Local Media Consortium, Local Media Association launched "Support Local News" in partnership with Google

Local Media Consortium | June 10, 2020

  • $15 million campaign encourages consumers, businesses and brands to subscribe, donate, advertise.

  • The Local Media Consortium and Local Media Association announced the launch of a major ad campaign, "Support Local News," in partnership with the Google News Initiative.

  • Backed by $15 million in funding from Google, the campaign will raise awareness of the need and importance of funding newsrooms through subscriptions, donations and advertising.


As communities across the nation grapple with the coronavirus pandemic and the injustice related to the death of George Floyd, local media has been on the front lines to inform its readers. While these major stories with local ramifications have led to an increase in people reading, watching and listening to the news, advertising revenue has declined dramatically. This trend has hit local news organizations particularly hard following Covid-19 since most faced financial stress well before the pandemic. These dynamics have put these vital community services at risk. According to Poynter, more than 30 local newsrooms have closed since the pandemic began. A Pew study finds the majority of consumers (71%) think their news media outlets are doing well financially. The Support Local News campaign will highlight this paradox and encourage consumers, businesses and advertisers to support local media.

At Google we value the role of local news in keeping our societies informed and connected with their communities. We have long partnered with the LMA and LMC to enable a strong future for local news. At this crucial time, when the demand for local journalism is especially great and advertising dollars have dwindled, we have joined with the LMA and LMC on this campaign in an effort to encourage everyone - readers, local businesses and advertisers big and small - to play a part in supporting local news.

- Richard Gingras, Vice President, News, Google


The Support Local News campaign will begin today and will run in print and digital formats for the next six weeks across most local newspapers, TV and radio stations and online-only news outlets in the U.S. and Canada. The campaign will direct people to visit the Support Local News website, where they can easily subscribe, advertise or donate — including an option to donate to a fund that supports local investigative reporting in newsrooms across North America or to further designate contributions for publishers of color to support their investigative work. 

"At a time when communities need local media more than ever, we are launching this campaign to fuel long-term, sustainable revenue models for news," said Fran Wills, CEO of LMC. "For years we have been encouraging the industry and our partners to spotlight the need for and value of local journalism. Thanks to this generous funding from Google, our campaign funnels much needed advertising dollars to publishers immediately while raising awareness of the role subscriptions, advertising and donations play in sustaining freedom of the press and reporting in our local communities."

This is a significant moment for the local media industry. People may not understand why they need to support local news organizations with digital subscriptions, donations, memberships and advertising if applicable. This $15 million ad campaign will help us change the conversation. We appreciate Google's support of local media with this campaign that intentionally includes a diverse mix of publishers, including smaller outlets and those serving underrepresented audiences. We ask other national advertisers to follow this example by running campaigns with local media organizations across North America.

- Nancy Lane, CEO of LMA


Local Media Association and the Local Media Consortium together represent more than 5,000 news outlets in the U.S. and Canada. The LMC delivers significant ROI to its members – 90 media companies comprising more than 4,000 outlets – by harnessing its purchasing power to negotiate large money-saving deals with digital business and technology partners. Recently, the LMC worked with the Brand Safety Institute and Cunningham Consulting to fast-track a local news advertising whitelist to unblock local media ad inventory with agencies and advertisers during the coronavirus pandemic.

LMA is focused on reinventing business models for news and works with more than 3,000 newspapers, TV stations, digital news sites, radio stations and research & development partners. In May, the association's affiliate, Local Media Foundation, launched the COVID-19 Local News Fund program, which has already raised more than $1.4 million for independent and family-owned news organizations to increase their coverage of the crisis in communities all over the country.

Read more: Ads running on Google’s network alongside baseless claims around COVID-19 virus

About the Local Media Consortium

The Local Media Consortium delivers economic value through strategic partnerships on behalf of nearly 90 local media companies in top markets across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and includes more than 4,000 outlets. The LMC delivers over $50M in annual financial benefit to its members by harnessing their combined volume and scale to reduce costs and increase revenue with technology and service providers like Google, Facebook, Monster and others. According to ComScore, the aggregated LMC audience footprint spans 212 million monthly unique visitors and reaches 80% of the U.S. online audience.

About Local Media Association

Local Media Association is a thriving and innovative organization that is intensely focused on discovering new and sustainable business models that will support local news. LMA's innovation engine, Accelerate Local, launched six initiatives in 2019 with 50 different media partners including a digital transformation lab for black publishers. Three new projects have been launched so far in 2020, including the COVID-19 local news fund, and two news collaboratives - the Oklahoma Media Center and a yet-to-be-named effort in Chicago. Local Media Foundation is the association's 501(c)(3) charitable trust that supports the essential role of local news and information in a healthy democracy.

About The Google News Initiative (GNI)

The Google News Initiative represents Google's effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age. Through its partnerships, programs and products, the Google News Initiative works with thousands of organizations worldwide to support quality independent journalism, financial sustainability, and development of new technologies that drive innovation. Google allocated $300 million over three years to energize these collaborations, and to lay the foundation for new products and programs for a diverse set of news publishers, to benefit the entire ecosystem.

Spotlight

NATIVE ADVERTISING IN CONTEXT THE INTERNET looks better today than ever before. Parallel with the rise in design standards, users and publishers have also come to recognize the vital importance of user experience. Traditionally, online advertising has compromised both. When publishers invest in native advertising, however, users are more engaged and everything on screen remains beautiful and relevant. NATIVE ADVERTISING refers to a specific mode of monetization that aims to augment user experience by providing value through relevant content delivered in-stream.

Spotlight

NATIVE ADVERTISING IN CONTEXT THE INTERNET looks better today than ever before. Parallel with the rise in design standards, users and publishers have also come to recognize the vital importance of user experience. Traditionally, online advertising has compromised both. When publishers invest in native advertising, however, users are more engaged and everything on screen remains beautiful and relevant. NATIVE ADVERTISING refers to a specific mode of monetization that aims to augment user experience by providing value through relevant content delivered in-stream.

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NBC's TODAY Joins the Ad Council for New Public Service Ad Empowering Girls in STEM

Ad Council | February 14, 2022

This Sunday before the start of Super Bowl LVI, NBC's TODAY will debut a new television public service ad (PSA) featuring the show's anchors to encourage girls throughout the country to pursue their interests in STEM—science, technology, engineering and math. The spot, a part of the national She Can STEM campaign, was created by ad agency Deloitte Digital in collaboration with the Ad Council, a non-profit and leading producer of social impact campaigns for 80 years, and IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. The PSA features TODAY anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, Craig Melvin and Carson Daly. In an on-set daydream of Guthrie's, the spot humorously envisions the anchors as students in a 1970s classroom talking about what they hope to be when they grow up. In the dream, modern STEM careers are possible and female classmates name cool careers from today that you can pursue through an interest in STEM. The PSA also features STEM role models Tiffany Kelly, Mitu Khandaker, and Karina Popovich who are part of the AAAS IF/THEN Ambassadors Program to encourage more young women to explore careers in STEM. The PSA ends with "STEM has come a long way. She Can STEM." and directs audiences to SheCanSTEM.com where they can start exploring stories of diverse STEM role models. The new PSA will debut between noon and 3 p.m. ET on NBC during Super Bowl Sunday. NBCUniversal donated airtime for the :30 spot to air two times. Additionally, this morning and on Monday, TODAY will feature the PSA in two segments, including a behind-the-scenes "making of the PSA" segment showing the collaborative effort of the campaign development process with the anchors, and Mitu Khandaker discussing her experience as a STEM role model and the importance of this issue. "So many kids start off with big dreams, dreams that can help our world be more innovative, collaborative and cutting edge, but then they get discouraged along the way. Together with TODAY, Deloitte Digital, IF/THEN and NBCUniversal, we're working to keep those dreams alive," said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council. "With the She Can STEM campaign we can show girls, non-binary youth, and trans youth that their passion in STEM can become a reality. We are so grateful for this extraordinary collaboration." Women make up half of the total college-educated workforce in the U.S., but they only constitute 27% of the STEM workforce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Research shows that many girls lose interest in STEM as early as middle school, and this path continues through high school and college, ultimately leading to an underrepresentation of women in STEM careers. She Can STEM aims to dismantle the intimidating perceived barrier of STEM fields by showing girls, non-binary youth, and trans youth how fun, messy and accessible STEM can be, encouraging them to dive in, no matter where they are in their STEM journey. "We are honored to partner with the Ad Council and shine a spotlight on the impact of empowering girls and diverse individuals in their STEM journey. By combining compassion, creativity and credibility, this mission will be showcased on the biggest stage for millions of people across the country tuning in on Super Bowl Sunday," said Linda Yaccarino, Chairman of Global Advertising and Partnerships at NBCUniversal and current Board Chair of the Ad Council. "NBCUniversal is committed to reflecting diverse voices, representation, and action in our content and work with advertisers to bring that trusted content to our viewers. All over the world, what we share shapes culture, entertains people and informs them of today's most critical topics." Deloitte Digital, working in collaboration with Ad Council and TODAY's team, created and produced the PSA, working with director JJ Adler of Ruckus Films. Deloitte Digital Chief Creative Officer Leslie Sims stated, "When our friends at the Ad Council came to Deloitte Digital with the opportunity to work with the hosts of TODAY for the Super Bowl, we were all in. The assignment, excite girls about STEM and let kids see the fun careers out there, was like winning the lottery. With a week and a half from brief to shoot, we created a spot focused on the real stars—the kids. It's pretty much been a week of nonstop laughing." Deloitte Digital has been actively involved with Ad Council and She Can STEM since 2019, creating award-winning creative to encourage girls to pursue STEM education and careers. Following Sunday's debut of the new PSA, the spot will be distributed to NBCUniversal stations nationwide for future airings throughout 2022. NBCUniversal is also featuring content about the PSA and the importance of STEM for girls on TODAY.com. "STEM is everywhere – whether you have a career in television journalism, video game design, or vaccine research – and we are proud to collaborate with the Ad Council and NBC's TODAY to put a spotlight on women with fun, relatable, and world-changing STEM careers," said Lyda Hill, founder of Lyda Hill Philanthropies and founder, IF/THEN Initiative. "If you're watching television and you see role models who look like you doing groundbreaking work, you begin to believe, `If she can do it, then I can do it.'" Since the launch of She Can STEM in September 2018, the campaign has been supported by a variety of corporate, nonprofit and media partners. The current funder of the campaign is IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies. Nonprofit partners include Black Girls Code, ChickTech, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., Girls Who Code, National Center for Women & Information Technology, The New York Academy of Sciences and Society of Women Engineers. The Ad Council The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation's most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels. The Ad Council's innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube. Deloitte Digital Deloitte Digital helps companies create new growth by elevating the human experience — with connected ideas, technology and talent. Our ambition is to make the best customer-oriented organizations in the world. Alongside all of Deloitte, we foster the connections necessary to shape a better future for our clients, our culture, our society and our planet. NBCUniversal NBCUniversal is one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a premium ad-supported streaming service. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

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Twitter is Testing Three New Ad Formats

Twitter | April 01, 2022

Twitter has kicked off pilot testing of three new ad formats earlier this week. These formats include interactive text ads, product explorer ads, and collection ads. “As we kick off early experiments, we’ll aim to understand how the new formats resonate with consumers and drive results for advertisers. We’ll test, learn and iterate based on performance and customer feedback,” said Group Product Manager Madeline Bayer and Product Manager Lauren Nagra. Bud Light, Oreo, and Wendy’s are the other brands testing these ads. They are trying interactive text ads with a larger and bolder typeface. In such ads, advertisers can highlight up to three words in their ad copy which can bring the audience to a landing page when clicked. They can select from ten highlight colors. Bayer and Nagra wrote, “Not only will it be easier for these ads to catch the eye as people scroll through their timeline, but the highlighted words will offer a new way for consumers to engage with ad copy.” Bayer and Nagra wrote, “Not only will it be easier for these ads to catch the eye as people scroll through their timeline, but the highlighted words will offer a new way for consumers to engage with ad copy.” When it comes to product explorer ads, 3D comes into the mix for brands for the very first time. Consumers can rotate and swipe products to view them from different angles. If they want more information on the products, they can click on the ad’s shop button and go to the advertiser’s page. As for the collection ads, brands can display a primary hero image and five smaller thumbnail visuals. The primary image remains static when the users horizontally scroll through the thumbnails. Every image can lead the audience to different websites or landing pages. Only a handful of brands like Bose, Lexus, and New Balance in the U.S are testing these ads. Bayer and Nagra wrote, “Over the past two years, we’ve been working hard to simplify our ad suite, make our products more performant and measurable and give advertisers more options and new controls. As we look ahead, we see untapped potential to develop more creative and innovative ad formats that ultimately deliver results and value not just for advertisers, but also for consumers and creators.” They continued, “We see a future for Twitter ads where our products can: Give advertisers opportunities for more creative storytelling and brand expression across every stage of the funnel; offer consumers a more immersive, rewarding and interactive ad experience; and help advertisers further lean into and unlock the power of conversation on Twitter. You’ll see us experiment with ad formats that help us work toward these goals and bring this ad vision to life on Twitter.”

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Backtracks Expands Innovative Offerings - Launches Dynamic Client-side Ad Insertion Capabilities for Podcasts and Audio

Backtracks | January 18, 2022

Backtracks, the world's most advanced platform for end-to-end podcast and audio management, advertising and data analytics, announces today the addition of dynamic client-side ad insertion (CSAI) for audio. This latest offering will provide publishers, advertisers and creators “over the top” ad insertion capabilities by using VAST (video ad serving template, the combined standard in the digital advertising industry for both audio and video advertising) to access ads from multiple servers and destinations, with accurate measurement and analytics provided by Backtracks’ robust and feature-rich platform. The advancement of CSAI in audio and podcasting content adds extra value for marketers, expanding contextual ad and episodic targeting capabilities, the ability to benefit from and extend the advertising ecosystem built around video advertising into audio. Additionally, it allows creators to take advantage of growing demand from advertisers, while having yet another way to increase creator earnings. This announcement marks the first of multiple innovative product releases from Backtracks to come in early 2022, all aimed at further modernizing the podcasting industry through the development of technology and tools that gives advertisers and publishers greater access to the best fit of content, ads, and audience. Advertiser enthusiasm for podcasting rapidly increased in 2021 as consumer behavior towards spoken audio has evolved and audiences have steadily expanded. IAB projected that podcast advertising revenue would top $1 billion in 2021 and double to $2.2 billion, by 2023. Backtracks is dedicated to continuing to serve this rapidly growing media channel by providing the most advanced infrastructure platform for advertisers and publishers alike. Our universal approach to audio advertising is the first-of-its-kind. Backtracks is applying the power and flexibility of all the versions of VAST from 2.0 to 4.2 to podcasts, pre-recorded audio, and live audio. By pushing the envelope we are directly solving long standing problems in podcast and audio advertising capabilities and optionality. Host read or spoken ad’s have long been the podcasting norm, and while they have their benefits, there are limitations to the reach and scale for both publishers and advertisers.” Jonathan Gill, Founder and CEO of Backtracks Client-side audio ad insertion allows for dynamic and targeted advertising that’s interchangeable by listening context location, time-of-day, episode, content, and more. Similar to experiencing a YouTube ad, but without breaking apart the listening experience in the middle of a sentence, dynamically inserted and contextually relevant ads that are not embedded or baked-in allow for a more satisfying user experience, and additional campaign scale revenue options for advertisers and publishers. Backtracks’ integrated software platform allows advertisers to find, click and buy podcast ads with confidence and clarity - seamlessly integrating with brands and agencies’ advertising strategies, while harnessing the power of in-depth actionable analytics to know and grow podcast advertising campaign success without the capture and storage of personally identifiable information and cookies. Backtracks allows publishers and creators using the Backtracks Player to monetize their content and control ad placement across shows and episodes on any app, live-stream, over-the-top audio or digital radio with IAB verified metrics and analytics. 2021 was a year of innovation and milestones in the product landscape for the Backtracks platform to deliver unprecedented value to podcast publishers and advertisers. The company made advancements in technologies including; podcast analytics, podcast attribution and conversion tracking, AI insights, machine learning, Backtracks SDKs, Backtracks Player and accessibility tools, interactive audio and head-nod detection in Apple AirPods and supported earbuds, IAB podcast measurement certification for podcast analytics and advertising metrics, and a collaboration with Google Cloud to allow advertisers view their analytics data within Google Data Studio. In 2022, Backtracks will continue to invest heavily in further development of existing and new product offerings across its infrastructure and data platform. Its continued innovation in audio technology is aimed at advancing the industry and continuing to help podcasters and audio partners around the world better measure, monetize, and advertise in audio and podcasting. About Backtracks Backtracks is the leading technology infrastructure platform for end-to-end podcast management, advertising and data analytics. Through a product suite of turnkey tools and data analytics solutions, the company provides the technology for publishers, brands and advertisers to gain greater insights for engaging, reaching and understanding their target audiences while delivering a superior listening experience to their listeners. Founded in 2016 by engineers Jonathan Gill and Kevin Wright, Backtracks is on a mission to modernize the podcast medium by providing podcasters and advertisers with the tools to measure, discover and monetize their content and data. The company empowers thousands of podcasts and audio partners, including Wondery, This American Life, McKinsey & Company, RANE, Samsung, Mediahuis, OECD, The Memphis Grizzlies, and NASA.

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