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Embracing the Untapped Potential of News in Digital Video




Last month’s The Trade Desk Forward ‘24 event was capped with an interesting discussion around the relationship between quality news journalism and the news media business. Lou Paskalis, Chief Strategy Officer, Ad Fontes Media, conversed with The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green about how to get advertisers to support trusted news sources. Over the years, advertisers have become increasingly reluctant to invest in the news—fearing that potentially controversial news content could result in a negative brand association. In fact, Paskalis cited that in a 15-year period up until March 2020, there has been an 80% decline in advertising support of journalism in the U.S.

While impacts to the quality of journalism can be inferred from this statistic, this reveals a plethora of opportunities for advertisers. Paskalis even notes that news content has the “highest unduplicated reach of any vertical,” and those who consume news content are typically more affluent, so reaching these consumers could drive growth.

An Evolving Media Landscape

The media landscape alongside the advertising practices that fuel it are undergoing rapid transformation, with advertisers increasingly embracing automation and simplicity to reach their target audiences. Buying media has never been easier, while appreciation and understanding of what is being bought within programmatic has largely gone by the wayside. The most harmful practice that has arisen from this is the decision by many advertisers to block all news content. This has largely been a decision driven by misconceptions rather than evidence-based decision-making. Advertisers should recognize the value that news publishers bring to the table and f ind ways they can support them to drive their own growth.

The News Trust Halo Effect

Research from Ad Fontes Media sheds light on the tangible benefits that advertisers stand to gain by investing in news publishers. The “News Trust Halo” effect, outlined in the studies, demonstrates that brands advertising on trusted news platforms enjoy enhanced trust among affluent viewers, leading to improved ROI. Moreover, advertising in high-quality news environments has been shown to decrease campaign CPMs and improve cost per visit metrics significantly.

A recent Rain the Growth Agency case study exemplifies the transformative impact of embracing news publishers in advertising strategies. By incorporating news into their mix through careful curation of a quality list of news publishers, a client partner witnessed significant decreases in campaign CPMs and a substantial improvement in cost per post view/click visit metrics. This success story underscores the untapped potential of news publishers and the benefits of strategic collaboration between advertisers and publishers.

Advertisers should embrace a more nuanced approach to news advertising. By curating a news inventory strategy and investing in quality news publishers, advertisers can access the largest and most premium audiences online. By embracing the news and investing in quality journalism, advertisers can drive meaningful impact, improve campaign performance, and contribute to the advancement of a more informed and ethical advertising landscape.

This article is featured in Media Impact Report No. 53. View the full report here.

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March 2024 Media Impact Report

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