A pov on how the medium term future will unfold for publishers:
The trouble with private marketplaces:
Currently, most PMPs or supply-side platforms don’t provide a reliable way for buyers to reserve or guarantee inventory for future dates at set prices. Rather they merely provide the ability to wall off inventory and allow buyers a first look at set, negotiated rates. So advertisers are not actually guaranteeing a spend against a premium block of inventory, instead choosing to pay a pre-negotiated CPM only when a cookie-match occurs.
That said, with the current trend of downward pressure on CPMs, consolidation seems like the only answer for independent publishers to gain some leverage. A little Darwinism might not be the worst thing for the publishing industry. As companies merge, there will be fewer, larger publishing groups in the marketplace — which means more sway with advertisers, streamlined operations, and better first-party data across content verticals. When oversupply is no longer an issue, publishers may be able to gain some (if limited) leverage in the conversation.