The Rundown: With display ads floundering, publishers embrace events

The scramble is on to diversify revenue away from advertising, in particular display advertising. This has already led to a mad scramble to build up content studios, pivot to subscriptions and put up affiliate links in the guise of commerce. The latest scramble: events.

Some publishers call it experiential, but more big-name consumer publishers are seeing events as a critical piece of how they can use their brands and audiences to develop a high-margin revenue stream. At a Moguls gathering we held in Key Biscayne, Florida, last month, many publishing executives quizzed Complex CEO Rich Antoniello on the success of ComplexCon. The yearly event, being held in Long Beach, California, drives millions of dollars in sales as companies vie to drop the latest cool sneaker and more. Such massive events also amplify publishing brands by showing the connection they have with their audience.

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