Platform Publishing News: Of Juggernauts and Jobs

Mega-deals and media hires highlight platform publishing trends this week

Digital platform publishing is credited with having ushered in an ongoing golden age for media, and the latest industry developments are doing nothing to dispel this notion. Four recent articles from Advertising Age reveal how the current social media and mobile content push is shaping companies’ plans for the future.

Publishers Sign on to Facebook Instant Articles

After the scuttlebutt in March that Facebook and select publishers were nearing an agreement that would see big names like The New York Times, BuzzFeed, and National Geographic handing over content to the social media giant, the deal is now done. Facebook Instant launches this week with a model based on publishing articles and videos directly to news feeds around the world.

“A big question looming over the concept of media outlets publishing directly to platforms like Facebook has been how the players involved would split revenue from ads served against the articles and videos. According to Facebook’s announcement: ‘Publishers can sell ads in their articles and keep the revenue, or they can choose to use Facebook’s Audience Network to monetize unsold inventory.’ … Facebook will take 30% of the revenue from the ads it sells, according to The New York Times. … BuzzFeed said in a post that it worked with Facebook to develop an ad unit that links to sponsored content it developed with an advertiser,” Michael Sebastian writes.


“Another question has been around data – how much of it will Facebook share with its media partners. According to the social network, publishers can track ‘data and traffic’ using ComScore and ‘other analytics tools.’ Here’s how BuzzFeed described the data angle:

“‘We were able to work with Facebook to incorporate ComScore, Google Analytics, and our internal tracking tools into the Instant Article template. Eventually, if you’re a BuzzFeed editor, you’ll be able to see how your post is performing on the BuzzFeed site and natively on Facebook, and be able to optimize your work with those insights.’ … Publishers will also be able to maintain their ‘brand experience,’ according to Facebook.”

With Acquisition, What Will Verizon Do With HuffPo?

After buying AOL for $4.4 billion, Verizon might have too much content on its hands. Speculation is that the purchase was driven largely by AOL’s ad tech, leaving the fate of properties like Engadget and The Huffington Post in doubt. Will the communications behemoth unload these properties, and if so, to whom? Otherwise, will Verizon join other major brands by embracing platform publishing itself?

Platform Publishing Editor Is New Hot Job in Media

Social networks and mobile apps are coveted real estate for publishers, who can parlay reach into audience development and convert those audiences into paying consumers. Mequoda Members know this as well as anyone.

Toward this end, media companies like The Atlantic, BuzzFeed, and The New York Times are dedicating payroll to platform editors, charged with developing strategies to align and repurpose content across various channels.

Tribune Publishing Hires New Digital Head

Speaking of jobs, former Times executive Denise Warren is the new head of digital for Tribune Publishing, Advertising Age reports. Warren led the execution of the Times’ digital subscription strategy.

What do you think of the Facebook and Verizon deals? Let us know in the comments!

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