In that quality, actionable inventory is available through networks and exchanges (whether from remnant lots of large, "premium" publisher sites or through the premium/remnant of the Long Tail) buyers are not going to be paying the CPMs of yesteryear.
What's a pub to do? Get a new mantra!
Supply Is The New Demand
Publishers need to become counter-intuitive in their future, digital media strategies: let go of pricing. And, we're not saying Ms./Mr Publisher that you should not set baseline CPMs for inventory or floor pricing. Of course you should - price control is an exchange feature to be leveraged by the publisher.
But, if you're a publisher, you are going to need to open your inventory to the auction of the exchange and prepare yourself for real-time bidding. As data and exchange liquidity wraps itself around each impression in the real-time bidding process, your CPMs increase and unlock previously unattainable pricing.
Moreover, publishers are going to need to become buyers and arbitrage. In acquiring less expensive traffic, pubs will drive reach and yield. It's going to become a math "challenge" to a degree, but tools and trading platforms are developing which will make it easier. As we've said before, publishers will need to create the role(s) of "trader" on their sales team who can sell and buy online display inventory.
No doubt subscription models may become a revenue solution for the publisher as will the fat CPMs of custom, integrated sponsorships enabled by a direct sales team.
But trading is coming, too, and for those ready to jump, you may find a new mantra.