The Huffington Post’s CEO Jimmy Maymann is naturally a big fan of digital media. In an interview with Digiday, Maymann explained what the future holds for the industry and why everyone can expect even more videos in 2015. Below are some highlights from the talk.
On the dangers of getting traffic via Facebook:
Even though we’ve grown our audience really well from a social standpoint in 2014, we have such a scale that social is still less than 20 percent of our traffic. I’ve seen numbers from other publishers where more than 50 percent of their traffic is from the likes of Facebook. If that’s the case, you’re very dependent on that ecosystem, which is obviously something you need to be aware of.
On what advertisers are missing:
For one, mobile video is still seriously undervalued. It’s a much better experience than video anywhere else. It’s an undistributed experience: it’s full-screen, there are no ad-blockers and a lot of people have smartphones with really decent screens.
On the biggest obstacle for digital media companies:
It’s the eyeball-to-spend gap. Online media has around 30 percent of the eyeballs. But online media spending isn’t there yet, which means that advertisers are still spending money the old way. Eventually, the money will follow the eyeballs, because if you’re not investing where the eyeballs are, you’re not doing a great job of investing your money.
On the online video boom:
From a publisher perspective, video in going to be front and center in 2015. All publishers have a video strategy now. Everyone has video properties at the Newfronts. The audience is there. And the serious money is slowly starting to flow into it.