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Fixing the News Business (For Now)

Jeff Jarvis, former founding editor of Entertainment Weekly and creator of Buzz Machine, and now professor of Journalism at CUNY,  has written a very profound article on how to save newspapers. The article is relevant not only to newspapers, but also to any publication that seeks to maintain its life in the current digital environment. In this environment, there is competition for attention, and an almost infinite supply of news, both fake and real, and entertainment.

As an experienced partner to publishers (since 1999), we would like to recommend that they think about some of the points Jarvis makes in his article. He begins by setting the stage:

The burning house sits on the foundation of media’s old business model, which is built on volume: reach and frequency in mass media terms, unique users and clicks online. This house is doomed to commoditization as the abundance and competition the internet spawns drive the price of the scarcity we once controlled — media time and space — toward zero. Yet this is the model that still makes us our money and so, just to survive and perchance to invest in an alternative future and home, we must still feed that fire with cats, Kardashians, and every new trick we can find, from programmatic ads and so-called content-recommendation engines (which commoditize media yet further) to native advertising (which, when it fools our readers, only depletes the seed corn that is our trust and brand). We know where this ends: in ashes.

Well, we all know that. Now what do we do about it? Jarvis says we have to build our businesses on value over volume, and we must develop relationships that go deep into communities. And by communities he means not just localities, but affinity groups and other self-identifying niches and segments — perhaps parents, perhaps, transgender young adults, perhaps cancer patients. The key here is self-identifying.

This means not buying data, but developing our own — first party data that comes from talking to our current customers, subscribers, visitors, and finding out more of what they want. For some publishers, this is more difficult than it would seem. As publishers, we’re used to putting out content and assuming we can target the audience from outside. We can target, for instance, Hispanics. But Hispanics don’t necessarily define themselves as Hispanics; they have characteristics that cut across the obvious label.

Note well that in each of these situations, we must shift from media-centric products — our newspaper, our content, our home page, our comments — to public-centric services: a place for people to come together with residents of their town; a place where seniors can find the right adult development for them; continuing alerts about developments in an issue a high-school parent cares about; a means of connecting with others who are concerned about filthy park to get it fixed; and so on. I am not talking about personalizing the serving of the content we already have (though that would be a good and necessary start). I am talking instead about building new products to serve specific constituencies in new ways.

And what do we do to solve this?

Start with advertising. At the most basic level, if you are making products and services that are more useful, engaging, relevant, and valuable to people, then you will get greater loyalty, engagement, and usage, and even under the old, CPM-based advertising business, you will have more ad inventory. More important, knowing about people’s interests and needs — at an individual level — will enable you to sell higher-value and highly targeted advertising.

The only way we can fight media’s commoditization at the hands of programmatic and retargeting advertising and the large platforms is by gathering our own first-party data. And the best way to gather that data is not by forcing our users to give it to us through registration, by inferring it through demographics, or by sneakily compiling data from privacy-pillaging services such as Acxiom.

This is your decision, publishers. What kind of publication do you want to be?

Newspapers Jump on the ZEDO Bandwagon


Last week our CEO, Roy de Souza, announced that ZEDO is more capable than ever before of helping online newspapers cut costs and increase revenue. Not only do we have a suite of technology products for newspapers to choose from and use without switching ad servers, we now have an established team of expert ad operations specialists ready to take on any project or challenge from newspapers. We are happy to announce that, well, some newspapers heard us!

ZEDO is excited to welcome Omaha World Herald, The Daily Herald in Chicago (owned by Paddock Publications), and many more on board as our newest Advertising Technology customers. We look forward to helping these newspapers solve challenges, cut costs and keep their advertisers happy and coming back for more premium inventory.

Assistant Vice President of Paddock Publications, Kelly Bolyard, stated that, “ZEDO’s ad ops team is experienced with our ad server and works with us to make sure they understand our specific needs. As a result of our partnership with ZEDO, we never have to worry about being short on trafficking resources.”  Thanks, Paddock Publications!  Send us your trafficking work anytime, 24/7 and we will take care of it (same for all other newspapers out there too!).

So, are you a newspaper? Want to work with the only Advertising Technology provider dedicated to newspapers? Visit http://www.zedo.com/product/for-Publishers.htm to learn all about what we can do for you.

Contact us at: http://www.zedo.com/technology/switchToZedo.htm to let us know how we can help you have more options, more visibility, and make more revenue.


Newspapers, ZEDO is here for you.

With circulation of paper newspapers in decline since 2006 and traffic to online newspapers increasing, revenue from subscriptions has dropped significantly for newspapers. Now more than ever, newspapers are becoming increasingly dependent on online advertising. Enabling advertisers to reach their audience and promote their products and services, is still a main focus for newspapers – but the placement has transferred from paper to technology. This change has affected newspapers internally, and forced newspapers to hire technology minded staff in order to ensure advertisers that their ads will run effectively. Here at ZEDO we understand this. In response, we have become the only advertising technology provider dedicated to supporting and completely focusing on the online advertising needs of newspapers.

I believe that ZEDO is truly on the side of newspapers. Not only do we provide major newspapers around the globe with network optimization and ad network services, but we take the time to thoroughly learn about their industry. Newspapers such as the Omaha World Herald (in the US) and Malayala Manorama, Mid-day, and India Today Group (in India) are working with ZEDO because we understand their specific needs. We develop advertising technology solutions that can help newspapers cut cost, increase efficiencies, and make more revenue. We have built a dedicated team in-house to assist newspaper publishers 24/7 on any challenge that newspapers might have. Ad Operations is a key focus, as this is a continually challenging role to fill.

We have built an Ad Operations Service team of technology experts that are dedicated, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, to newspapers. Newspapers can depend on ZEDO for affordable ad operations by outsourcing some or all of their ad operations and trafficking work flow (and do this without switching ad servers). This means that Newspapers can save money on hiring, training, and retaining ad operations professionals if need be and also depend on ZEDO during heavy work flow times when there is an overflow of ad operations work.

Also, we recently partnered with digital media consulting agency Maroon, and its Managing Partner Chris Tippie who was the head of the Yahoo newspaper consortium. Maroon has assisted us in connecting with newspapers that benefit from our cost cutting ad operations services. This partnership enables ZEDO to have first hand insight into the challenges that newspapers face, develop fitting solutions, and prove that we are completely dedicated to being a true partner to newspapers.

In addition to ad operations services, newspapers can also depend on ZEDO for rich media formats, an easy to implement self service system for direct ad sales, innovative ad serving, and a robust web-based UI platform that ad operations teams can use to manage every ad that runs on their site.

Learn more now by visiting: http://www.zedo.com/product/product-for-newspapers.htm

Read the press release at: http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/ZEDO-Inc-States-That-It-Is-a-True-Partner-for-Newspapers-1381669.htm