Bloomberg’s Justin Smith isn’t all-in on platforms
Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg Media Group, has some words of warning for publishers that would take a promiscuous approach to publishing directly to Facebook, Google and other platforms: Beware of diluting your brands.
“There’s a lot of brand risk with the shifting consumption of media,” he said, speaking Thursday on a panel at Advertising Week in New York. “There’s brand blindness, as people consume more and more of their content through feeds. How many times can you just not remember where you read something? That’s a real problem, and media companies need to think about that very hard as they effectively outsource their distribution channels — which we’ve done to some extent, but we don’t believe in the 100 percent outsourcing of your distribution.”
Bloomberg is one of the more high-profile contrarians on platforms, and Smith’s forceful comments come as publishers are getting more and more come-ons to distribute their content directly on social and mobile platforms from the likes of Facebook with its Instant Articles product, Apple with its Apple News app; Snapchat with its Discover feature; and a new open-source project spearheaded by Google.
There was some initial industry reluctance, but it was short-lived: now, most major publishers are clamoring to get on board, recognizing that people are increasingly likely to discover the news on social platforms rather than come to publishers’ sites directly. Hearst Magazines president David Carey said on the same panel that all these platforms were becoming increasingly important partners to Hearst, noting that Hearst flagship Cosmopolitan was getting 30 million views a month on Snapchat. “This is a world we are increasingly comfortable with.” Fellow panelist Vox Media chief Jim Bankoff also effused about Snapchat, hinting at a product Vox was getting ready to launch on Discover.
It may easier for a media company like Bloomberg to take a contrarian approach to platforms; with its already sizable, global reach through its radio, TV, Web and print products, it has plenty of avenues to reach consumers. But plenty of others have echoed his concerns, even as the platforms have given offered financial incentives to encourage media companies to publish directly to them. “The more publishers put content on Facebook, the less they will depend on any one particular publisher,” Brian Fitzgerald, co-founder and president of Evolve Media has said.
That said, even Bloomberg can’t ignore the call of platforms entirely. With respect to video, for example, it’s struck partnerships with publishers including Yahoo, MSN and The Telegraph to distribute its clips, which has resulted in a “significant” increase in views, by the company’s own admission.
Image courtesy of Facebook Instant Articles.
‘We’re seeing a wide spectrum of feelings’: Reopening of society and offices is causing unexpected anxiety
The last year of enforced isolation and lockdowns has taken its toll — to the point that many feel anxious at about re-entering the social fray.
For U.S. News and World Report, first-party audiences are in decision mode
U.S. News and World Report is using its rankings of colleges, hospitals and retirement locations to create intent-based audience segments.
Cheat Sheet: At IAB Podcast Upfront, diverse voices take center stage while podcast advertising revenue and audiences boom
Most of the companies that presented at the IAB Podcast Upfront signaled they had or were going to add more diversity to their programming, both in hosts and content.
SponsoredWhat Discovery learned in 2020 about audiences — and advertiser success
For advertisers, the operative concept regarding TV and video audiences has been that they’re complex, fragmented, but rich with opportunities — and never more so than in 2020. Across a year when so many turned to their television and mobile devices to stay informed, find some relief and share what mattered during quarantine and months of […]
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: What media companies’ latest earnings reports say about the state of the industry
Media companies' Q1 earnings reports signaled a continued return to business as usual — for better or worse, depending on the company's digital business.
‘Brands tend to be selective’: OMG report offers options to media buyers facing upfront inventory crunch
With a tight upfront TV marketplace expected, one agency group is recommending alternatives in video and CTV.