Why the name change for the association?
We just thought it was time. We've had feedback over the last few years. They had been looking at the organization and a combination of aligning even more closely around the content industry, which is what makes this organization so unique. It's the only trade association that exclusively serves the needs of digital content companies. So we wanted to be clear in that mission.
What is your mission for DCN?
Job One for this organization is to pave the way for the digital content companies of the future–both promoting innovation and supporting those opportunities going forward. And I think that's a signal to the market and to our member organizations who come from television backgrounds or magazine backgrounds, newspaper backgrounds. Some of them are pure, plain digital companies. But this is about present and future for these companies. So we're establishing a voice and seat at the table with the marketers, the press and the policy makers as the only association that represents the digital content companies.
What's your read on programmatic?
With automation and the efficiencies that came through programmatic, there's just a lot of work that has to be done to make sure that we preserve and maximize trust. And there's challenges right now where the marketers' dollars are getting lost–there's a value leakage through the programmatic channel. And so all the marketers and the high-quality content companies need to work together to make sure that programmatic really can be what we hope it will be.
Is there an industry buzzword that you're totally over?
I guess "native." It's just a generic bucket for too many different types of advertising and some have existed for decades, if not centuries. The first question of any recent industry panel is how do you define native? And when you have to start with that, then it's probably not a useful term.
What are the top priorities for your people to be thinking about right now?
The advertising marketplace in general, the legal and legislative space, particularly with data and privacy, and focusing on mobile or any emerging platforms.
Spending a lot of time monitoring the privacy debate?
Right now, as you browse the Web, there's an enormous amount of data collection by companies that are often unknown to the consumer. And so there are issues there, and we continue to run into them every week. The industry needs to continue to evolve their solutions to be more effective.
What video platforms are you on?
I'm still watching television. I'll watch longer form there and then the shorter stuff on my tablets and phone.
Have a favorite show right now?
60 Minutes is my go-to show.
Thoughts on the measurement and ad viewability issues?
The simple fact that 65 percent of digital advertising is sold based on performance media is a challenge to the business of creating professional content. The entire Internet is in competition for attention, including those just chasing the click. Often the very economics that pay for original content are being replaced by a world of commoditized performance-based advertising that requires the industry to chase audience tracking, targeting and clicks at the expense of quality content and brand advertising. We're closely watching the emerging attention economy.