CPMs Down 79% For Australian Digital Publishers

Online news in mobile phone. Close up of smartphone screen. Man reading articles in application. Hand holding smart device. Mockup website. Newspaper and portal on internet.

Australian publishers have been unable to monetise the recent spike in digital news consumption, new research shows.

Digital media specialist Louder has revealed CPMs (how much an advertiser is willing to pay per 1,000 views) are down 79 per cent YOY across the top 50 digital publishers in Australia.

For the top 10 news publishers, which includes news.com.au, 7News and The Australian, CPMs are down 32 per cent YOY.

This is despite the fact almost all of these publishers have seen their audiences grow in recent weeks.

Nielsen’s Digital Content Ratings (DCR) for March 2020 revealed an average 57 per cent month on month rise in unique audiences across the major publishers, with publishers like The Guardian experiencing growth in excess of 100 per cent.

However, blacklisting and keyword blocking remain a significant problem for these publishers.

Terms such as ‘COVID-19’ and ‘coronavirus’ are believed to have been blocked millions of times by would have been advertisers.

In the UK, keyword blocking has been tipped to cost publishers around £50m ($97m) if it continues BAU.

The IAB earlier this month implored brands to stand by local publishers.

Intergral Ad Science CMO Tony Marlow has also suggested advertisers rethink the current approach.

“For many marketers, their initial response has been to apply keyword blocking against terms like ‘coronavirus.’ It is possible that this is a temporary measure as marketers evaluate their stance on appearing adjacent to this type of content,” he said.

“For many of these marketers, the next step will be to apply cognitive semantic technology to refine the precision of brand suitability decisions to include things like the sentiment and deeper context of the page.

“We are advising a pragmatic approach, with the consideration that not all COVID-19 content should be deemed unsuitable, and that the broad application of keyword blocking may lead to significant reductions in scale. Given the vital role of trusted content publishers in keeping the public safe and informed, we are advising thoughtful consideration be given to those outlets by advertisers.”

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