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ESI's partnership with Lineup Systems help lead to the creation of the London Publisher Group - a collaboration that is allowing media companies to innovate together

ESI Media – publishers of The London Evening Standard, The Independent and London Live brands – discussed some of the benefits it has enjoyed since joining forces with Lineup Systems and how it helped lead to the creation of The London Publisher Group, during Campaign’s annual publishing summit in London. 

Rich Mead, group operations director, ESI Media told delegates how Lineup’s Adpoint platform now handles CRM, ad booking, finance and reporting operations for The Evening Standard, across all of its print, digital and events businesses.

"When I joined five years ago our ad sales systems were an utter mess. Each of our companies had its own system and so we decided they needed to be replaced – and the logical solution was Lineup," said Mead.

During the process of implementing the new system ESI Media went on a series of reference visits to various publishers and this eventually led to the forming of The London Publisher Group. "We went to see News UK, Time Inc (as they were then) and the Telegraph Group and talked to them in detail about how they had been using the system. Normally, those conversations stop as soon as you’ve got the system in place, but when we went live Lineup suggested to us that it might be worthwhile to continue some form of contact between us. And it’s been of immense benefit," said Mead.

The main benefits have been the conversations regarding best practice, troubleshooting and development costs. "When issues arise we don’t go to Lineup first anymore, we talk to each other – as nine times out of ten we’re experiencing the same problems. And in terms of the shared development there are two main advantages. Firstly, it’s cheaper because we share the costs. And secondly it saves time because Lineup are only developing something once for the whole group. For us it’s been a massive win," said Mead.

Susan MacDonald, vice president sales, Lineup Systems, added: "It really is beneficial for both sides - from the vendor side and as well as the publisher. The benefits that we’ve both reaped in a short space of time has been impressive. Lineup has a number of initiatives to try and encourage publishers to come together as peers. We have an online community portal where we encourage publishers to speak with one another about their pain points and challenges. We open up our roadmap for development voting, we host innovation insights webinars, Discovery Workshops and host an annual user conference in London. We had 82 customers attend this year and it acts as another fantastic platform for the publishers to come together as peers and collaborate."

Gideon Spanier, global head of media at Campaign asked has it taken a long time for people to wake up to the benefits of collaboration? MacDonald replied: "While it might seem very basic and logical for publishers to speak with one another to share insight and drive innovation it hasn’t happened too often in the past. But it’s something Lineup is proud to help facilitate and we really hope to see more of."

For more information about Lineup, see here.


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