News Publishers are Frustrated by Ad Blockers
According to research by eMarketer magazine, more than 25 percent of Americans will block online ads this year. More than sixty-nine million Americans are expected to use ad blockers in 2016. That represents a double digit jump in the number of people acting on their frustration with online ads since last year. Moreover, by 2017, more than eighty-six million people are projected to make use of ad blockers.
For survey purposes, eMarketer defined an ad blocking user as anyone who uses the Internet at least once a month via any device that has an enabled ad blocker. Around one in five people have caught on to the utility of these devices, and the idea of reading ad-free content seems to rapidly spreading.
Naturally, marketers and advertisers are dismayed by this trend. Any industry that depends on ad revenue, such as publishing, marketing, and ad agencies, is negatively affected by online users’ efforts to stop ads from appearing. Just when they had adjusted to the online universe by producing digital versions of their wares, the uniquely digital problem of ad blockers grew to epidemic proportions.
Free News is Everywhere
Reuters, the esteemed national news agency, recently took a poll of its readers to gauge their current attitude toward paid news. The results do not bode well for the pollsters. Even though their 1,230 respondents claimed to appreciate quality news reporting, they readily admitted their unwillingness to pay for it. Disappointingly, two-thirds said they would not pay for any online content, quality or not. Reuters’ readers seem to be discriminating customers: Eighty-one percent of them agreed that a particular news brand equals trusted content; nine out of ten of them regularly consult with a specific news brand to confirm breaking news. Even though they trust the news brands, they will not part with a dime to ensure the continuity of those news companies. Continue reading
Newspaper Groups Extend the Reach of Ads
Small-scale local media brands have been given a better chance at attracting ad dollars, thanks to new alliances forming among publishers. In April 2016, four news organizations announced their new group, Nucleus Marketing Solutions, which will allow marketers to extend their geographic reach. The move follows in the footsteps of other news corporations, both in the United States and Europe, who join together to broaden their scale and draw in the types of vast advertising deals that are usually only available to multi-shore news brands like The Wall Street Journal.
Nucleus Marketing Solutions will sell ads on behalf of its partners. Each of its four current participants (Gannett Co., Tribune Publishing Co., McClatchy Co., and the Hearst newspaper group), boasts a portfolio of renowned publications, including USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Miami Herald, and the Chicago Tribune. Plans are in the works to incorporate other affiliate partners in the U.S. advertising market.