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February / March 2018

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This Month's Features:

Verified Would Like to Welcome...
5 Ways Magazine Publishers Can Maximize Postal Savings
Google Chrome to Block All Ads on Sites That Don't Comply With "Better Ads"
Events Calendar
Following Little Things Collapse, Intermarkets' Ambrose Talks Strategy for Publishers
Tips & Techniques: Commitment to Transparency

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Verified Would Like to Welcome...

Oakland PostOakland Post
Post News Group
Oakland, CA
The Oakland Post is an African-American newspaper in Northern California. The Post is one of eight weekly newspapers serving the San Francisco Bay Area communities of Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, Marin, South County (Hayward, Fremont, etc.), San Francisco, Vallejo and Stockton.

Prensa LibrePrensa Libre
Prensa Libre
Guatemala City, GT
Prensa Libre fundado el 20 de Augusto de 1951, es un periodico dirigido al 100% de la poblacion alfabeta pais.

Tech & LearningTech & Learning
New Bay Media
New York, NY
Tech & Learning is a B2B brand intended for individuals with broad-based interest in the technology aspects of education.

New Bay Media
New York, NY
TWICE is the leading brand serving the B2B needs in the technology and consumer electronics industries.

Press-Republican ExtraPress-Republican Extra
Plattsburg, NY
Press-Republican Extra is a weekly features publication. It is delivered to non-subscriber households throughout Clinton County.



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5 Ways Magazine Publishers Can Maximize Postal Savings

5 Ways Magazine Publishers Can Maximize Postal SavingsA recent gala illustrates a principle behind what has consistently been found to be the greatest source of waste, the greatest source of potential cost savings and the biggest differentiator between competing printing proposals for all but the smallest-circulation magazines. | READ MORE




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Google Chrome to Block All Ads on Sites
That Don't Comply With "Better Ads"

Coalition for Better AdsGoogle's Chrome ad blocker, which recently went into effect, blocks all ads served on sites that receive a failure notice if the publisher doesn't comply with the Better Ads Standards within 30 days.

Depending on the number of violations found, the site will be evaluated based on Passing, Warning or Failing grades. One bad ad will not start the filtering, according to Kelsey LeBeau, who heads publisher partnerships at Google. The site must be a repeat offender. The technology, however, will block ads that comply and do not meet the standards if the publisher fails to comply.

It is not technically impossible to block only the ads that do not comply – but it is extremely difficult, so for now the platform blocks all ads. Chrome's ad filter will first check whether that page belongs to a site that fails the Better Ads Standards. If so, network requests on the page are checked against a list of known ad-related URL patterns. If there is a match, Chrome will block the request, preventing the ad from displaying on the page. The patterns are based on the public EasyList filter rules, and include patterns that match for Google's AdSense and DoubleClick.

LeBeau has been working the past two years with challenges based on ad blocking. Her focus is twofold: to reduce the demand for blockers that do not discriminate in terms of who is serving the ad by improving the site visitor's experience, and how to win back users who have installed ad blockers.

The detail of "all" ads, which is buried in a blog post from Google, may be the most significant and overlooked nuance of the announcement. The status of the evaluation will post in the Ad Experience Report.

Today, the Better Ads Standards from the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group focused on improving the user experience with online advertising, consists of 12 ad experiences that research found to be annoying to users, such as pop-up ads, autoplay ads with sound, flashing animation and those with a countdown where visitors must wait to access the site.

LeBeau also confirmed earlier reports that less than 1% of publishers will be affected by filtered ads because, increasingly, publishers are stepping up to make the changes on their own.

LeBeau said this shift is more about monetizing the web for a better experience. Even if Google's ads are against the Better Ads Standards, it doesn't matter because Chrome removes all ads, good and bad, if they're found to have repeated violations.

Not all agree on Google's vision. Industry chatter suggests that the Chrome ad blocker is less about improving the browsing experience and more about what benefits Google's top line.

"If you're looking for motivation behind the Google Chrome built-in ad blocker, it's less about improving the browsing experience for users and more about forcing publishers and advertisers towards ad standards that benefit Google," wrote Ghostery's Director of Product, Jeremy Tillman, in an email to Publishers Daily. "The fact that it is threatening to block all ads on pages that fail to meet its standards within 30 days seems like an obvious ploy to move more publishers to Google's advertising platforms, which relies on deep and exhaustive data collection that Google has no incentive to curb."

Tillman called the Chrome feature less of an ad blocker and more of an "enforcer."

The advertising and publishing communities need to add more value to consumers and brands, which was a huge theme at this week's Interactive Advertising Bureau Leadership Conference in Palm Desert, California.

"Even so, whether or not publishers make this change should be a choice," said Rich Kahn, CEO and cofounder of eZanga. "This may be an attempt to give users a better experience, but it should not be something forced on website owners and users."

Technology is bringing an end to the "forced viewing economy," said Ed Montes, CRO at Dataxu.

© 2018 MediaPost Communications.

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Events Calendar

Folio: Digital Awards
April 5, 2018
New York, NY

PubCon Florida
April 10 – 12, 2018
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Inland Press Association Revenue Conference
April 11 – 12, 2018
Chicago, IL

INMA Media Subscription Summit
April 16 – 19, 2018
London, UK

Magazine Innovation Center – ACT 8 Conference
April 17 – 20, 2018
University, MO

Women Visionaries Event
May 8, 2018
New York, NY


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Following Little Things Collapse, Intermarkets'
Ambrose Talks Strategy for Publishers

Little ThingsLast week, the popular website Little Things, known for its women-focused service and live video content on Facebook, announced it would close its doors following a deadly decline in traffic. That move followed Facebook's recent algorithm change.

According to Little Things's CEO Joe Speiser, the site experienced a 75% drop in traffic, enough to decimate its profit margin four years after its launch.

Little Things's reliance on a singular source for the bulk of its traffic proved deadly in an era when outlets are realizing the importance of diversifying revenue streams and reassessing the importance of quality over quantity.

Digital media company Intermarkets, which helps brands to connect with the most useful advertisers, is focused on cracking the digital publishing code. Jake Ambrose, the company's marketing operations director, talked to Publishing Insider about how publishers can avoid the pitfalls that plagued Little Things and thrive in an increasingly unstable digital environment.

Publishing Insider (PI): After the news that Little Things would close, how large a scale do you think the algorithm is hitting other publishers?

Jake Ambrose (JA): Publishers have enjoyed the scale and reach of Facebook for years. The platform's pivot to serve users and "clean up" the News Feed has had a significant, widespread effect on publishers across all verticals. Any digital publishers that have not been actively pursuing audience growth outside of Facebook over the past two years will feel the impact of the algorithm change.

PI: Aside from Facebook, what types of traps should publishers avoid to maintain a robust digital business?

JA: Publishers should double down on the quality of their content. In the era of social growth, many have fallen victim to sensationalizing content to draw a quick influx of readers. The traffic was there, but it was a short-term lift. That led to many publishers getting blacklisted by the big providers. With all that traffic, publishers were tempted by dollar signs and loaded up on inventory.

PI: What was the result?

JA: These ad-bloated pages introduced a couple of issues. First, users got irritated and sought their content fix elsewhere or ran ad blockers. Another problem was the overall impact on inventory value. More units means content, and other ads get pushed down the page and out of sight.

Publishers should focus on what it is that keeps your audience coming back while also being able to draw new readers. Make sure you're optimizing and paying close attention to the user experience when they arrive at the page. Keep a healthy balance of inventory and content with a nice, clean layout.

With Facebook swiftly denying reach to its users, publishers are flocking to other social media platforms to experiment with audience growth. While some might see great short-term success, they should hold fast to the idea that it's never an effective strategy to put significant dependence on any one traffic source.

PI: With ad blockers and unpredictable algorithm changes, how can publishers thrive going forward?

JA: Publishers should continue to prioritize user experience. From content to site design, they should always be working toward the best possible digital experience for the target audience. In addition to building a diverse network of traffic sources, a premium reader environment will ensure loyalty and lasting visits.

© 2018 MediaPost Communications.


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Tips & Techniques: Commitment to Transparency

The purpose of an audit is to ensure advertisers that your publication is committed to transparency. In today's changing and complex media landscape, this has never been more important.

Today's advertisers have never been faced with more choices. Their investment in advertising needs to provide effectiveness by using the best channels to reach their potential customers. Independent performance measurement allows you to verify that you are doing a good job.

Audits verify circulation claims. Auditors have the experience, tools and resources to validate that advertisers are getting full value for their media investment.

Audits increase trust. Third-party measurement decreases risk so that advertisers can buy more confidently.

Audits provide an "apples-to-apples" comparison. Advertisers can evaluate their media buys to make sure they are reaching their goals.

Ultimately, the audit is an opportunity to showcase your publication's good work by a neutral, third-party expert.

If you have questions, please contact Verified at 415-461-6006.

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