Digital Innovation Digital Publishing
3 mins read

“Innovations are evolving quickly”: Publishing takeaways from CES 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

For publishers, the show delivered insights into how new advances could impact and expand opportunities for digital content delivery, engagement, and monetization.

CES, which took place earlier this month in Las Vegas, is the most influential tech event in the world — a proving ground for breakthrough technologies. While not a publishing event per se, its influence is significant in terms of key tech trends and media developments. We talked to three attendees about what they took away from the event.

Returning to Las Vegas, this year’s CES was back in full form — offering a tangible look at the fresh innovations vying to change the future of tech-powered living. For publishers, the show didn’t disappoint, delivering its usual mix of the weird and wonderful, as well as insights into how new advances could impact and expand opportunities for digital content delivery, engagement, and monetization.

Key among the talking points for 2023 was how media players can gain increasingly accurate engagement measurements, maximize the benefits of bid throttling and eco approaches, and boost user experience while following data rules.

Sustainable news publishing models were also a leading theme, with Outbrain and The Rebooting holding a panel discussion focused on the role of advertising in supporting sustainable and independent journalism.

We asked senior industry execs on the ground at CES to share their top 3 takeaways:

Better audience understanding depends on evolved measurement

Karen Nelson-Field, Founder and CEO at Amplified Intelligence: “What unites all of the gadgets and gizmos showcased at CES is the quest to capture consumer attention. This year, many new consumer devices were focused on meeting the growing demand for flexibility; such as next generation TVs and laptops that enable faster channel switching and easier multitasking.

While these innovations bring greater opportunities for publishers to ramp up digital content delivery and monetization, they’re also likely to create an even bigger cross-media measurement headache. Ongoing reliance on limited proxy measures such as time-in-view already makes it hard to get an accurate understanding of how audiences engage with content; and this will get tougher as media consumption fragments across more and more screens.

Publishers looking to optimise their content appeal, ad yields, and experience quality must therefore consider evolving measurement approaches – and in particular, move towards reliable assessment of real, in-the-moment human attention.

Karen Nelson-Field, Founder and CEO at Amplified Intelligence

Streamlining ad calls will ultimately fuel greater rewards

Lara Phippen, VP Publisher Client Service at TripleLift: “At CES, the “Conscious Supply” movement seemed top of mind for publishers, third-party partners, DSPs, and others. Recently, we have seen a heightened focus on forging partnerships aimed at offering carbon-neutral inventory, an industry priority, with CES echoing that sentiment.

More supply partners are looking at ways to scale back ad requests on specific criteria of SSPs and DSPs. Why? Because bid throttling provides efficiency, better win rates, and performs better. Combined with a conscious approach to decreasing carbon footprint, it creates an immediate opportunity to drive a multitude of results.”

Metaverse opportunities are materializing, but media must get greener 

Michael Nevins, CMO, Equativ: “While continued Metaverse buzz came as no surprise, it was interesting to see how fast innovations are evolving, particularly in relation to gaming. Last year, industry players were only just getting to grips with the idea of disembodied interaction — now visions for future development are taking clearer shape, with brands and agencies creating more concrete strategies for reaching consumers in their hyper-digital, gaming-focused lives.

As technology advances make augmented experiences more widely available to consumers and the likes of Denstu build up virtual real estate, it looks as though sellers keen to stay closely aligned with audiences, agencies, and advertisers will need to start their own Metaverse experiments, potentially much sooner than expected.

Similarly, multiple discussions around data clean rooms illustrated ongoing growth in enthusiasm around consented first-party data. Also a rising determination among media owners and platforms, such as Pinterest, to better harness these valuable assets for supporting effective, relevant, and profitable ad targeting that doesn’t breach data rules or hurt user experience.

One element that seemed less prevalent, however, was sustainability. Although mentioned in a handful of panels, discussions around how to balance the need for maximum digital media reach and minimal environmental harm were lacking as compared to Europe. To ensure lasting industry success, greener practices need to be bigger talking points across the rest of 2023.”