Marfeel Team 2020-04-06

Ad Tech Weekly Roundup - April 6th 2020


Coronavirus most blocked word for advertisers; Facebook pledges $100M for publishers, and 5G put on hold for at least a year.

 Companies Avoid Advertising Next to Coronavirus News It’s a coronavirus catch-22. Digital news publishers pumping out stories about the virus, but advertisers are asking to stay away from online content about the pandemic. There are sophisticated ad tech tools that allow companies to limit where their ads can appear. Right now, many of those tools are being used to avoid being next to coronavirus news. “Coronavirus” has become blocked keyword number one, overtaking “Trump,” according to a brand safety firm Integral Ad Science, Inc. This targeted keyword blocking is hurting publishers desperate to sell ads when so many companies are bailing on ad spending during the crisis. Publishers are getting hit with blockage on many non-news stories concerning the virus, even stories that provide important information to people while in quarantine. Online ad prices have dropped 36 percent compared to the same date a year ago, according to data aggregator Staq Inc. The company also says ad impressions on news content are down 41 percent.

Facebook Pledges $100 Million for News Outlets Hit by Coronavirus Outbreak Of course, it is news outlets facing the most substantial advertising revenue decline, especially the smaller, local publications. Despite the fact that readership and subscriptions may be increasing, some news publications are still forced to reduce pay or layoff workers. Facebook has announced its intentions to help. The company is pledging $100 million in grant money and promised ad spending to help struggling news publishers deal with the financial shortcomings created by the pandemic. The breakdown is said to be $25 million in emergency grant funding and $75 million in ad spending to help news outlets from all over the world. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his company is privileged to be in a position to help based on the fact that the world needs accurate news about the virus. Analysts say local advertising will drop by 25 percent this year which amounts to roughly $30 billion. Facebook has already announced intentions to help 30,000 eligible small businesses with $100 million in cash grants.
Conde Nast Lifts Paywalls as Pandemic Keeps People Home The parent company of such prominent magazine titles such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, GQ, Glamour, and Bon Appetit has dropped its paywalls and is making access to content free of charge during the pandemic. Condé Nast is trying to help the billions of people stuck at home by including free access to websites, special digital issues, email newsletters and articles about the virus. The company is hoping this access will provide some comfort and inspiration and will reach a larger much larger online audience. Condé Nast joins Gannett, McClatchy, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal is removing paywalls on stories about the pandemic. As stated earlier, publishers have seen an increase in digital traffic from readers stuck at home. But the ability to monetize those increases is suffering due to advertisers cutting media spending. But lifting the paywalls does provide some goodwill and engagement for readers now and in the future, when the pandemic subsides.

COVID-19 puts Year of 5G on hold The long-anticipated rollout of 5G technology is expected to be pushed back for probably a year, according to 5G analyst firms. One of the reasons is that the telcos are focused on improving resilience in existing networks due to the fact more people are staying at home and working. The strain on the networks is threatening the slowdown of 5G deployments. 2020 was expected to be the year where we would start to see dividends from 5G—financial rewards from connectivity-based business models on the 5G foundations that vendors have been working so hard to supply for years.  

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