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Some Newspapers Do Better Than Others at Monetizing Digitally

The Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism has published new research that takes newspapers to task for failing to monetize their digital assets quickly enough.

In essence, the research says that culture is the gating factor, and that some newspapers are way ahead of others in managing to reverse the decline in revenues that came from the slow decline in print newspaper reading:

… some papers are performing quite differently than the norm, some much better and some far worse. These variances suggest that the future of newspapers, rather than being determined entirely by sweeping trends, can be significantly affected by company culture and management-even at papers of quite different sizes.

Of the 38 papers that provided detailed data about their operations, not all were achieving growth in digital revenue. Seven of those studied suffered declines for the last year for which they had full data. One stayed the same year to year.

Beneath these broad numbers, however, are papers that buck the trend in significant ways and offer the idea that more can be achieved. One paper studied saw digital ad revenue grow 63% and print grow 8% in the last full year for which it had data. Another paper registered a gain of 50% in digital advertising.

We are the advertising technology provider for some of the newspapers that have done the best at switching to a digital revenue model. It has been our experience that newspapers must experiment with different forms of advertising beyond traditional above the fold display ads. In fact, recently Google announced that it was going to downgrade the search results of sites that placed too much advertising at the top of the site, before the reader could get to the content.

We have been able to help them produce incremental revenue. Like Comscore, we think that above the fold and below the fold are history. We help publishers create and monetize impressions that are in-view. Ie. create and sell impressions that we know the users see. But most important, our new InView ad formats, focused on any advertiser’s new metric of “viewable impressions” have been measured by Comscore’s AdXpose at 99% in-view.

We are constantly fine tuning our product development efforts to help our publisher partners make more money. While we can’t change the internal culture at a newspaper, once it has decided to embrace different digital revenue models, we are right there waiting to help.

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Inview Slider Ad Format Gains Acceptance

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Advertising generates the money publishers need to continue offering readers information. Since most online content is free, advertising revenue helps publishers afford to create and publish information. Television programming has commercials for the same reason. In print and in broadcast, consumers tolerate ads, and in some cases actually admire them for their creativity. On the Internet, however, that hasn’t been the case.

As the advertising technology partner to many publishers for the past decade, we’ve borne the brunt of consumers’ anger and intolerance toward advertising. We keep listening, and trying to come up with better solutions. What can we do to help our publisher partners generate revenue without annoying their readers?

Banner ads alone cannot support quality publishing. Since the supply of banner ad space is high, their rates have come down significantly, which forces publishers to look at innovative means of generating online advertising revenue without disturbing readers unduly. But readers let publishers know loud and clear that popups weren’t the answer. Nor, of course, do readers want anything installed on their computers. We listen. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be the largest independent advertising technology player worldwide.

The pressure from readers keeps us innovating. Now we think we have something truly “great” in the InView Sliders. The InView Slider ads, because they are unobtrusive, bridge the gap between insufficient high quality advertising space available and the publishers’ revenue requirements. They help make up the revenue gap, and protect free content produced by quality writers.

The InView Slider glides across your field of vision without obstructing much content, then allows itself to be viewed, and then quietly retreats. It’s a “friendly” form of advertising.

If you are seeing InView Sliders from ZEDO, it’s because you visited a website that uses our ad delivery technology to generate revenue. It means you have helped a publisher provide unrestricted access to the content you want to read, without sacrificing your privacy and security. We are getting great feedback about the new format. For the first time ever we have received an email from a newspaper to say that she loves the format and the ads she sees “sidling up to her”.

To provide as much content as possible to as many people as possible, publishers use advertising to keep the cost of access low or free. It’s the time-honored way of doing business for newspapers, magazines, and now online websites. This great innovation in advertising from ZEDO allows consumers to get more great content for free. And it allows advertisers to tell consumers about their great new products in a fun friendly way.
Welcome the new InView Sliders from ZEDO.

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