AM/FM radio holds strong for American listeners

While local TV news still barely beats the internet as the top source of news for Americans (no, really), viewership and revenue continued to slide in 2017, according to Pew’s latest local TV news fact sheet. Americans are still drawn to audio content, with high percentages tuning into some kind of radio station (there are only 26 all-news terrestrial radio stations left) and podcast listenership continuing to grow. Local TV news Average audience decreased by 15 percent in 2017 over the previous year, with evening news remaining stable — though late night and early evening declined by seven percent, and midday declined four percent. (The data comes from ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC affiliates.) Partly because it wasn’t an election year (when political advertising bumps up the airwaves’ coffers), total over-the-air ad revenue for local TV decreased by 13 percent, to $17.4 billion. Online, advertising for local Continue reading "AM/FM radio holds strong for American listeners"

European news sites are among the worst offenders when it comes to third-party cookies and content

The forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation on May 25 is pushing publishers to take a hard look at just how dependent their outlets have become on cookies third-party trackers they load on their own sites in order to collect data from their visitors. News sites actually load more third-party content and set more third-party cookies than other top websites, according to a new study of websites across seven European countries from the Reuters Institute. News sites in those countries averaged 40 different third-party domains per page and 81 third-party cookies per page, compared to an average of 10 and 12, respectively, for the group of top websites in those countries. (Among sites that run some kind of advertising, the study found that news sites on average load four times as many third-party domains compared to other top websites.) U.K. news sites were, on average, the most bloated of
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Jason Kint: Here are 5 ways Facebook violates consumer expectations to maximize its profits

As the Facebook scandal continues to snowball, COO Sheryl Sandberg and CEO Mark Zuckerberg have finally admitted publicly they have a lot of work to do to restore trust in, and combat abuse of, their platform. Those are facts supported by independent research from Edelman. Trust is a result of delivering on expectations, whether the customer is another business or the public. Facebook and Google, more than any other two companies, have controlled and influenced the trust issues now being surfaced across our industry which impact the publishers and advertisers who choose to associate with their platforms. In 2014, I wrote about Facebook’s questionable practices in The Wall Street Journal, focusing on Facebook’s mining of user’s browsing history. We argued that people do not expect Facebook to track them across the web and within apps in order to target advertising to them. Unfortunately, the backlash was slow to build
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Newsonomics: The Denver Post’s protest should launch a new era of “calling B.S.”

What are we to make of The Denver Post’s “extraordinary display of defiance”? As the paper’s editorial board, led by Chuck Plunkett, fired a fusillade of public protest on Sunday — publishing six pages decrying the paper’s owner, to the social congratulations of the news world — we may have reached a new point in local American journalism’s descent into oblivion. Despite almost a decade of newsroom cuts, which have left no more 25,000 journalists in the more than 1,300 dailies across the country, journalists have been remarkably accepting of their buyouts and layoffs. We haven’t seen the kinds of mass strikes or work actions that have happened from time to time in Europe. We’ve seen instead an acquiescence to what’s been seen as the inevitable toll of digital disruption. Sadness, rather than spirited action, has marked the trade. That’s understandable, in part: No one wants to risk the lifeline Continue reading "Newsonomics: The Denver Post’s protest should launch a new era of “calling B.S.”"

10 Advantages That Small Publishers Have Over Tech Giants in Selling Ads

At scale, advertisers are dollars to be lured. Advertising technology supplies millions of ad impressions and targeting tools, but they leave the fundamental goals of an advertising campaign, notably success, to the advertiser. Is there anyone who truly cares about a small business advertiser, the primary client of local newspapers and magazines, at the scale of Facebook or Google? Any small publisher who survives on direct advertising sales has to consider the weaknesses in the model of their Silicon Valley competitors if they intend to continue to rely on an ad sales model. We hear every day that the “duopoly” is dominating in digital advertising revenue. This is true, but Google and Facebook are definitely not invincible, and recently eMarketer predicted their market share would drop this year. Small, niche publishers, like hyper-local news, regional magazines, and trade journals, have powerful advantages which cannot be replicated at scale, and they
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Big, If True

Cambridge Analytica claims that, with the help of 50 million Facebook users' data, it was able to target ads so specifically and so effectively that it helped swing the election for Donald Trump. The media have been more than happy to boost the claim, but many experts are skeptical. This week, a look at what exactly went on with Cambridge Analytica and whether we shouldn't be focusing more on Facebook. Plus, how social media works to undermine free will and what the future might hold for Facebook.
  1. Antonio García Martínez, columnist at WIRED and former tech entrepreneur, on Cambridge Analytica's "psychographic" techniques. Listen.
  2. Siva Vaidhyanathan, director of University of Virginia's Center for Media and Citizenship, on past regulatory efforts to reign in Facebook. Listen.

  3. Franklin Foer, staff writer at The Atlantic, on what he sees as Facebook's war on free will. Listen.

4. Clay Shirky Continue reading "Big, If True"

Advertisers no longer need publishers. Should publishers give up on them?

“What is the future of the relationship between publishers and advertisers? And how can platforms, news publishers, and advertisers ensure a robust future for news publishers by shaping the quality of advertising?” These questions are addressed in “The Future of Advertising and Publishing,” a report released Monday by Columbia’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism, the Digital Initiative at Harvard Business School, and the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. It sums up an event that took place back in October; we wrote up an afternoon panel that was open to the public, but the report released this week focuses on a closed, invite-only morning discussion. Some thoughts from the discussion: — In 2006, $49 billion in advertising went toward newspaper revenues in the United States, Tow’s Emily Bell writes in an introduction; “by 2016, the equivalent amount was Continue reading "Advertisers no longer need publishers. Should publishers give up on them?"