Look Ahead: Relay Media Helps Publishers Convert Web Content to AMP

These days, when users tap on their mobile browser, speed is no longer seen as a luxury—it’s expected.

Although the allure of Facebook’s Instant Articles continues to fade, another viable option has emerged in the Google-backed Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

With Relay Media (relaymedia.com), publishers can convert standard web content into AMP format and distribute the content to affiliates, partners, or the open web.

“Quality user experience is becoming a business imperative. For a long time, this was not the case as advertisers paid for impression tonnage and consumers had little recourse against invasive ads and clutter,” said Barb Palser, chief product officer at Relay Media. “Now, advertisers are demanding viewability and transparency, and consumers can install ad blockers or simply go elsewhere. Most publishers probably have no idea how much audience and revenue they’re losing as a result of slow load and poor user experience.”

Barb Palser, Relay Media chief product officer

Palser said that Google research has found more than half of users abandon slow-loading sites after just three seconds. Typically, Relay Media’s AMP articles load in under one second, compared to an average of 19 seconds for standard mobile websites.

According to Palser, a newspaper could monetize their content through Relay Media in several ways. For example, on the distribution side, publishers can earn incremental revenue by sharing AMP-formatted articles with others through the company’s platform.

“The publisher’s ads and paywall services stay in-tact, along with the rest of the AMP page, so they earn revenue and track audience any time another publisher embeds their content,” she said. “No special technology integrations or administrative overhead are involved.”

The company currently works with more than 100 publisher properties, including local newspapers, TV stations and several hyperlocal sites. Palser said that not one publisher has left their platform so far.

“Many publishers are under the impression AMP doesn’t support ads, or has highly restrictive rules around them. This is not true,” she said. “There are a couple of restrictions but AMP supports most ad formats and dozens of third-party ad products.”

Moving forward, Palser said Relay Media’s “big vision” centers around the potential of AMP as a universal distribution format.

“We want to build a scaled distribution network that gives publishers new revenue and reach, and lessens their dependence on social and search platforms which control discovery and user data,” she said. “Leveraging AMP, we believe that we can bypass many of the traditional barriers to publisher-to-publisher content sharing and empower quality publishers to be their own distribution hubs, putting them back at the center of content discovery and monetization.”

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