B&T TV: Is It Time To Revisit The Power Of News Publishing For Advertisers?

B&T TV: Is It Time To Revisit The Power Of News Publishing For Advertisers?

There has been a lot of coverage on what Meta’s shifting news policy and withdrawal of funding means for publishers, but far less on what this cut will mean for advertisers.

As one of the world’s oldest mediums, the advertising power of news publishing rarely gets the same attention as newer tech and media. In an increasingly fragmented and uncurated media landscape, however, news can offer credibility and brand safety, as well as reach.

Is it possible that the media industry might be missing a trick when it comes to news?

B&T recently spoke to several senior leaders at Australia’s top media agencies to find out the real value of news publishing to advertisers.

News helps build trust

For Laura Nice, co-CEO of OMD, operating in a news publishing environment can help build trust with consumers.

“If you pick up a masthead there’s credibility behind it,” she said.

The social environment can be a bit of a “wild west” she added -“you’ve got influencers curating news and (unfortunately) different audiences will trust different influencers or different businesses”.

A further benefit is the frame of mind consumers are in when they go to a news website, Nice added.

“People that are consuming news content are less likely to be distracted because when you go to read the news, it’s because you want to learn something new. You’re actually upskilling yourself, it’s teaching you something”.

Agencies benefit from a high-quality media landscape

Chief strategy and growth officer at UM Australia, Raj Gupta agreed that the quality of the environment is just as valid as impressions.

“One thing that I would recommend people look at news for is not just for the eyeballs. I think news in terms of the attention level that it brings to the decisions that we’re making as media partners is a really important thing for the industry”.

At GroupM news publishing is so important that the agency is now investing in the industry itself Nik Doble, national head of investment at Mindshare Australia said.

“Last year we launched a Back To News initiative, an industry-first program that recognizes the role that we play as buyers of media and advertisers in supporting a news ecosystem within Australia that is of the utmost integrity and quality”.

The entire media landscape benefits from a “journalistic landscape which is high-quality and highly credible,” he added.

So why is the industry underutilising news publishing?

Despite its high levels of reach and engagement, news publishing can fall by the wayside as buyers focus on newer, sexier mediums.

For OMD co-CEO Sian Whitnall this is partially due to outdated perceptions of what news is.

“The misconception is that we are still thinking about print and the physical paper,” she says.

Whilst the industry is starting to accept that news can be “more of an omnichannel concept”, this is not always reflected in how it manages news.

“If we look at any of our internal systems and we look at spending investment levels, it still says print. We as an industry aren’t great at changing our labels and how we think about a medium.”

Nice agreed, questioning whether the label of print is useful when talking about news with entry-level media assistants and executives.

“We have print and maybe we should be talking about total news or changing the language. So, it’s consistent as well in how we’re talking,” she said.

Jacquie Alley, chief operating officer at The Media Store, said news talkability is often undervalued.

“We’re more likely to talk about something we’ve seen in a news environment versus something we are seeing on our streaming services,” she said.

“I think we forget just how powerful news is.”

When social media first entered the scene, the advertising industry judged it by the yardstick that it had been used to calculate campaign success with – impressions. As the digital age has progressed, however, the industry has realised that not every eyeball is worth the same. In an age where attention is king, is it time we all started valuing news publishing a little more?

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