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Weekly Roundup: Content Trends, Prebid’s ID Solution, Facebook’s News Tab, and More.

Adtech Weekly
Internet users' new content preferences, Prebid launched a new ID solution for publishers, Facebook to pay publishers in the UK, and more on this week's roundup.

Summary

  • Internet users have developed a taste for short videos. Positive, light-hearted, feel-good videos have the highest demand. Publishers like 5-Minutes Craft are leveraging the new trend. Are you doing the same?
  • More and more companies are showing confidence in local newsletter businesses. Publishers, as well as individual reporters, are selling ads and subscriptions through their local newsletters.
  • Prebid has launched a new identity solution for the open web. The solution combines first-party data with third-party cookies. The aim is to bring control into the hands of publishers.
  • Facebook is rolling out its News tab in the UK. While some publishers expect to gain millions of dollars from the deal, the US publishers think otherwise.
  • The UK government will soon appoint new watchdogs to keep a tab on the tech giants. It’ll be able to reverse the decisions of the tech companies and make them pay fines if anti-competitive behavior is observed.

Latest Trends for Publishers

Content Consumption Trends

Internet users are developing a new interest in topics like short videos, movies, cooking, comedy, DIY, art & craft, etc. People working from home have found some extra time in their routines and it’s being spent on these content categories.

As per a report by the Soul Publishing, 69% of the people in the US are spending up to three hours watching videos that are less than 10 minutes long. People are seeking positive videos that can make them feel good and provide a sense of escapism. 33% of the consumers consider such videos a healthy part of their lives. 

5-Minute Crafts, a popular YouTube channel has already been leveraging the new trend. Apart from YouTube, the publisher’s Facebook page has witnessed a 20% increase in viewership and an 82% jump in followers. The future looks bright for publishers producing short-form, positive, feel-good videos as 83% of the consumers will keep watching such videos in 2021 as well.

The Growing Trend of Local Newsletters

Axios, a popular short-form news publisher, has recently signaled towards a growing trend of local newsletters. A hyperlocal digital news company named Patch has built a new service that helps reporters publish their own newsletters and websites. Individual reporters, as well as newsrooms like the Michigan Sun Times, are currently using the platform. The journalists can sell ads and subscriptions via the platform. The company is trying to ride the wave of journalists who are trying to build their own newsletter subscription services. It has been profitable for the past 5 years with its 180 employees.

Patch is not the only company trying to build a business around local newsletters. There’s 6AM City which is about to close a round of funding for the same purpose. Axios itself has similar plans. Then, you’ll find many newsletters on Substack that cover local stories.

Takeaway:

The current content consumption trends are telling you how you can build a new audience and engage it with short videos. We know that every publisher can’t create videos on the same scale as publishers like 5 Minutes Craft, but trying to do so at a smaller level will bring no harm. The same goes for the local newsletter trend. If local news is your strength, you should hop on the newsletter trend to gather a new audience. 

Prebid’s New Identifier

Many players in the ad tech industry are busy building the replacement of the third-party cookie. We are witnessing rapid action towards the cause. Just two weeks back, we saw Magnite and Pubmatic joining hands with The Trade Desk for Unified ID 2.0. This week, we have SharedID from Prebid. The SharedID aims to give control in the hands of publishers.

SharedID will combine PubCommon ID, which uses the publishers’ first-party data, and sharedid.org ID, which is based on third-party cookies. Prebid’s chairperson Tom Kershaw says, “The main goal of this is to allow segment creation to move out of the DSP into the SSP, where we can allow publishers to securely interact with each other without leaking that ID into a device graph.”

Publishers generally complain about the ad tech companies using the bidstream data for their advantage. The SharedID will allow publishers to choose who uses their data. The publishers would be able to transmit their first-party data or create audience segments within their domain – and allow for those segments to be shared across hundreds of publishers. In this way, SharedID will try to provide an ID solution for an open web. We’ll keep you updated on the developments. 

Facebook Prepares to Pay News Publishers in the UK

The Facebook News tab will roll out this January for the UK publishers. The publishers will choose which stories will appear in the tab, and they’ll also receive licensing fees from the social network for providing their content. It is not clear how much Facebook would pay, but some publishers are expecting millions of pounds from the deal. Current partners of the program include the Guardian, the Daily Mirror, the Independent, and UK’s major regional news publishers.

Facebook News

It’s been more than a year since the program launched in the US. The US publishers complain that it’s impossible to distinguish the Facebook News traffic from the overall referral traffic from Facebook. Additionally, early tests by Facebook suggest that the traffic from the product is insignificant.

Takeaway:

We cannot see any direct monetary benefits for Facebook in paying publishers for their content. Government authorities around the world are against the platform for reasons like widespread fake news, anti-competitive practices, etc. The News Tab is populated directly from trustworthy sources. So now Facebook can say that it has taken measures against fake news. 

Similarly, paying publishers make Facebook look like an organization working for the news industry. It solves Facebook’s problem. But how far can it help publishers? Only time can answer this question.

UK’s New Watchdog to Monitor Big Techs

The world is slowly recognizing the dominance of big tech companies over small businesses. Antitrust cases are already going on against Google in the US. There are reports that new suits will be filled soon against Google and Facebook. Now, the UK is also preparing to curb the power of the tech giants in its market.

The UK government will set up a Digital Markets Unit to keep a tab on big techs like Facebook and Google and prevent them from misusing their power by exploiting consumers and small businesses. The newly formed unit will enforce the necessary code of conduct by April next year. It’ll force the tech companies to be more transparent, to allow users to choose whether they want personalized ads, and to let the customers use rival platforms without any hindrances. The unit can have the power to suspend, block, or reverse any decisions made by the tech companies. It may also impose penalties in case of any breach of conduct. 

Moments that Matter

Publishers reaping the benefits of Snapchat’s strong second half – Digiday.

How BuzzFeed’s HuffPost acquisition can help the combined company’s ad sales pitch – Digiday.

IAB Tech Lab Releases Podcast Measurement Technical Guidelines 2.1 for Public Comment – PRNewswire.

Don’t Blame Media’s Business Model – A Media Operator.

Cover image from Prebid.org

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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