The relationship agencies have with their publisher partners has been subtly but constantly changing over the last few years. The rise of adtech platforms has, in the main, shifted the emphasis from publisher brands to audiences, with agencies able to pick and choose target segments regardless of where they are consuming content.
Where has this left the publisher community? According to this article, there is a 'squeezed middle' emerging and a potential danger of many publishers being neither 'hyper-horizontal' (e.g. Google) nor 'hyper-vertical' (e.g. Fly-fishing Weekly) - in other words, where the audience is.
It seems the waxing/waning nature of our industry may well claim a few publishing scalps over the next few years.
Media companies are consolidating, starting to move in centralising back office operations, standardising technology, and setting up sales organisations that are audiences versus brands. “The restructuring trend is now a result of what's happening on the M&A front, as companies try to figure out if they're hyper-horizontal or hyper-vertical.”