Centro’s, John Hyland, Vice President, Publisher Solutions was asked to weigh-in on the evolution of Media Companies and their transformations into digital agencies – review his insights below.

John Hyland – I enjoy speaking with media companies and seek out opportunities to do so. Over the course of the past few years, these conversations typically steer towards future planning and either the evolution or creation of their agency. I then inquire about the type of agency – creative, content, brand marketing, social, paid media, etc.

I’ll fast forward to the punch line: Publisher-owned agencies now include all the above, and sometimes even more. My own experience with both media companies and agencies tells me that many publisher-owned agencies have greater competencies in paid media, social media management, and content. These same publisher-owned agencies trail in creative prowess, mainly knowing how to charge for it as well as research and brand strategy.

From an economics standpoint, it often makes sense for media companies to separate the finances of their agency with that of the media company. Most agencies are not bolstered with the salaries and commissions of a large sales team, so separating the two makes sense. It also provides greater flexibility to invest in the competencies that are generating the most revenue.

Each publisher-owned agency looks different depending on the amalgamation of internal talent, external talent, resources, platforms, etc. The one thing that’s true across the board is that they are changing how local and regional advertisers view their local media companies and the services they provide.

And in the meantime, I look forward to my next conversation.