Publishers are increasingly beginning to act more like digital product companies that sell services to clients rather than advertising to brands. Companies like Axios, The Alpha Group and even The Washington Post have joined the club to share their software.

Selling software, particularly to a competitor, is tricky and is a slow process that can take months. And as the products gain traction in the market, customer demands introduce more complexity into road maps for products that many publishers still use themselves; over time, publishers may have to consider whether their product road maps should be driven by client needs or their own. Some publishers have gotten around this by building things that serve the broader needs of the market, rather than their own.

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