We spoke to Jeroen Seghers, Co-Founder Sourcepoint, to understand how content compensations platforms are evolving to tackle the evolving needs of content creators and publishers.
MTS: Tell us about the inspiration behind creating a content compensation platform.
Jeroen Seghers: Sourcepoint was founded in 2015 to understand and meet compensation challenges faced by digital publishers. At the time ad blocking was the number one issue that impacted a publisher’s ability to generate revenue. We believed then, as we do today, that ad blocking was simply a symptom of a wider industry issue – the implicit value exchange where users consume “free” content in return for viewing ads.
Only by communicating directly with audiences can a publisher understand how they’d like to consume and pay for content. We empower publishers to offer this payment choice to their users, which could include an ad-funded experience, authenticated access, a time-based micropayment or a subscription package.
MTS: How does Sourcepoint empower publishers to meet ever-evolving demands of customer experience and data privacy?
Jeroen: Understanding how a consumer would like to tailor their own experience is the first step to creating a transparent and sustainable digital publishing ecosystem. Initiating conversations around user experience and also data privacy will help consumers support the publications they wish to engage with.
We work with leading publishers such as Dennis, AOL, and Gruner & Jahr, as well as smaller niche publishers to educate them on the need to diversify revenue generation above and beyond digital advertising and enable them to offer their users a choice of compensation.
Awareness around data privacy is increasing, so it is in a publisher’s best interest to communicate the benefit a user will receive by giving permission for their data to be analyzed. Opting in to allow publishers to gather data around their interactions with content will offer an increased, and transparent user experience.
MTS: Keeping GDPR in mind, what should an ideal B2B Content Compensation roadmap look like in 2018?
Jeroen: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) – and also the ePrivacy directive – are key drivers in raising awareness across the digital publishing industry about the need to bolster existing policies, procedures, and technologies related to consumer data. Due to be introduced in 2018, publishers must understand how to collect user data, with explicit permission required.
As a publisher will need to directly engage with a user for them to opt into sharing their data, this presents an opportune moment to educate on content compensation. Balancing the friction required to interrupt a user’s experience with greater choice and control over the use of their data, will be key for publishers to successfully navigate the content compensation roadmap in 2018.
MTS: How should content marketing strategies for mobile-first campaigns, evolve to better the customer experience and increase engagement?
Jeroen: Publishers must keep consumer behaviour at the top of mind. We’ve seen a rapid shift of consumer attention to mobile over recent years, however, compensation considerations remain the same. To secure revenues and further evolve mobile-focused offerings, publishers must consider the needs of the consumer and provide choice and flexibility.
MTS: Would you tell us the core tenets of your multi-site subscription offering?
Jeroen: We initially developed our Dialogue product to establish a direct link between the user and digital publisher, and from here communicate the implicit value exchange between advertising and content. Essentially, publishers can develop audience segments, create targeted messaging strategies, and execute campaigns that offer varied content compensation preferences to users.
Our cross-publisher subscription product builds on the work we have done to date with our Dialogue product, establishing a direct link between the user and digital publisher, and enables a consumer to make a single payment in return for access a broad basket of content across various sites. Added as an additional compensation option, our cross-publisher subscription product will be complementary to individual publisher subscriptions, and will allow users to choose content based on themes or topics, across publisher websites.
MTS: How do you see AI / ML technologies impacting the content compensation landscape?
Jeroen: Machine learning and artificial intelligence pose a great opportunity for publishers to further connect with their audience. Using a data-driven approach – including demographic, location, most-read content, and previous compensation preferences – publishers can decide which compensation journey to take. Whether to offer an option based on these previous behaviors, or to provide a combination of options will enable publishers to prioritize a consumer-centric experience.
Machine learning also has the potential to help evolve subscription models, providing insight into dynamic bundles of content that will appeal to a user – ultimately creating a sustainable solution for the publisher and user.
MTS: Thanks for chatting with us, Jeroen.
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