The numbers game

As a veteran, or dinosaur, depending on your perspective, of the digital media industry I have seen most models for the monetisation of publishers content online. The online ad model has always been the most seductive as the global nature of the internet means that large audiences can be secured and if those audiences convert at £15 cpm then the revenues look great. The issue with the logic is that media buyers worldwide can secure online inventory via Google adwords at about £2 cpm so why go anywhere else ? Top performing partner channels on YouTube deliver about £3k per month back to the publisher which in most cases would not cover the cost of the rights. However difficult the pay model is, with the prevalence of online piracy, many publishers see it as the only viable way forward.