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Point Of View

The Competing Trend Of News Syndicators Delivering Targeted Ads

Joshua WIlliams

BACKGROUND

This week Flipboard opened its interest graph to allow advertisers to target ads based on the wealth of data Flipboard has accumulated around its users. The opportunity for advertisers is to engage users through targeted and relevant ads that have a premium feel, similar to a magazine experience. As platforms like Flipboard, Facebook, Twitter and Apple enter news syndication there will be increased opportunities for advertisers to engage users outside the pages of the traditional news sites.

DETAILS AND IMPLICATIONS

Flipboard was pivotal to delivering tablet-based magazines five years ago. With its most recent ad product launch, Flipboard is hoping to combine the elegance of print ads with the data of digital ads. The platform’s interest graph maps billions of user signals, based upon audience behaviours, which correlate against different interest groups. The benefit to the advertiser will hopefully be increased ad engagement derived from highly targeted and relevant ads.

The convergence between print and digital media gives us the opportunity to communicate to our audiences across multiple platforms. The challenge to publishers, in the face of increased outlets for news syndication, is to ensure that both content and ads served are highly relevant and can deliver cut through. Users are becoming less discerning about the source of the news and now consume content across a variety of social and syndication platforms. It is increasingly important for publishers to generate unique content and 1st party data to engage users within their own platform. The repetitive nature of mainstream news challenges publishers to define their content based upon understanding their audience interests, where they are and how they wish to consume the content; all whilst protecting or defining the journalistic integrity of their brand. Apple, Twitter and Facebook will encourage publishers to push content within their ecosystems and this provides a double-edged sword to publishers. The opportunity to reach users within their habitat is balanced against not being the first port of call for users and also sitting side –by-side with their competitors.

 

SUMMARY

With Flipboard having utilised its own graph for content curation and discovery, it is of little surprise that the data will now help to power targeted ads.  The trend of news syndication across other ecosystems, which include Facebook, Apple and Twitter, help these properties to ensure users are staying within their platforms. Access to each of these platforms allows advertisers to achieve scale within their targeting. Publishers, whilst working with syndicators to reach audiences, will need to generate unique first party data to help drive targeted ads and innovation across their own platforms. As the future patterns of how we consume content has changed, so has the role of publishers and the various distribution channels they use to deliver content and advertising. This has created new challenges for how we maximise a client’s exposure and combine a connected planning model for our campaigns. As a result of this change we see the lines between traditional (offline) and digital publishing blurring and a focus on audience planning and touchpoints taking a more prominent role.