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Publishers shrug at platform overtures

The platform giants have made a string of visible steps to improve their relationships with publishers lately. But apparently not all publishers have received the memo.

Facebook recently hired former TV journalist Campbell Brown as head of news partnerships and announced the Facebook Journalism Project to bolster its ties with news organizations. It has also begun expanding the types of ads it lets publishers run in their video and Instant Articles.

Google has upgraded its fast-loading mobile articles initiative, AMP, to support native and video ads and expanded its Digital News Initiative fund to encourage high-quality journalism. Apple is seeking to sell more ads into its news aggregation app, Apple News.

“Over the last few months, we’ve seen a little bit more of a concerted effort by the platforms to work more with the publisher partners,” said Michael Kuntz, svp of digital revenue at the USA Today Network.

Still, he and other publishing execs say that effort hasn’t resulted in tangible revenue opportunities. “There’s real meaningful change that needs to happen. It’s fundamentally about monetisation,” said Mike Dyer, president and publisher of the Daily Beast. “More than product array, more than relationships, more than hires.”

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