News Corp is developing a new advertising exchange network for their big digital newspaper and web properties. This will allow the company to cut out the middle man and do away with their various affiliates and third party advertisers. The intention is to have more control and be able to deal with advertisers directly.
The Sun and Times in the UK and the Wall Street Journal are News Corps flagship newspapers and all of them have adapted the paywall approach. In some cases this strategy has not worked out, for example, the Times traffic has dropped by as much as 90% since the launch of the new paywall. Advertisers are often fairly fickle with investing in digital newspaper websites, as the reach is quite low. News Corp intends to leverage every single one of their properties under one banner and allow advertisers to place ads across a wide spectrum.
The News Corp Global Exchange, will bring together the ad space of 50 websites and mobile/tablet products including Times.co.uk, TheSun.co.uk, NYPost.com, TheAustralian.com.au, MarketWatch.com and News.com.au.
“Content aggregators would like to commodify our content, while data scrapers would like to aggregate our audience,” said Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp. “The only way to reach the world’s greatest content and the most prestigious and lucrative audiences is directly through our digital properties. Third parties are no longer invited to the party”.
One potential monkey wrench in News Corps plans is the announcement that Yahoo is launching their own advertising exchange network. The Yahoo network is based in Australia and recently conducted a trial with 50 major online entities. This is notable because News Corp owns The Australian newspaper and The Australian already signed a contract with Yahoo to use their network. This situation has to be resolved in short order and is likely a huge priority with the upper echelon of News Corp. management.
It will be very interesting to see how much time and energy is needed to build brand awareness in the News Corp Exchange Network. Something like this is going to take a ton of time and money to build proper momentum. Likely, other newspaper publishers are going to monitor this entire project closely for their own properties.