What Publishers Can Do Now to Drive Revenue Continuity: Webinar Recap

On March 26th, Admiral and the Local Media Consortium hosted a webinar featuring a roundtable of top publishers, revenue leaders, marketers, and ad operations experts including:


  • Rob Beeler, Chairman, AdMonsters
  • Aaron Broder, Founder, CEO, EVOLVE Media
  • John Byrne, Founder, CEO, The Raw Story
  • Mike McLeod, Director, Digital Ad Products & Technology, PGA TOUR
  • Mike Orren, Chief Product Officer, The Dallas Morning News
  • David Rowley, Sr. Director, Customer Success, Ad Platform Strategies, Advanced Local

Moderated by Dan Rua, CEO, Admiral, and Christian Hendricks, President, LMC, the intent of the discussion was to share their insight, plans and strategies to help the publishing community as a whole, drive revenue during the sudden and unprecedented economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some of the key takeaways:


Q1 CPMs while traditionally low have seen a dramatic drop of 30-40% (since March 1st) with the trend continuing into Q2. General consensus is that this will continue through 2020 with the best case scenario being a Q4 recovery. Publishers should explore alternative revenue streams that they can invest in and activate now sooner than later such as:

Monetize Adblock Traffic

“We’ve been engaging adblock users for almost a year now and we’ve seen our adblock rates significantly reduced over time. I’m very grateful in the sense we did this before this pandemic and now we can monetize almost every user that comes to our sites.” - David Rowley, Advanced Local

Launch Paid Subscriptions

“Embracing ad-free subscriptions, opening up donations to diversify revenue streams. Having more revenue streams helps me sleep better at night.” - John Byrne, Raw Story

Grow Your Email Database/Newsletters

“Email newsletters are the top means of driving paid subscriptions. Try using an email wall instead of a paywall. Ask users to subscribe to a newsletter to get access to content.” - Mike Orren, The Dallas Morning News

Editorial Strategies

“People are looking for escapist content.” - Rob Beeler, AdMonsters

“Our movie sites traffic is materially down because people are not trying to decide what movie to go watch, but our gaming sites are way up as gamers have more time to figure out what to play.” - Aaron Broder, EVOLVE Media

“We’re finding that people are looking for silver lining stories, someone helping someone, stories of resilience are resonating.” - Mike Orren, The Dallas Morning News


“Get in front of cancellations by proactive re-allocation of inventory for direct partners.” - Mike McLeod, PGA Tour

“Carve out some of the premium inventory and offer it to local/premium advertisers for free to create goodwill.” - Mike Orren, The Dallas Morning News

“Go through each of your vendors. Are they on shaky ground? Do they overlap in capability?” - Mike McLeod, PGA Tour

Build Relationships With Your Users

“There’s no better time to be talking to your users. We have the opportunity to talk to consumers, and talk about options, we’re trying to bring you content, we need your help. Let’s start understanding how our users perceive us and how to work with them better.” - Rob Beeler, AdMonsters

“Messaging really resonates right now; support our journalism, support our mission, this may be the best chance we’ve had to articulate our value proposition.” - Mike Orren, The Dallas Morning News

As response has been overwhelmingly positive, Admiral and the LMC are planning to host additional deep dive webinars related to driving revenue continuity in the coming weeks. To ensure that you’ll be notified about the next webinar or to possibly contribute as a panelist, please Contact Admiral.
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