Game Over for Publishers

How Google and Facebook are killing the publishing business – with a lot of help from the publishing business

PWC/IAB research in 2016 highlights that Google and Facebook achieved over 60% and 40% growth respectively in an overall market that grew nearly 9%. Whilst the rest of the publishing market shrank -3%.

From a Google and Facebook perspective the growth is easy to understand – they both offer advertisers efficient and ever more effective ways to segment and qualify target audiences. Facebook’s ability to segment is extraordinary.

In the majority, publishers haven’t helped themselves. Their desperation for revenue is becoming ever more transparent. Take the Daily Telegraph as an example. In the past few months it’s started to move it’s readers to a subscription model. So I signed up and signed in. To my horror, and this maybe coincidence, The Telegraph then started to auto play video ads. . . so there am I scrolling to the bottom of the page and all of a sudden I start to hear a the audio part of a video ad for Nissan. I’ve nothing against Nissan but I’m probably not their ideal target buyer. Congratulations to the Telegraph then. You’ve managed to annoy the hell out of me with an untargeted really irritating video that I’ve paid for by being subscribed. So, I installed an ad blocker. The culmination of all of this will kill traditional publishers. Do I care? Not really because there will always be something interesting to read somewhere by an enterprising ex journalist of the Telegraph who has low overheads.

The opportunity for reversing this trend comes in image recognition through AI. . . the ability to run advertising relevant to what’s being seen by the consumer. . .

Did I mention that in the non Google/Facebook ad market that there is a prediction that digital advertising fraud will become the 2nd largest revenue generator behind drugs for organised crime.

Views expressed are my own.