Q&A with Vic Daniels, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of GRV Media

In this Q&A, we delve into GRV Media’s journey, exploring how the adtech side of the business has grown, driven by the desire to share invaluable expertise. We also uncover key insights for publishers seeking the right ad platform partnership and discover what makes PROP® by GRV stand out in a crowded market.

Q: Why did GRV Media decide to provide adtech services to publishers?

A: “So, we’d run a number of successful websites for years ourselves, and felt that over that time we had built up some expertise which we could use to good effect to build a sister business – and at the same time help other publishers who could benefit from our experience.”

Q: How did you grow this business?

A: “A lot of the expansion initially came from word of mouth, which is obviously the best way to win new business. But now, for the first time really, we’re going out to the market to say: ‘Look, this is what we can do, this is how we can help you. We understand the issues you face, and we think we can add value to your business.’

Q: What is something that publishers should be aware of when looking for a partnership with an ad platform?

A: “I think the reputation of the adtech players is key – what are their current or previous clients saying about them? How are they being rated in terms of client service, responsiveness, transparency, delivering what they say, adding value to publishers? I think our platform stands up there with the best in this regard.”

“Another issue for publishers to consider is rushing to sign up to a contract, either online without speaking with anyone, or after a pressured sales call. I know I always got turned off by AdTech providers who effectively said: ‘We’re going to give you a wonderful service and make you loads of money – but you need to sign into a 12-month contract ‘now’ that you won’t be able to get out of!’ Pressure like that doesn’t seem right to me.

“My view on that is always: ‘Well, actually, if you’re as good as you say you are then give me some time to reflect and I should end up agreeing with you?

“We might be unusual but we only discuss contracts when someone says that they would like to sign up with us. And we also offer people a 3-month free initial period, which is unusual too.”

Q: Why would a publisher look to switch ad providers at this time?

A: “Even in a market like this – and maybe especially in a market like this – when things are pretty tough; page views are under pressure and revenues have dropped, people are actually more reluctant to change.”

“Publishers become even more risk averse. But that’s not necessarily the right approach. If we are offering a free 3 month trial, the publishers are getting a potential 20 or 30% programmatic revenue uplift straightaway – as they are saving on the revenue split they are sharing with their current adtech provider.”

Q: What makes PROP® by GRV different from other adtech companies?

A: “Well, we pay within 30 days. That’s a good start. We have a near real-time dashboard – it’s really important to publishers to get revenue information as quickly as possible, as this will inform investment and growth decisions.”

“I think some of the other things that we can do is around adding value. For example, what advice is available around social, SEO, Core Web Vitals, AI generated-content? How can your adtech partner help you to make you content to go further?”

Q: I was also wondering if you have any kind of forecast or predictions for the rest of the year for the economy, and the impact on the ad industry?

A: “I’ve been pretty consistent with my views in this respect. So, the online publishing industry is a bellwether for the economy, of course.”

“Overall, I don’t think this year is going to be as bad as people think. Whether we go into a recession or not, I’m not sure. There’s no doubt that there’s pressure on finances, there’s pressure on ad budgets and there’s been a drop off in spend and revenues that will continue, in my view, until Q4 2023.”

“So we’ve probably got several months left of this fairly tough environment. But where we are now could be as bad as it gets. And I think we’ll see a slow uptick in ad spend and revenues as we come into the summer months.”

“Maybe Q3 2023 won’t be as good as last year, but I think Q4 2023 will be better than in 2022. So, I guess I’m cautiously optimistic.”

Maya de Paz