TripleLift Launches 'Help Journalism' Programmatic Initiative

Ad tech company TripleLift, has launched a programmatic media initiative designed to boost the struggling publishing industry which has been hit hard during the pandemic with sharply declining revenue in part due to a rise in advertiser blacklisting of news sites. GroupM is the first holding company to join the effort, which is called “Help Journalism.”

TripleLift developed a new version of a media buying tool called a ‘curated ad deal’ to direct programmatic dollars to news publishers.

Using the tool buyers can customize ad spend to any of the over 1,600 news sites on TripleLift’s platform. Buys can be configured to focus on local or national news by region or by a specific group of markets in the U.S. In Europe buys can be crafted by country. Specific sets of news publications can also be bought.

“There have been so many opinion pieces written by industry leaders pleading for ad spend on news sites” said Jordan Bitterman, CMO of TripleLift. “We realized that a curated deal could be an immediate action, effectively acting as a cash infusion for news pubs - both national and local.”

TripleLift waived its fees for Help Journalism for the balance of Q2 in order to encourage brand and agency participation.

News publishers have seen sharp declines in revenue during the pandemic, especially in the digital space. While traffic to major news sites tracked by comScore is up 50 percent since the start of Coronavirus, CPMs are down 15-20 percent, per TripleLift’s internal data. The platform attributes much of the drop off in publisher revenue to greater use of “blacklisting” technologies, which suppress delivery of ads to pages with content considered unpleasant to advertisers or their audiences.

GroupM is specifically targeting their effort to local news outlets utilizing a list of more than 600 sites on the TripleLift platform including The Baltimore Sun, San Jose Mercury News, The Seattle Times, Orlando Sentinel, and The Denver Post.  GroupM will kick off this initiative in the US, with plans to extend to other regions.

“This topic is of great importance to us,” said John Montgomery, executive vice president of global brand safety at GroupM. “Journalism is essential to the proper functioning of society, especially at a time when there is a great threat to the health and financial wellbeing of almost everyone on Earth. Imagine, not having essential news reporting during the Great Depression or on 9/11. That’s what’s at risk right now.”
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