The Guardian's Hamish Nicklin on what to expect in 2019

News & Opinion

The Guardian's Hamish Nicklin on what to expect in 2019

Speaking to Digiday, The Guardian's chief revenue officer says that investment in premium deals will grow and that publishers will wrestle back control from tech vendors. 

In an end of year interview with Digiday, Nicklin says that "2019 will be the first year open marketplace buying will decrease and the proportion of money going into premium deals will grow".

He goes on to explain that "there will be less focus on just trying to find an audience as cheaply as possible across the open marketplaces regardless of context". While 80% of The Guardian's programmatic revenue came from the open marketplace last year, Nicklin would like to see more direct programmatic deals going forward, and the signs are promising: "The amount of money I am getting from premium programmatic direct deals is triple-figure percentage growth compared to this time last year."

With a new year on the horizon, Nicklin says that the conversation will continue to be about "trust, transparency and quality" because it matters and has an impact on advertisers, with a big emphasis on transparency in the digital space: "We will double down on transparency, in terms of how we work with vendors and how we negotiate with them to get access to the data we need. I predict next year that more publishers will try to wrestle more control back from tech vendors. We will see more unbundling of the services you get offered from tech vendors today, such that we end up with pure utility rather than these added-value services that were always quite questionable."

Next steps include investing more in "unique native ad formats that can be bought programmatically" as well as being more intelligent about the pricing of floors: "An ideal situation would be a dynamic pricing algorithm where we can change our floors per impression."

You can read the full interview here.

by Jessie Sampson 17/12/18

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