News Update: Week of September 21, 2020

Jane O'Hara
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As we head into yet another strange season, many of us are taking more frequent breaks from the negative news cycle to preserve our energy and continue to make the best of the current circumstances.

This need for light at the end of the tunnel is the inspiration for this week’s theme: focusing on the positive. I’ve rounded up only good news from across our industry (and there’s plenty).

We’ll explore how publishers are building revenue by promoting positive mindsets and body images, how more relevant, contextual ads create positive user experiences, and dig into new data on positive profit forecasts.

What we’re reading

  • Promoting Positivity
    Publishers looking to build user trust and loyalty know it pays to be positive. According to Tuesday’s Marketing Land newsletter, Pinterest is highlighting the “positive context” of its platform (which doesn’t monetize political content) given a recent surge in “positive habits” and related search terms — a surge that could attract more advertisers looking for safe alternatives to Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms.

    Digiday reports on the “virtuous cycle” Conde Nast, BDG, and theSkimm are experiencing with health and wellness ads, including higher spending by CBD brands, and TikTok has announced new community partnerships and a new ad policy that supports body positivity by banning or restricting ads for fasting apps, weight loss programs, and more.
  • Positive Developments
    As concerns about data privacy have increased, so has the interest in contextual ads, which offer publishers a competitive advantage. A recent study finds that 67% of users will likely engage with ads on sites they know and trust — such as sites that offer accurate geolocation data — which can boost ad revenue for publishers that offer user-first ad experiences. (Related: Our guide to the best geolocation tools)

    Retailers are offering publishers more real-time data integrations, according to Meredith Corporation’s head of innovation, which offers users more personalized and relevant content.
  • Growth Opportunities
    If the TikTok deal goes through, Walmart sees new opportunities to create more interactive eCommerce experiences for users, including livestreaming video eCommerce that would give it an edge over rival Amazon — and build its ads business by attracting advertisers eager to reach TikTok’s millions of young, highly engaged users.
  • Sunnier Revenue Forecasts
    According to new survey results from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), digital ad spending will increase 6% this year, which includes several double-digit increases by ad format: 26% for paid search, 25% for social media, 19% for connected TV, 18% for digital video, and 15% for digital display. Ad spending is expected to increase by at least 5% in 2021.

    PubMatic reports a 71% YoY increase in Q2 mobile ad spending globally, suggesting new opportunities to engage users who continue to rely heavily on their mobile devices during the pandemic.

What we’re writing

What we’re discussing

  • Our next webinar! Member and AT&T Lead Product Manager Nishanth Kadiyala will present “Mastering the Yin and Yang of Product” on October 21: Register now

What else are you reading or writing?

Click the link below to let us know and to share your thoughts.

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Jane O'Hara

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