Audience Development Expanding Through Major Brand Initiatives at Facebook, Amazon and Instagram

Facebook, Amazon and Instagram are expanding audience development options for content publishers

Social media can be a major traffic generator when they approach the right platforms properly. Today we’re looking at news from social media networks that are expanding their audience development opportunities for content publishers.

Our first story takes a look at Facebook and the social media giant’s attempt at forging better relationships with publishers. NY Times reports, “Facebook is working on a new tool that could help drive subscriptions to news organizations that publish articles directly on the online service, an effort to improve the fraught relationship between the social giant and media companies.”

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The discussions about the tool are still in the early stages, according to two people familiar with the talks who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the details were not public. But it is possible that Facebook could produce a metered pay wall product similar to those used by some publishers. After reading 10 New York Times articles on Facebook, for instance, a user could be sent to The Times’s subscription sign-up page.”

The story continues with information on how Facebook may be looking at the value of offering this service to publishers. “It is not clear if Facebook will benefit financially from a news subscription feature. The company does not intend to take a cut of payments to news outlets, according to one of the people familiar with the talks. Facebook indirectly benefits, however, by encouraging people to spend more time on its site; while they are there, those users will see more ads.”

Our next story looks at Amazon and its new attempts to get more content publishers active on Spark, the company’s new social network. WSJ reports, “Accessed through Amazon’s existing mobile apps, Spark is perhaps best described as a cross between Facebook-owned Instagram and social bookmarking site Pinterest. The service encourages users to share images and videos and to follow other people’s posts, with content displayed in an Instagram-like feed.

Spark users are also encouraged to tag products featured in their posts if they are available for sale via Amazon, and customers can easily tap through from Spark to purchase those products.”

The article continues with information on how publishers can make money through Spark. “Publishers do not receive a commission on the products they may help to sell, but are instead being paid a flat fee for a specific number of posts. Publishers retain creative control, and are free to link to whichever products they choose, the spokeswoman said.”

We’re staying on the subject of audience development with Amazon’s help to round out our audience development news for the day. This story comes from Digiday and discusses the new video publishing program from Amazon, Video Direct. “Amazon’s Video Direct program lets publishers upload videos to the Prime subscription platform (and sell them directly through the Prime video store), and its Amazon Channels program allows companies to sell their subscription services as add-on channels. Both are driving revenue for participants.”

One Video Direct publisher said it earned mid-five figures on Amazon during its first month in the program — nearly four times what it made from YouTube ad sales that month. “We’ve been putting up more titles [on Amazon] since then,” said this publishing exec.”

The article continues with additional info on the program. “Amazon is providing free internal support for its partners, taking on their marketing and billing, along with tech and infrastructure costs. The company has teams dedicated to both programs, with reps assigned to publishers. For Video Direct, Amazon offers a $1 million monthly bonus pool, which pays partners based on the top-performing titles during that month.”

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