Articles about "Sponsored content"


Survey: Readers feel deceived by branded content

Here’s our roundup of the top digital and social media stories you should know about (and from Andrew Beaujon, 10 media stories to start your day, and from Kristen Hare, a world roundup):

At Nieman Lab, Alberto Cairo takes data journalism sites Vox and FiveThirtyEight to task for “worrying cracks that may undermine their own core principles.”

— Two-thirds of respondents to a survey by Contently “said they felt deceived when they realized an article or video was sponsored by a brand,” Erin Griffith writes at Fortune. And most readers don’t even understand what “sponsored content” means.

— Speaking of branded content and native ads, Upworthy claims many of its branded posts outperform editorial posts. Ben Young, CEO of Nudge, tells Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton that it makes sense that native ads “you’ve been working on for two weeks” would perform better than daily content.

— Between January 1 and June 30, Marc Andreessen tweeted 21,783 times, “more than any of Twitter’s founders have posted since its creation, and an average of five tweets per hour, every hour.” Dan Frommer breaks down that craziness at Quartz. Read more

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Denver Post strengthens sponsored content designation on energy section

Center for Western Priorities | ThinkProgress | Wonkette

Following articles that said a Denver Post-sponsored energy section wasn’t marked clearly enough, Post President and CEO Mac Tully told Poynter in an email the paper decided to “strengthen the sponsored content designation and included a definition of custom content.” Tully said he hadn’t “seen one complaint that misunderstood the content to be Denver Post generated.”

The change comes after reports in several publications about the “Energy and Environment” section, which is sponsored content from Coloradans for Responsible Energy Development, a group formed by Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Noble Energy “to provide scientifically sound information about fracking.”

The section looks too much like regular Denver Post content, Erin Moriarty writes for the Center for Western Priorities: “Advertising is, of course, crucial to newspapers’ existence, but there is a line that has been crossed.”

A “former Denver Post staffer who asked not to be named” told ThinkProgress’ Katie Valentine, “If I weren’t a journalist, I’m not sure I could tell the difference here.”

(As long as we’re discussing the Post’s decisions, why on earth did ThinkProgress let a former employee zing his former employer under cover of anonymity? Read more

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How AOL maintains editorial independence in Ford-sponsored ‘This Built America’ series

When an AOL team with an editorial vision joined a video production team with an artistic vision to launch an ambitious 50-week series about people and companies rebuilding America, it was clear they needed a brand to help fund it.

They found a top-dollar one in Ford Trucks.

But despite the sponsorship (worth just under $10 million, Ad Age reports), “This Built America” is journalism through and through, said AOL’s Fara Warner, the project’s editorial director. Read more

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Understanding opportunities and challenges in sponsored content (Replay chat)

Shane Snow, cofounder with two friends of Contently, manages a network of 25,000 freelancers. According to Contently’s website, the sweet spot where these freelancers thrive is creating content for “brands, nonprofits, and lean new media companies.”

Snow and his team, described as a mashup of journalists and nerds, are on the front edge of branded content or native advertising.

Forbes, a Contently client, recognized Snow this month in “30 under 30: These People are Building the Media Companies of Tomorrow.”

Snow joined us for a live chat on the opportunities, challenges and values of sponsored content.

Participants asked Snow about the ins and outs of branded content.

Twitter users can participate in any Poynter live chat using the hashtag #poynterchats. You can revisit this page at any time to replay the chat after it has ended. You can find the archive of all past chats at www.poynter.org/chats. Read more

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No new TV viewers or newspaper subscribers are being born, BuzzFeed president says

Speaking at a NewsCred conference last week, BuzzFeed President Jon Steinberg talked about his theory that content, and the ways it is distributed, will be “completely decoupled, I would say, in the next five years.”

The average television viewer right now, for right now, for network television, late 40s, early 50s. When you look at certain cable news networks it goes even higher. So you have one of two possibilities: Either at 47 years old, everybody starts watching television. Unlikely. Or there’s no new newspaper subscribers being born, for print. And there’s no new television viewers being born. I think that’s probably the likely choice. However, people love great content. There are shows on those networks people love to watch. There’s the Netflix content that people undeniably love to watch. And what that means is you can never fight the consumer, you can never fight a trend like this, so you’re going to see these things totally decoupled.

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Slate debuts new design that makes stories more prominent than logo

Slate | The Washington Post | Ad Age

A redesigned Slate debuted Monday morning. The publication had outgrown its old site, Editor David Plotz writes: “We publish three times as many stories as we did five years ago. Where we once had a handful of blogs, we now have 19.”

The new site is responsive, to look better on mobile devices, and it allows multiple homepage layouts, Plotz writes. The site’s homepage editor can now “sculpt” the page “to capture the kind of news day we’re having, whether that means featuring a blaring headline, a poignant image, or a powerful quotation,” senior product manager David Stern says in another piece.

Slate’s homepage Monday morning.
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Quartz expects to be profitable by 2015, with help of native ads

The Media Briefing

Quartz publisher Jay Lauf expects the site to be profitable by 2015, The Media Briefing’s Jasper Jackson reports. The business news site has had success with native ads, partly because it is continuously looking for ways to improve them.

“Any of these things you come up with around return on investment will be caught up with at some point, so it’s more about how can we iterate and improve our ad product so it does better. We’re doing really consultative ad-products in understanding what works on the site,” [Lauf] says.

“We’re even pushing back on advertisers when they want something, saying it won’t work as well as something else. We’re trying to be more service oriented.”

Lauf says Quartz doesn’t plan to charge for content and wants to “create as little friction as possible for people to share…content and experience it in their streams.” The site, which is owned by the Atlantic Media Company, gets about 3.5 million unique visitors a month and had 5 million in July, Jackson reports. Read more

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AstraZeneca sponsors tweets from AP today

The pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca sponsored tweets by the Associated Press Tuesday.

Each one has inspired yowls of pain from people surprised by this form of audience monetization.

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Monocle EIC: ‘All good journalists are good salespeople too’

Digiday | LinkedIn | iMediaEthics

We absolutely never, ever use the term native advertising,” Monocle Editor-in-Chief Tyler Brûlé tells Alex Kantrowitz about his publication’s embrace of branded content.

If the company’s infrastructure blurs the church-and-state divide between editorial and sales, it’s by design. Editors accompany ad directors on sales calls. “I’m of the opinion that all good journalists are good salespeople too,” Brûlé said. While the ad team discusses pricing and tries to close the business, editors give Monocle’s potential clients insight into the publication’s editorial calendar and explain the reasoning behind certain editorial decisions.

The payoff? A campaign for Samsung “brought in roughly one million dollars and native ads can, depending on the month, account for up to one quarter of Monocle’s total revenue,” Kantrowitz reports. Read more

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Report: NYT will consider more sponsored content, with advice from BuzzFeed

Bloomberg
The New York Times Co. “is considering letting advertisers sponsor more stories on its website,” Edmund Lee reports. Lee writes that Times Co. CEO Mark Thompson and Chairman Arthur Sulzberger have had several meetings about the idea, and that “outside executives such as BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti were brought in to talk about creating successful ‘native ads,’ which often take the form of sponsored stories.”

Times Co. Advertising Vice President Todd Haskell told Lee the company is considering “ways you can use journalistic storytelling techniques in how you could present a narrative for our clients without misleading or confusing the reader.” Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson said recently she worried about “leaving confusion in readers’ minds about where the content comes from, and purposefully making advertising look like a news story.”

The Times is already using sponsored content on one of its mobile apps.

Previously: New York Times Co., Hearst Magazines introduce native advertising Read more

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