We will begin at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in San Francisco with a welcome reception featuring a preview of the week's upcoming events by Alan Mutter, the long-time leader of the INMA Silicon Valley Study Tour. Mutter combines years of publishing experience with years as a CEO and investor in Silicon Valley.
To keynote our first day in San Francisco and the week ahead, we will hear from Don Marti, a top strategist at Mozilla who will discuss how the web will evolve in an era of increased concern over information integrity and consumer privacy.
KQED, which is among the largest public broadcasting affiliates in the United States, derives 56% of its revenues from membership fees and has aggressively expanded its digital presence to deliver more local news. Even though its roots are in broadcasting, KQED is an excellent example of digital transformation by a legacy media company. KQED is one of several news organizations that has partnered with the non-profit CalMatters state news site to produce and share content, enabling efficient, in-depth, networked coverage that no single news organization otherwise could provide. Executives from KQED and CalMatters will discuss the intricacies of managing donor-supported journalism.
With publishers increasingly turning their attention to expanding audience revenues, Cxense will demonstrate its dynamic paywall technology, which leverages user data, analytical algorithms and advanced targeting techniques to optimize offers to potential subscribers.
Salesforce will discuss the customer-relations management (CRM) solution it has developed to help media companies like Financial Times and Spotify to build audience and grow subscription revenues.
We will begin two intensive days in Silicon Valley with a visit to the main campus of Google in Mountain View. Google, which hardly needs any introduction, dominates several seminal digital realms: search, digital advertising, video-sharing via YouTube and mobile operating systems via Android.
Privately held PubMatic is one of the few companies that offers a publisher-centric solution for improving ad yields across digital platforms. Founder and CEO Rajeev Goel will provide his perspective on how publishers can leverage first-party data in an era of increasing privacy controls.
At dinner at the Quattro restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel in Palo Alto, we will get a rare insight into the likely future of digital advertising from the man who literally invented the first programmatic ad server in the mid-1990s. Dave Zinman, who has been the founder and top officer of a series of successful companies, is widely considered to be one of the leading ad-tech innovators in Silicon Valley and has been a popular speaker at previous study tours.
On our second day in Silicon Valley, we will visit the Facebook campus in Menlo Park, which also owns Instagram, WhatsApp and the Oculus virtual-reality brand. In addition to hearing about new product and partnership opportunities, we expect to hear how Facebook is fighting fake news, responding to privacy concerns and endeavoring to create the Libra cryptocurrency.
We will drive to iconic Sand Hill Road, the Wall Street of venture capital, for a briefing on the Silicon Valley venture process at Andreessen Horowitz (www.a16z.com), a prominent firm founded by Marc Andreessen, the creator of the original Netscape browser. The session will include a presentation from Substack, a new addition to the a16z portfolio that has developed an innovative platform to help publishers produce and monetize newsletters.
Adobe, which recently published an extensive white paper on the past and future of digital advertising, will discuss the strategic findings that underpin its integrated Ad Cloud platform.
This start-up is using advanced technology to attempt to efficiently discover, curate and publish news for communities as small as 0.2 of a mile (0.3 km) in size.
Bloomberg, a global news and information service, has made a major investment to produce video programming across a variety of platforms. M. Scott Havens, the Global Head of Digital, will explain the Bloomberg video strategy - and how it is being executed.
Oovvuu leverages IBM's Watson artificial intelligence and a global network of journalists to match relevant video with news articles in near real time, enabling richer content and stronger monetization for participating publishers. The company has won support from IBM. Amazon and others.
Gamer World News Entertainment, a start-up publisher, specializes in news about the booming eSports genre. The founder will provide a briefing on the dynamics and rapid growth of eSports and describe partnerships they are forging to provide eSports coverage to media companies.
Wired, a Condé Nast title that has covered the evolution of technology and its cultural consequences since 1993, reaches some 30 million individuals each month through its print magazine, Wired.com, social media and events. It recently added digital subscriptions to its diversified revenue model.
Knowhere is a second start-up focused on enriching content. The company's approach is to equip flesh-and-blood journalists with artificial intelligence tools to speed the discovery, reporting and production of articles.
Publishers aiming to build strong and growing subscription businesses have to make never-ending commitments to reinforcing the value of their products to their customers, according to author and Silicon Valley marketing consultant Robbie Kellman Baxter. She will discuss the "forever transaction" approach to building customer loyalty in an after-dinner talk at a popular San Francisco restaurant.
We conclude the week's work with a morning visit to the San Francisco Chronicle, which was one of the earliest newspapers to move to digital publishing. Owned by the privately held Hearst Corp., the Chronicle has diversified its products and revenues and says it has achieved its profit goals over successive recent years.
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