The Week Kick-off: No time to dive into streaming spinoff

Last week, The Washington Post launched its own ad network, while Facebook published its first ever set of content distribution guidelines. There was platform-publisher news from FIPP too, as we announced the hosting of a second Google Digital Immersion Week, in partnership with the FT. Meanwhile, the Guardian launched a new print magazine, and there was a triumphant return to the BIG screen for James Bond, as No Time to Die hit cinemas… Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Olympian advertising effort by The Washington Post

All this talk of the cookie crumbling must have awoken the appetite of the Gods, because on Tuesday The Washington Post finally debuted Zeus Prime. The ad-buying network connects brands and US publishers in a real-time marketplace. The platform provides a self-service interface that allows brands and agencies to quickly purchase and place ads across national, regional, and local publisher sites. 

It’s a launch that has been touted for two years now, with the news finally being broken by Axios last week. In creating the platform, The Post has taken a big step on behalf of the entire industry in terms of bringing the ease and efficiency with which brands have traditionally been able to book ads via Facebook and Google, to the premium publisher environment. 

Facebook publishes Content Distribution Guidelines

It can’t have escaped anyone’s attention that last week was… ‘a bit hectic’ for Facebook. We’ve already covered the finer points in the media tech tracker here, but one additional update of note that came through on Friday, was the company’s publication of its first ever set of Content Distribution Guidelines.

Designed to, as Nick Clegg – Facebook’s VP of Global Affairs, wrote on Twitter, “help you understand which content receives reduced distribution through News Feed ranking”, there is a heavy emphasis on not posting ‘Low quality’ content. Some of the reasons included as to why content is likely to be downgraded on the platform include: 

  • Clickbait links
  • Comments that are likely to be reported or hidden
  • Engagement bait
  • Links to suspected cloaking domains
  • Links to websites requesting unnecessary user data
  • Low-quality browsing experiences
  • Low-quality comments
  • Low-quality events
  • Low-quality videos 

Google Digital Immersion Week immerses

And Facebook isn’t the only media tech platform now helping publishers to better understand how to achieve success in the digital ecosystem… Announced last week, the Google Digital Immersion Week – hosted in partnership with FIPP and the FT is back, following the success of the initial programme. Places for the second week are unfortunately already sold out, but stay tuned to for future training sessions of this nature, and you can find out more about the event here

“The whole week was about the digital journey. It contains a lot of interesting lectures that we participated in, as well as some activities through which we could work on our own cases. It was really inspiring, helpful and useful. I found all of the topics interesting. And what I liked the most was the one-to-one consultations with the mentors. Through this we could discuss the cases from our daily work.” 

“The other thing I really liked was that during the whole week was like a step-by-step strategy building exercise for the future – that ended up being a ready to use strategy for me.” — Lukasz Załuski, Editor-in-Chief of Focus, and Head of the Editorial Team of ELLE Man and National Geographic and associated digital businesses in Poland. 

NEW magazine launched!

Having been writing about magazine media for over 15 years now, I love nothing more than to report on the launch of a new print title! And what better title to report on than Saturday: a new ‘super-sized’ 100page+ magazine that was launched by the Guardian on, well… Saturday! The first issue has a cover feature with Greta Thunberg, and there are additional goodies included with launch, as the Guardian’s own press release on the publication states

‘The hugely popular Blind date, Quiz, Crossword and Q&A columns will also feature in the new magazine. Alongside Saturday, the Guardian will publish a new supplement – What’s On, which will include critics’ best picks of terrestrial TV, on-demand streaming and radio along with the latest from TV columnist Joel Golby. Reader-favourite Feast continues as a beautiful standalone magazine.’

‘From 25 September, the Guardian will also include dedicated environment pages in the news section of the Saturday paper, increasing its coverage of the climate crisis in the run up to Cop26 and beyond. Along with Saturday, the Guardian is also launching two exciting email newsletters.’

No time to di…ve into streaming series

And finally… it was back to the big screen for Bond last week, in a move that signified a return to normality of sorts. The now Amazon-owned production company “held their nerve” in choosing to hold out for a cinema release, rather than streaming the movie online, according to Daniel Craig. That said, the winds of change are now clearly upon media following the Covid-19 pandemic. The Guardian ruins an article titled, ‘How long can James Bond resist the call of a TV spin-off?’ and cites the value of the franchise plus the size of the global streaming audience as being an inevitable fit. As always… watch this space! 

Main Image: Adobe/BigDog


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