Over 400 tech providers and publishers “roughed” it and gathered in Vail from March 30-April 1 for Digiday’s 2016 Publishing Summit. While this conference possessed stereotypical elements of all digital advertising events, the various shuttles and hotel check-ins, coffees, cocktails and oxygen bar, there was something different about this one. Everyone there had skin in the digital publishing game and all sincerely want to improve the digital experience. Throughout the three days of sessions, meetings, and networking there were three main themes: social platforms, ad blockers, and improving the user experience.

 

Facebook and Snapchat | Snapchat and Facebook

Practically every speaker, every panel, and every casual conversation referenced Facebook and Snapchat. We all know the news around Facebook’s Instant Articles. What we learned at this event is just how much publishers are leaning into Instant Articles for their overall digital strategy, including their owned content and for native ads. When it comes to Snapchat, this is the new shiny toy for pubs. The app is assisting in driving revenue, platform adoption, and some publishers even have teams dedicated to a Snapchat monetization strategy. Having said all of those positive things there is still room for improvement on metrics and analytics.

The State of Ad Blockers

By now, we have all heard about ad blockers from every which angle. And it was obviously a topic of conversation at an event filled with publishers and tech companies. What was interesting is that the immediate concern is held by international companies than here in the US.

Improving the User Experience

The above two themes really tie back to this one. Whether it be the prominence of Facebook and Snapchat, or the rise in ad blockers it is due to the recent de-prioritization of the digital consumer experience. Good news is it is finally being addressed. We see it in how relevant social platforms are becoming for advertisers and publishers alike. In the massive shift to video for brand awareness, performance, and site/app monetization goals. And in the surge of CMPs like Flite.

This event was a tremendous one to attend. All in attendance agreed that the digital experience is king and that has been Flite’s goal since the beginning. The real question, when this summit convenes in 2017, what will be the topic at the oxygen bar?