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Digiday research: Three quarters of European publishers prioritize Facebook

March 27, 2017

By Brian Braiker

Last month, Digiday gathered some the leading lights of European publishing just outside Lisbon for three days of high-level discussions. Among the major themes were the Google-Facebook digital ad duopoly, the lurking specter of ad blocking, cracking programmatic broadly (and the promise of header bidding specifically) and forging direct relationships with readers.

A few key data points:

Facebook: can’t live with it, can’t unfriend it
The platform gobbling up most of the publishers’ resources is Facebook, with 77 percent of them putting more into the social network than Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.

Linked out
The platform that has proven least helpful to publisher content strategies has been LinkedIn, followed distantly by Snapchat.

Video, video, video
Early this year Facebook announced it would allow publishers to start showing ads in the middle of videos that are 90 seconds and longer. And publishers have listened: Around half (45 percent) of the publishers we surveyed plan on producing the same amount of video at that length in 2017, with the same amount pledging to make either “more” or “much more.” Only 11 percent plan on making less or much less video.

Direct connections
A quarter (25 percent) of the publishers in our survey offer a subscription service for premium content. Eight percent have a metered paywall and another 8 percent have a full paywall.

Revenue streams
Half of our European publishers cite branded content as the most important revenue stream for their business in 2017, with just under a third pinning their hopes on programmatic first. Just 10 percent consider e-commerce the most important to their business.

Ad-blocking blues
Ad blocking remains a real threat to European publishers, with a majority of them saying 11 to 30 percent of their audience blocks ads. A quarter of them report ad blocking rates at 10 percent or under.

Dealing with the duopoly
The current issue of Digiday Magazine focuses on the rise of a media duopoly: the joint hegemony of Facebook and Google over the entire ad ecosystem.  “We have all been guilty of following what Facebook and Google have incentivized us to do,” Martin Ashplant, digital director of The Metro, said in Lisbon last month. Instead, one way for publishers to push back is to use the platforms to suit their own needs.

“When I worked at The New York Times, which is a subscription organization, I ultimately came to see Facebook as a friend,” Lydia Polgreen, the Huffington Post’s new editor-in-chief, said in the Newsmaker Q&A in the current issue. “We used it primarily to find the people who are most likely to want to subscribe. For the Huffington Post, it has been a place for us to experiment and look for audiences who aren’t coming to us, both organically and through marketing to them.”

Facebook certainly isn’t going anywhere. And with 77 percent of …read more

Source:: Digiday