performance and revenue.”
Publishers need better outcomes. We've noticed lots of publishers manage more than 30 separate SaaS solutions to get data about their audience and track which content earns the most revenue.
At Organic, this is one of the biggest issues that we're solving by providing a single dashboard view of audience and revenue data. All in one place. In the Organic dashboard, publishers can track ad performance metrics, adjust ad display rules, manage their affiliate marketing program, view analytics to see content performance and revenue by url, author, and more.
Schedule time to meet with Organic at the AMO Summit here.
Interested in chatting more about the AMO Summit, growth hacking revenue, or publisher SaaS? Send us an email.