Publishers carefully optimistic


It has certainly been a tough few months, particularly for publishers. With advertisers slashing budgets and consumers clinging onto their pennies, publishers have had to be creative in order to survive. But every dark cloud has a silver lining, and these challenging times also present opportunities for publishers who are adaptable and resourceful. Reward and loyalty sites, as well as discounts and coupon sites are likely to lead the race in recovery. According to a recent survey by Rakuten Advertising, 44% of publishers are expecting traffic levels for the 2020 peak shopping period to exceed pre-COVID-19 levels. The survey (which included 150,000 publishers globally), revealed that publishers are continuing to support advertisers during these times with 72% not having made changes to the cost of placements and inventory on their site since the start of the pandemic, keeping costs the same for affiliate advertisers. Many publishers have had to adapt their day-to-day operations by offering additional opportunities to advertisers for the same price or better commission rates, and the creation of new inventory and campaigns. Generally publishers are expecting commissions to stay the same over the peak season period, even though it was noted that advertisers are only committing to shorter campaign periods of 1-3 months at a time. Paid search, social and email marketing still accounts for the largest portion of traffic. So although there has been a notable rebound in consumer spending in recent months due to pent up demand, there is still some uncertainty about the road to recovery and advertisers and publishers alike are planning 2021 campaigns conservatively. So the term ‘carefully optimistic’ is perhaps the best way to describe current sentiment. One things is certain, next year will bring on a new host of challenges for the industry, which will require players on all sides of the spectrum to be flexible and adaptable. The Publisher Team