AdTech Weekly Roundup

A look at how last week’s news affects mobile publishers…

Facebook Investing $300 million in Local News Initiatives
Facebook says it’s investing $300 million over the next three years in local news programs, partnerships and other initiatives. The money will go toward reporting grants for local newsrooms, expanding Facebook’s program to help local newsrooms with subscription business models and investing in nonprofits aimed at supporting local news.

The move comes at a difficult time for the news industry, which is facing falling profits and diminishing print readership. Facebook, like Google, has also been partly blamed for the ongoing decline in newspapers’ share of advertising dollars as people and advertisers have moved online.

Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of global news partnerships, acknowledges the company “can’t uninvent the internet,” but said it wants to work with publishers to help them succeed on and off the social network.

Hearst Titles Show Soaring Cross-Platform Growth
In its latest Magazine Media 360° Brand Audience Report, MPA – The Association of Magazine Media looked at which of the 110 magazines had growth across all three online platforms — web, mobile and video — in November 2018, compared to the prior year.

Hearst was the publisher with the most brands on the list, with seven: Elle Décor (129% growth in November 2018 compared to the year prior), Cosmopolitan (71%), Town & Country (70%), House Beautiful (56%), Harper’s Bazaar (46%), Esquire (37%) and Road & Track (33%).

“Editorial intuition combined with our proprietary data tools, is leading to better, smarter creative decisions, Brooke Siegel, vice president, content, Hearst Digital Media, told Publishers Daily. MPA found 13 brands had notable overall online growth. The MPA says this growth is “bucking the trend of declining web traffic in favor of mobile and video growth.”

Apple CEO and Privacy Groups Call for Limits on Data Collection
As federal lawmakers gear up to tackle online privacy, a host of industry groups, tech companies and consumer advocates are weighing in with suggestions.

The ad industry has voiced support for the idea that laws should align with current self-regulatory standards — which call for companies to notify consumers about data collection across multiple sites and apps, and to allow consumers to opt out of receiving ads targeted based on “non-sensitive” data.

Advertising and business groups also are pushing to preempt state laws, like the new measure in California that allows consumers to access data about them and opt out of the sale of that information.

But privacy advocates are pushing for tougher laws. Today, 16 advocacy groups — including Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Center for Digital Democracy, Electronic Privacy Information Center, and Public Citizen — proposed that companies should be required to minimize the data they collect and allow consumers to access their data about themselves.

Media Buyers Fear a Picked-Over Gannett if Digital First Media’s Hostile Bid Succeeds
Digital First Media is a hedge-fund-backed group, otherwise known as MNG Enterprises Inc., that has submitted an unsolicited, roughly $1.36 billion bid for Gannett. The company, which currently owns about 100 properties, including the Boston Herald, The Denver Post and The Mercury News, already has a massive reach.

That reach would be extended even more if Digital First Media successfully buys Gannett, which includes USA Today but also more than 100 other publications reporting on local communities throughout the country, including the Detroit Free Press, The Des Moines Register and The Commercial Appeal.

Spokespersons for Digital First Media and Gannett did not immediately return Adweek’s requests for comment.

Digital First Media, known for buying publications and quickly cutting costs throughout its newsrooms, is taking advantage of what it sees as a “distressed member” of a “distressed” industry, said a media buyer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

5G, Robot Delivery Dogs and a Google Ad Blitz: What CMOs Found at CES
Many marketers’ yearly calendars revolve around two major industry events: the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity every summer on the French Riviera, and the CES consumer electronics show, which recently took place in Las Vegas.

While many of the same marketers, agencies and media companies attend both, the events play out differently. Where Cannes is more about “the creative aspect of being a marketer,” according to Pandora Media Inc. Chief Marketing Officer Aimée Lapic, “CES is squarely about tech, future consumer behavior, what’s happening now and what may happen in the future.”

Marketing has become “much more of a technology function,” according to International Business Machines Corp. CMO Michelle Peluso. “The intersection of marketing and tech is so critical right now that there’s a strong, great reason to be [at CES], to be exploring and thinking about what’s coming.”

Marketing technology accounted for nearly a third of marketing expenses in 2018, according to a Gartner survey of more than 600 marketers in North America and the U.K., up from 22% the year earlier.

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