Publishers Reimagine Display

How publishers are monetizing smarter in 2024

We predict that 2024 will be a transformative year for publishers. With 83% of publishers reporting 2023 revenue losses in the open marketplace and the impending demise of third-party cookies, many are rethinking how they drive revenue. For most, that means focusing on increasing net recurring revenue (NRR), strengthening renewals, and investing in additional products, including new strategies for display. 

With transformation comes innovation—and we’ve observed many smart strategies so far this year. Keep reading for a breakdown of revenue-driving, out-of-the-box tactics that our top-performing clients are implementing to diversify and grow revenue in Q1 and beyond. 

Amplified contextual targeting 

As third-party cookies disappear, publishers are leveraging their own first-party data to better serve advertisers. One crucial piece is contextual targeting, which is poised to reshape the display landscape. Already, it is emerging as a fundamental strategy to connect with consumers in a privacy-compliant way—and most brands are hungry for more. Publishers are challenged to keep up so they can maximize the value of their display ad inventory. Those ahead of the curve are leveraging AI for attribution, audience insights, and optimization to yield the best results for advertisers and publishers alike. 

The race to monetize contextual targeting effectively is on, and smart publishers are leaning in. To do this quickly and at scale, publishers must explore AI solutions and multi-channel contextual solutions to expand these offerings beyond mobile and desktop. 

Exodus from open exchange inventory 

At the beginning of 2023, publishing powerhouse Bloomberg Media dropped ads from open-market third-party programmatic display exchanges. It was a decisive step away from the open market and yielded notable results for the publisher and its partners, including improved load time and visibility and click-through rates that were up to four times higher

The move makes sense in light of today’s landscape, where two-fifths of Google Chrome users have opted out of sharing data with advertisers, and browsers like Safari and Firefox have blocked third-party cookies for years. As a result, 70% of users are unreachable through the open marketplace, yet most brands spend significant advertising dollars to reach just 30% of their audience on the open web. 

Direct deals offer publishers a path to increase ad revenue and quality when selling display inventory. Penske Media Corporation (PMC), a publisher of Rolling Stone and Billboard, saw a 46% increase in revenue from direct deals leveraging first-party data for targeting instead of third-party cookies—a shining example of how publishers can rethink how they sell to better serve their interests and those of their advertisers. 

Events drive revenue

This year, we’ve observed many niche publishers with strong followings shifting inventory away from exchanges and doubling down on unique, high-touch events to differentiate and satisfy a desire for community (which we first observed in 2023 and predicted would increase in 2024). “Everybody was slogging it out in 2023. The events businesses, though—data shows they seemed to have rebounded significantly,” Boostr Co-CEO Patrick O’Leary said in late 2023.

Since mid-2021, events have rebounded and show no signs of slowing, with private equity investing heavily in companies that host events, design arenas, provide ticketing services, and more. Strategies vary for how publishers monetize events, from simply increasing the volume of events they host annually to turning events businesses into stand-alone brands. 

Events are part of getting back to the basics when it comes to revenue creation. Publishers create communities, and extending that value into the real world is a major asset that helps them diversify revenue and reduce dependence on ads. By offering sponsors opportunities that digital platforms can’t, publishers can use events to turn sluggish growth into banner years. 

Sell more, sell better

Change isn’t easy, but it is at the heart of media publishing. In the dynamic and ever-changing digital advertising landscape, publishers able to pivot, rethink, and innovate can create sustainable growth and better serve their audiences. 

Rethinking display ads requires backend organization and tools to help automate, optimize, and sell higher volumes at better rates. A comprehensive, connected CRM and OMS like Boostr can help teams navigate change while saving time and managing complexity through automated workflows and trustworthy data that increases yield. 

Let’s embrace change together. Contact us to get started with Boostr today. 


Boostr is the only platform that seamlessly integrates CRM and OMS capabilities to address the unique challenges of media advertising. With boostr, companies gain the unified visibility necessary to effectively manage, maximize and scale omnichannel ad revenue profitability with user-friendly workflows, actionable insights, and accurate forecasting.

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