New AAM Chairman Edward W. Boyd Discusses Media’s Challenges

May 17, 2017

In part two of his interview, Boyd talks about the challenges facing buyers and sellers and how AAM’s tripartite, not-for-profit structure lends credibility to digital solutions.

Kammi Altig, Communications Manager

Ted Boyd, BrandworksAAM: What’s the biggest challenge facing media companies?

Ted Boyd: I would say that a key challenge faced by media companies today is the ongoing balancing act in an increasingly complex landscape characterized by fragmentation, readership across multiple platforms, consolidation and frankly just the amount of time readers have to consume media content of any kind.

AAM continues to have an important role in helping the seller sell and the buyer buy. There are also a series of steps we can take along the way as stakeholders in the media ecosystem to make that process better. Because we’re set up as a tripartite organization, we are better positioned to solve for the problems and complexities that both sellers and buyers face. AAM is especially well-positioned to help publishers who are going through one of the greatest transitions in business history as the industry moves down the continuum from a print to a digitally driven world.

AAM: What’s the biggest challenge facing buyers?

Ted Boyd: It’s really the mirror image of the problem for media companies: getting the right message to the right person at the right time. With the rise of multiple digital channels and social media, we must do more with less.

This industry moves and changes so quickly that buyers must be constantly optimizing their campaigns to succeed. One can no longer create one plan in the fall, launch it, measure it, regroup and then do the same thing in the spring. The most successful marketers have a much more holistic and different way of looking at the marketing ecosystem and it requires agility and adaptability.  

It is also quite difficult to consistently deliver excellence within these parameters which creates a unique set of challenges as well.

AAM: What’s the biggest challenge facing AAM?

Ted Boyd: We feel the same challenges our customers and stakeholders feel. We’re constantly reevaluating our resources to meet their changing needs and to the extent that our challenges mirror theirs, I think this is a healthy dynamic and one that keeps us focused on our core mission of serving the industry.


A Few of Ted’s Favorite Things:

Pizza toppings: Pepperoni and mushroom

Vacation destination: Bermuda

Guilty pleasure: Frozen yogurt

Way to spend a Saturday afternoon: Reading a good book or hanging out with my family, if they’ll let me

Business resource: Harvard Business Review



AAM: What do new services like Quality Certification say about the direction AAM is headed? What’s the potential impact of these services on the industry?

Ted Boyd: Quality Certification is the digital manifestation of the AAM promise of helping sellers sell and buyers buy. It speaks to being confident about both the amount and quality of inventory a publisher has as well as the quality of their audience. AAM Quality Certification helps our clients differentiate themselves and tell their value story in a more compelling way. This is the right focus for us in the months and years ahead as it is the most important thing we as an organization can do to support our clients.

I should add that we understand, as an organization, that our continuing involvement in helping buyers buy and sellers sell as the market moves to an increasingly digital composition is an earned right. We feel strongly that our tripartite nature and our not-for-profit status allow us to tackle the industry’s thorniest issues with objectivity and credibility, but we also understand that we are most effective when we listen, learn and collaborate.  

Bringing clear oversight and assurance to the digital marketplace is critically important and the industry collectively must have full confidence and trust in that solution. This is and must remain at the heart of our work.

AAM: What do you think the media industry will look like in 30 years?

Ted Boyd: It will not be fundamentally different than it is today with one crucial exception: I think we’ll see more consolidation. It will be more mechanized with pretty much all media inventory sold programmatically but there will be far less concern about the actual quality of inventory as the industry will have solved for that.

We will come through this enormous transition we are currently in with new opportunities and ways of connecting quality audiences with quality publishers.

This has always been a special industry with interesting, smart people doing interesting things and together we will ensure it continues to be.

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