Sell Ads On Engaged Time Metrics? Publishers Still Weighing Promise And Risk

A few days ago, a report in Axios caught my eye: big advertisers, frustrated with the digital advertising process, are shifting their digital ad dollars to TV — and even radio and billboard ads are in play. It was a pointed reminder that despite growth in overall digital ad spending projected at billions of dollars per year, not all is well in the marketplace. Advertisers are concerned by an opaque supply chain, low viewability and high levels of fraud. Publishers are stuck competing with Facebook and Google in an ad economy based on selling impressions, which by definition rewards scale over quality. Professionals on both sides of the equation are looking for better ways to buy and sell ads.

Brent Merritt

One intriguing alternative to the status quo is selling display ads based on time. In this approach, publishers use attention currencies such as cost-per-hour to sell big blocks of
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Newsonomics: For the newspaper industry’s next feat, can it get Donald Trump to give it antitrust protection?

Sounds like a John Oliver segment, doesn’t it? As we all know from checking our favorite news apps, the line between satire and news has all but vanished anyhow. Last week, in the friendly confines of the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, the News Media Alliance initiative to gain an antitrust exemption lit many fuses. Media Alliance CEO David Chavern (see my Q&A with him here) made a singular point: The news(paper) needs legal protection so it can collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook, the dominant duopoly of this digital age. In his op-ed, “How antitrust undermines press freedom,” Chavern called on Congress to provide a safe haven — essentially an exemption — from antitrust law so that the Department of Justice wouldn’t charge the daily newspaper group with illegal activity. The proposal has reignited a panoply of pleas, broadsides, two-decade-old arguments, and even a reasoned analysis or Continue reading "Newsonomics: For the newspaper industry’s next feat, can it get Donald Trump to give it antitrust protection?"

Newsonomics: There’s a newspaper chain that’s grown profits for the past 5 years, and it’s looking to buy more papers

It’s one of the grandest names in newspaper history, but it’s one seldom heard in the industry conversation about the future of the American press. As The New York Times and The Washington Post have come to dominate national newspapering, we hear mostly about two kinds of regional companies. There are the three big guys — Gannett, GateHouse Media, and Digital First Media — all consolidators of one kind or another, who now collectively own a quarter of U.S. dailies. Then there are the privately owned independents — The Boston Globe, the Star Tribune, The Dallas Morning News, The Seattle Times — caught mid-innovation, fashioning new business models on the fly that they intend will somehow allow them to fulfill their civic missions. Then there’s Tronc, McClatchy, and Lee, all chains on the edge, their status as publicly traded companies complicating their digital transformations. And there’s Hearst. Founded
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Must Reads in Media & Technology: June 15

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Reuters’ new survey suggests that readers are getting (a bit) smarter about verifying breaking news

When it comes to news literacy, there’s a lot to be pessimistic about these days. Plenty of people are still reading and sharing fake new stories from dubious sources, while others are wary about real news stories from legitimate ones. But Reuters’ latest Tomorrow’s News report suggests that some readers are getting savvier about the news that they read. Of the 1,711 Reuters readers polled in early May, 74 percent “strongly” agreed that they check with sites they trust to verify breaking news stories. That’s up from 66 percent last year. Seventy-six percent said they turn to trusted news sites to verify stories they see on social media, and 88 percent said they seek out multiple news sources when big stories break. At least in Reuters’ survey, people seemed more hesitant to rely on social media for news. Ten percent of respondents said that platforms like Facebook and Twitter will
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Must Reads in Media & Technology: May 26

Must Reads is MediaShift’s daily curation of the big stories about media and technology from across the web. Sign up here to get these delivered right to your inbox. Get the Daily Must Reads in Your Inbox!

Newsonomics: Can a master blacklist choke off fake news’ money supply?

For the last few weeks, it’s looked like fake news has spawned its own opposition industry. Money to fight the now-apparent-to-all evil has poured out of foundation coffers faster than Sean Spicer clarifications. In February, Craig Newmark made his big individual pledge to supporting trust in news, committing $6 million. Then we heard that five funders will create the News Integrity Initiative with $14 million, with Facebook itself participating. Then, just a day later, entrepreneur/journalism funder Pierre Omidyar publicly committed a cool $100 million to “to support investigative journalism, fight misinformation and counteract hate speech around the world.” (First up for that fund are a $4.5 million grant to International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Washington-based group behind last year’s Panama Papers investigation, and money for the Anti-Defamation League to fight hate speech.) Just after the Omidyar largesse was hitting the press, I visited with Continue reading "Newsonomics: Can a master blacklist choke off fake news’ money supply?"