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Online Magazine Ads: News From Google, Apple, Trinity Mirror, and More

With ad blocking programs, social media and digital publishing platforms, as well as aggregation, how some companies are handling challenge of online magazine ads

Most publishers – at least most niche and regional publishers – cannot live on online magazine ads alone, but of course they’re still a key component of any media operation.

The caveat? Generating enough revenue and keeping enough digital advertisers happy has gotten harder and harder as the media landscape has become more fractured and viewability has become more elusive. Or perhaps demands for better measurement have intensified.

Multiplatform advertising is doable, and it’s something Mequoda Members do well. And while we all deal with issues – whether it be struggling to decide on Facebook Instant Articles viability or the fear of getting swallowed up by Google; how to handle native well and how to battle ad blocking – the future is bright when it comes to online magazine ads.

Digiday has provided excellent coverage on all of these trends and more. Let’s a take a look at some recent articles touching on this topic.

Google’s Long Battle With … Leistungsschutzrecht?

Google has been locked in litigation with more than 40 German publishers, including Axel Springer, who sued the search titan for what they claim is copyright violation on their content when it shows up in search results. So far, the law has come down on Google’s side, but the situation is still developing, Digiday reports.

“Leistungsschutzrecht is the ancillary copyright law that was introduced into Germany’s copyright code in 2013, the details of which are still being thrashed out in court battles. In essence, German publishers want money from Google for displaying snippets of publishers’ text in products like Google Search, Google News, YouTube and so on,” Lucinda Southern writes.

“As American aggregator companies, like Google, Facebook and Flipboard (popular in Germany), have expanded internationally, they have operated under their Stateside legal guidelines. Part of the U.S. copyright code states that 300 words can be copied online without the need of any compensation to the author or publisher. Aggregators can legally publish up to 300 word snippets of stories without paying out for the rights. Considering the average word count of a news story hovers around 400, this doesn’t give much incentive for a user to click through from the aggregator to the publisher’s page.”

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So, what recourse do publishers have?

“VG Media, a consortium of about 200 publishers, is a copyright collecting society speaking on behalf of the publishers in the legal battles,” Southern writes.

“In September 2015, the Copyright Arbitration Board and the German Patent and Trade Mark Office ruled largely in favor of Germany’s publishers, ruling that aggregators are allowed to publish seven words for free — any more than that, they must pay. Exactly how much is still under discussion, but the court ruled aggregators must owe 6-11 percent of the sales they are making from the use of this material. If aggregators are not transparent with the amount they’ve made, then a collecting agency has grounds to sue.”

Apple Launches Online Magazine Ads, Others, for News App

In response to widespread disappointment about performance and lack of analytics with online magazine ads from participating publishers, Apple News is undertaking an … online magazine ads campaign to convince both consumers and magazines that the service will succeed, Digiday reports.

“Apple is kicking off an ad campaign to jumpstart its six-month-old news aggregation app, as well as adding comScore tags, after publishers complained about getting too little traffic and measurement data from Apple News,” Lucia Moses writes.

“Becoming part of people’s regular habit is a challenge for any new app, and this one is no different, despite Apple’s gigantic installation base. Apple said back in November that 40 million iOS users had tried the app, but it hasn’t publicly updated that figure since then, and hasn’t said how many of those users are active. To boost adoption, it’s running an ad campaign in print and online – Vogue and Vice are two of the publishers that are running it – as well as outdoor, in cities including New York, London and San Francisco.”

Trinity Mirror to Focus on Mobile Content Strategy

Looking to increase the effectiveness of both their content and ads, Trinity Mirror is devoting resources to a mobile renaissance, Digiday reports.

“The rise in ad blocking (one in five people are now blocking them on desktop in the U.K., according to IAB/YouGov). That’s led publishers including Trinity Mirror to clean up their sites so they run faster and get rid of intrusive ads that could give people a reason to use an ad blocker. Only 1-2 percent of Trinity Mirror’s mobile impressions companywide are being blocked, but the company is monitoring whether that rises,” Jessica Davies writes.

Swedish Publishers Present United Front to Block Ad Blockers

The ad block battles continue, with the latest coming in the Scandinavian theater, Digiday reports.

“Fed up with the accelerating growth in ad blockers, 90 percent of Sweden’s publishers (about 20) plan to collectively block the ad blockers during the month of August. The IAB Sweden, which is spearheading the effort, is also trying to improve advertising by standardizing formats,” Southern writes.

“The IAB started thinking about the initiative more than a year ago, when 20 percent of people blocked ads, said Charlotte Thür, CEO of the IAB Sweden. Now, that share has risen to more than 30 percent.”

Independent Will Use Writers for Editorial and Native Advertising Content

They’re not the first and won’t be the last, but the Independent hiring reporters for both ad crafting and, well, reporting, is still big news, and Digiday covers it.

“The thought process behind these new roles is that the writers will be close to the industry they write about, so will be best placed to help brands unlock the audiences that enjoy reading that content,” group commercial director of Independent parent ESI Media Jon O’Donnell told Davies.

“They may not always write the commercial content; this could be done by a member of the commercial team in some cases. But they’ll be responsible for the idea and the channels the content is distributed across: video, mobile, social, print.”

Are you generating revenue with online magazine ads? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!

To read more about online magazine ads and other industry news, visit Digiday.

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