Half of the largest online US publishers are teaming up to take on Google and Facebook (FB, GOOGL, GOOG)

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Half of the comScore 250, the largest online publishers in the US, is teaming up by pooling their signed-in users and data to draw ad spend away from Facebook and Google — according to AdAge.
The companies will be targeting without using cookies. This will be done through Sonobi’s product, JetStream. Essentially, cookies track user information as they browse the web. However, cookies’ functionality is more limited in mobile apps — apps have limited ability to access other apps’ data, which can create a fragmented environment. This could appeal to marketers that may otherwise gravitate towards Facebook or Google, according to AdAge.
It’s starting to gain traction. Big companies are starting to take notice — Omnicom Media Group has bought ads through the initiative. Other companies, including Bank of America, are starting to show interest in buying ads as well.
This is the latest effort of competitors joining forces to take on Google and Facebook. The Guardian, the Financial Times, Retuers, the Economist, and CNN International teamed up in 2015 in an initiative called “The Pangea Alliance” to pool advertising space in order to compete with Google and Facebook. Additionally, major European broadcasters are joining forces to create a digital-video advertising platform to take on the Duopoly, reported by Bloomberg earlier this month.
However, the effort by publishers may be an uphill battle, given Facebook and Google’s hold on the industry. Google accounted for nearly half of Q1 US digital ad revenue, while facebook accounted for nearly 18%. Though some of the companies within comScore 250 — such as The Weather Co. which counted over 100 million unique visitors in April— have sizeable reach as well, Facebook and Google’s reach may be too big to overcome.
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