The Economist isn’t a scale proposition. The bulk of its revenue comes from its paid subscriptions, 304,000 of which are digital, and 1.5 million print. Not having a mammoth audience means inventory has often been sold out four months out of 12, which has meant it’s too often had to do what would frustrate any publisher sales team: Turn away ad spend.
That’s why in 2014 it set itself a strict goal to drive more than 50 percent of its programmatic revenue via audience extension campaigns. Fast forward to today, and its year-on-year programmatic revenue has grown 200 percent, equating to millions of pounds.