Political news may be driving subscriptions and engagement for publishers in the Trump era, but advertisers remain skittish around buying space next to political news.
But Jed Hartman, CRO of the Washington Post is confident that it’s just a matter of time until brands find the right space for their messages: “News isn’t toxic for advertising. Some news is toxic for some advertisers.” And as a huge news publisher, he is confident that the Post can provide the right environment for every brand.
He joined Digiday’s senior editor, Lucia Moses, at the Digiday Publishing Summit in Vail, Colorado for a discussion on how to make the ad model work for everyone.
Edited highlights below.
Look for the right advertisers.
“We have a team that focuses on advocacy advertising, who are looking for serious policy conversations. A lot of it, of course, includes Trump. He’s the president of the United States, and marketers do buy that directly at high CPMs. Not all news is right for all advertisers. 20 percent of our content we create is politics, the other 80 percent is not. So we can always find a safe place for a marketer.”
Politics is the new pop culture.
“Everyone was surprised by the election. Marketers are developing their campaigns based on a certain news environment. A lot of marketers paused and thought about what their message was going to be because they were surprised. From the ad side, politics is the pop culture now. You go into a sports bar and there is Fox or MSNBC or CNN [going on the TV]. It’s pop culture. The Washington Post is not a wonky magazine, we’re a scaled news player in the world in terms of digital scale. If a marketer wants a scaled safe environment, the Post and some of our competitors is a good place for that.”
“It’s OK to say not all news makes sense for all ad messages. If we said it didn’t matter, that means the content that you’re next to doesn’t matter. We want content to matter. Death and destruction, which we also report on, may not be the right message for a brand that wants to pay a big CPM. However, there are other marketers that want to sell something, where perhaps the CPM isn’t this high, and we can monetize it through programmatic channel regardless.”
Publishers need to stay away from binaries.
“Are you gonna be big or are you gonna be engaging? Are you gonna sell advertising or are you going to sell subscriptions? Beware the tyranny of “or”. It’s an “and.” We have consistently had more page views and therefore, we’re more engaging. We like where are, and we won’t trade that for other opportunities.”
The Washington Post invests in climate coverage as its team expands to over 30 journalists
The Post's climate team continues to expand as the publisher makes big bets on the beat drawing younger audiences.
Inside one media company’s strategy to monetize the Fifa World Cup
Soccer media business Footballco has spent most of 2022 trying to make hay while the sun is shining.
Publishers continue to evaluate cost-cutting in Q4, with economic and budgetary pressures mounting
The wave of cost-cutting measures in Q3 is still flowing into Q4, with publishers under pressure to keep expenses down at a time of continuing economic uncertainty and budget planning.
SponsoredHow brands are measuring incremental performance on CTV
Connected TV is unique among other advertising channels because it combines linear television’s storytelling capabilities with digital marketing’s targeting and measurement. As more marketers leverage CTV advertisements to reach relevant and engaged audiences, they also want to understand the real value they are generating with their investment. Incrementality reporting and measurement allow advertisers to measure […]
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: Publishers’ Q3 earnings reports show promise, but not without sacrifice
Publishers' third quarter earning reports are in.
A new entrant in the data-driven linear TV measurement space aims to fill a gap left by Microsoft’s Xandr
As Xandr shuts down its Clypd platform, datafuelX's M3 SaaS product aims to solve some of the multi-currency, multi-platform problems with investing in convergent TV today.