Changing the media business in real-time – domo and beyond with the washington post, espn, univision and more

The media business remains a heavily disrupted industry with business models in flux. But as I noted in How The New York Times is operationalizing its ad yield business with Domo, we’re starting to see good news with digital revenue. I see two reasons:

Obviously, both these trends are dependent on proper use of data. That means the tools to analyze/monitor/react to data are crucial. Not to mention the increasing pressure to respect data privacy while avoiding the stigmas of distrust and fake news. All of that made for a compelling media panel at Domopalooza 2018.

Yep, this was a customer-only keynote session, moderated by Simone Knight, VP, Marketing Strategy and Media Intelligence at Univision.


The panel began with optimistic views on the media industry – something you might not have heard a few years prior. The two big themes are: delivering personalized experiences, and balancing ads with subscriptions.

We still regard advertising as an important revenue stream, but believe that our focus on establishing close and enduring relationships with paying, deeply engaged users, and the long-range revenues which flow from those relationships, is the best way of building a successful and sustainable news business. Domo use cases – real-time reactions and business user adoption

We’ve been using Domo to help empower our sales team globally to be more self sufficient. That’s something that has been a really big challenge for us, and I believe it’s a challenge for all of the publishing world. But right now our global sales team can go and log in to Domo and troubleshoot, and understand what’s happening in their accounts, and have more intelligent conversations with advertisers and agencies.

ESPN is a publisher, so we push content through all the cable providers, satellite providers, local providers, the new over the top providers; Hulu, YouTube TV – all of them. To [get that experience right in real-time], we have to be the best partner with the cable provider.

We utilize Domo as a detection tool. We call it Domo Detect. And we’re able to see in real time if fans are experiencing any issues of latency, delay – anything that may prevent them from having a quality streaming experience. And with Domo, we’re able to know their experience probably faster than some of the cable companies.

It’s terribly complex, and it’s hard for people to manage. Domo has allowed the visibility of how things are doing go up a level or two. Our client services team will normally execute our campaign, but the manager may not know exactly what’s going on. Now, that visibility has basically elevated to the manager level.

We are a lot more proactive about fixing things before they become a problem. You usually find out about a problem when you try to go and bill for it, and you realize you can’t bill for an entire campaign. But now we’ve moved into a lot of trade metrics like a diagnostics dashboard, which has been extremely helpful for us.

We are able to catch problems right when they happen, and figure out what the solution is. As opposed to waiting for our traditional monthly reporting where again, you do your monthly reporting and you’re like, ‘Oh when did this happen?’ My take – confronting fake news and earning trust

If you’d asked me three years ago about mainstream media’s biggest problem, I would have said business models. Now, I’d probably say earning/retaining trust. So-called “fake news” and an anti-media mentality has put media companies on the spot.

Add to the trust issues: the temptation of blurring the lines between ads and news. Example: sponsored content can a significant revenue stream. But when it’s not clearly labeled, distrust of all content sets in. Resentment over local blackouts and firewalls are also obstacles.

No simple solutions here, but the panelists mentioned transparency as an imperative. For Kramon at ESPN, that transparency can be an asset, delivering live sports moments that are raw and unscripted. That type of transparency engages the viewer:

I was asked on social media if this panel felt scripted. Afterward, Knight told me it was indeed an unscripted event, albeit with topics/themes they planned to cover. It’s a shame more vendors don’t take a chance on this format, rather than the tired, vendor-moderated “don’t let customers go off script!” yawnfest.

And yes, GDPR came up as well. The panelists welcomed the increased data regulation, probably because their future models are about personalizing experiences for those who opt-in. Rigor on the opt-in side provides clean data that can be used for personalization. As Knight told James:

We’re going to tailor experiences using the data that we have, behavioral information and really provide what you need to see, what you want to see, how you want to see it. Because this time, everyone has more choice than ever before in terms of how we consume media.