Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Paul Kelly, Chief Revenue Officer at A Million Ads

Paul Kelly is Chief Revenue Officer at A Million Ads. Paul has previously held roles at Awesomeness, Viacom and Discovery Communications. We asked Paul to choose his Digital Hero

Who is your digital hero?

My hero is one of a number of thought leaders that publish incredibly insightful commentary on the industry while at the same time demonstrating and testing new economic models for creators and media businesses. I’m thinking Ben Thompson, Jason Hirschorn, Scott Galloway and Eugene Wei among others, but my choice would have to be Venture Capitalist Matthew Ball.  

What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?

Matthew has written first, most comprehensively and arguably the best of what’s generally agreed to be the single biggest topic for the digital industrial complex; the Metaverse.  

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

When Mark Zuckerberg references your work (which is available to everyone) and months later announces his company Facebook is reorganizing to better focus on the metaverse, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say Matthew is driving digital.  

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

The biggest challenge in my opinion is in detailing and addressing the negative societal by-products of digital platform and content consumption. Most of this is now well documented but there’s little by way of material progress. Misinformation, fraud, youth mental health and other dangers. Unfortunately I think we might need more than a hero to keep what’s good (which is an almost unfathomable amount) while preventing our collective and individual exposure to the above. On the plus side, user privacy is an area where we have seen tangible developments to the extent I believe it will be very difficult for any large scale abuse to occur. 

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

I certainly wouldn’t say heroic, but I am grateful and somewhat proud that my background in content-led businesses such as Viacom and Discovery didn’t prevent me from becoming fluent in ad tech and making a contribution to this side of the industry. When things move and develop so quickly as is the case with digital, I think it’s understandable to conclude that maybe there’s too much to catch up on when you’re coming from a different or adjacent background. I’m of the opinion that you don’t need to start from page 1 – just get a good handle of where things are and where they’re going and you’ll start connecting your own dots.