Gawker’s Nick Denton: Facebook dominance is better than ‘convoluted’ ad tech
Gawker Media CEO Nick Denton was an extreme skeptic of publishers relying too heavily on Facebook. Now he’s come around to the idea, in part because relying on Facebook is a lot better than relying on “the mess of ad tech.”
Denton explained his thoughts in a podcast interview with Recode today. Gawker is “all in” on publishing directly to Facebook with its Instant Articles program, a backtracking on Denton’s well-publicized lament that publishers are too reliant on platforms like Facebook. Instead, he’s now bought into the idea that publishers need to be where audiences are, and like it or not, they’re on Facebook. The silver lining to Facebook hegemony: it sure beats the mess of ad tech.
“I see this being a battle between Facebook and ad tech,” he said. “Who is best positioned in this world to target ads against categories of users? Who knows the most about those users? Who can supply the most relevant ads in a way that doesn’t degrade the user experience? Facebook, in contrast to much of the ad tech ecosystem, [has] a coherent strategy and can provide a better experience both when a story is viewed on Facebook but also potentially when a story is viewed on our website.”
The final part is interesting: Denton has long been wary of ad networks. But he’s come around to the the idea that Facebook, with its deep pool of accurate user data, can help a publisher like Gawker monetize its audiences, particularly in mobile.
Asked by email to elaborate, Denton pointed out that not all ad tech is awful. Gawker has several ad tech partners, from Neustar to Rubicon to Quantcast, firing pixels on its site. But he pointed to a larger malaise of the ad tech system that it’s simply gumming up the user experience too much, something backed up by the increasing popularity of ad blocking.
“The ad tech ecosystem is simply too convoluted,” Denton said. “We like many publishers are looking to improve load times, and reduce the number of ad calls when a page loads. Consolidation — likely led by Facebook — will improve both the user and advertiser experience.”
Alfresco dining inspiration and virtual cooking classes: Travel publishers look to the other side
Publishers at the end of the chain are forced to calculate a number of survival strategies, editorially and commercially.
Member ExclusiveFacebook Shops present both opportunity and questions to DTC brands
Over the past year, Facebook hasn't been shy about its e-commerce ambitions. So, it didn't come entirely as a surprise on Tuesday when Facebook announced that it would be launching customizable online storefronts called Facebook Shops, as part of its quest to get customers to think of Facebook and Instagram as their go-to places to discover new products.
Member ExclusiveThe needed maturation of the media business
This crisis is affecting all publishers but unequally. Those with more mature businesses -- in the positive sense -- are poised to take disproportionate share.
SponsoredInterview: A media company weighs in on the power of automated publishing tools and cooperative thinking
In a new interview, an owner of seven media brands weighs in on the best strategies and toughest challenges around integrating automation and technology into publishers' workflows.
Dmexco is happening in September, returning to more local roots
More than 2,000 exhibitions have now been postponed or canceled as a result of the virus outbreak. Germany is worse hit becasue attendees are more international.
As the lockdown eases, KFC steps up advertising and shifts messaging
KFC is shifting its messaging to focus on how diners can get its food delivered to their doorstep as it slowly grows its ad spending during the recession.