Market innovation in the face of revenue challenges

As Facebook and Google continue to grow audience numbers, other media have struggled to maintain advertising revenues. Print Brands in particular have had to rapidly expand their digital, mobile and tablet offerings to plug the gap. As an example, despite falling circulations, total revenue for Guardian News and Media was up 8% in 2017 vs 2016, and is forecast to rise a further 7% this year. With the total digital market up 17.3% YoY, publishers are exploiting this area in an attempt to stem the dominance of Facebook and Google. The Verified Marketplace is a great example of this. The Verified Marketplace is a collaboration between the newsbrand publishing giants News UK, Guardian News & Media and The Telegraph Media Group. Essentially, it’s a premium publishers’ marketplace for out stream video ad inventory. The Verified Marketplace will be the exclusive place to collectively buy desktop and mobile out stream video inventory on the Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun – guaranteeing quality content and environments for advertisers with a potential audience of over 39.4M million unique users. The marketplace will offer out stream video inventory via the UnrulyX, a platform owned by News UK. Clients will be able to access this scaled, premium video opportunity through a dedicated Unruly team. It’s even more interesting as it offers a real alternative to the dominance of Google & Facebook for the first time. In many cases, social is not the enemy. MailOnline, the biggest news site in the world, has social (mostly Facebook) to thank for 18% of its total digital traffic this year.

For the Guardian, this figure is 10%. Paradoxically, social platforms are both a threat and an opportunity to publishers. Nonetheless, the market is innovating. April 2018 saw the full launch of PAMCo’s (Audience Measurement for Publishers) tool. Effectively this is a Joint Industry Currency (JIC) used by both agencies and media owners to improve objectivity, transparency and accountability in Print Brand planning and buying. PAMCo is a one-stop data source for audience measurement. It amalgamates PAMCo’s own first-party data (in-home surveys of 35,000 panellists across the country, plus 5,000 ‘light’ tracker apps that monitor audiences’ mobile use) with third party data from industry-leading bodies including IPSOS and ComScore. The result is an impartial, data-rich platform covering multiple Print Brand platforms (print, desktop, tablet, mobile) allowing for improved reach, efficiency and optimised negotiation.

What are the potential benefits?

PAMCo will deliver several benefits:

• Reach and frequency figures de-duplicated across all platforms

• Daily, weekly and monthly reach data

• Significantly more online data – new websites and devices included

• Differentiation between news sections (eg. main news, travel, sport)

• Coverage of 90+ brands vs 28 currently

MediaCom is PAMCo-ready, having appointed a dedicated team to oversee the transition and ensuring we get the best out of it for our clients. Team members are well advanced in shaping how the interface best works for planning use and trading optimisation and exploring opportunities to integrate with programmatic buying. These conversations will evolve over the next few months.

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