Google Publishing News Lab Debuts

A new Google publishing effort; plus, mobile ad spending and the latest Time Inc. digital site

A few months back, we wondered whether Google digital advertising is unstoppable. Now, the question becomes whether the Google publishing juggernaut is poised to ultimately make the company even more money with the News Lab. Like other platforms, the service bills itself as a way for the company to work with publishers – not against them.

Digiday covered this story recently, along with articles on mobile advertising and more.

Google Publishing “News Lab” Launches

The Google publishing strategy continues apace with the establishment of its News Lab, which offers resources to journalists for digital magazines and other publications, Digiday reports. This is as more about influence than distribution or curation, but it still represents another attempt to define the “future of media,” as Google News Lab Director Steve Grove called it in a blog post announcing the feature.

“Google isn’t alone in developing splashy services to boost its publishing cred. Earlier this month Apple announced a new mobile news-reading product, News, with dozens of big media partners including The New York Times, Condé Nast and ESPN. Just last month, Facebook launched a similar product, Instant Articles, with nine news publishers including the Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic,” Jordan Valinsky writes.

“Last week Twitter announced that its forthcoming Project Lightning feature will curate the best news on the social network. Twitter also launched a tool in March called Curator that filters tweets and houses them on a dashboard. Last year, Facebook debuted Newswire powered by user generated verification service Storyful to help newsrooms ‘find, share and embed newsworthy content’ from the social network. … In short, platforms don’t want to just be in the news – they want a bigger hand in publishing it, too.”

Charting Out the State of Mobile Advertising

Americans spend an average 57 minutes a day on mobile devices – more than on TV – while smartphone ownership will eclipse 2 billion by 2016, Digiday reports. What does that mean for ad spending? Mobile display will beat out desktop by 2018, and is even cutting into print and TV, the latter of which is decelerating while mobile ad buys are accelerating, based on assorted data relayed by Digiday.

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New Time Inc. Digital Social Site Unveiled

Capitalizing on its success with interactive stories and features – quizzes and games, for instance – Time Inc. digital is releasing a new standalone site, Lucia Moses reports in Digiday.

Time Inc. digital says that consumers spend an average of 70 seconds with this content; according to ChartBeat, the average time spent on a page for 55% of consumers is 15 seconds.

“We’re certainly seeing an evolving sales narrative that contextualizes attention, engagement, and time spent beyond monthly unique figures,” Horizon Media Vice President of Social Media Strategy Maikel O’Hanlon told Digiday. “It shouldn’t be too hard for publishers to produce studies that identify a stronger advertiser benefit around content that keeps consumers’ attention longer. And with those studies in play, a more premium rate card would understandably follow.”

What are your thoughts on this most recent Google publishing gambit? Let us know in the comments!

To read more about the Google publishing News Lab, visit Digiday.

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