Mode Media

What can be learned from the demise of Mode Media?

The demise of Mode Media is a sad one for its staff and publishers. Whilst the tale may be enthralling, what can publishers learn from the debacle?

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The demise of Mode Media is a sad one for its staff and publishers. Its story will be turned into a narrative that the wider tech industry will find salacious. Business Insider and Mediapost already have very readable accounts.

What can we learn from Mode Media?

Whilst its Shakespearean tale of trouble at the top may be enthralling to the tech community, what can everyday publishers learn from the debacle?

Diversify your demand

It’s tempting to say yes when an ad network comes knocking. They’ll offer to do it all for you and promise you more time to concentrate on making more content. Instead, you should say: “thanks, but no thanks, Mr Middleman. That would be taking a huge risk’’. The fact is, you’re running a business and part of that is understanding how advertisers value your content, not relying on one go-between.

Net120 (120 days until they pay out) terms is a big warning, hell, even net90 is borderline. No matter how direct to the brand paying the bills you’re there will always be a payment delay. There is a worrying trend by some brands to extend it further past even net120. Whether you’re working with an SSP or directly with DSPs & agencies, they should shoulder some of the risk for you.

Offset the risk, if you do have to accept long payment terms, then consider what some Mode Media publishers did and take a 5% charge to get it down to net30.

Engage with the Adops communities

Either on Reddit / Slack / IRC or Facebook groups. These are the people on the ground floor making things happen, they’re the first to see issues arise and call out press statements as BS.

Be careful of companies that can’t do video and mobile

This is fast becoming the barometer for identifying companies that will be around in the next few years. It’s 2016 and any company still only successful in display formats will struggle. The ad tech market is in consolidation mode and some of the old guard, whether large or small, who may have paved the way for the new, won’t be around in 2 years – especially if they haven’t diversified.

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Posted by simonholliday