News in Canada and around the world has had an incredible journey in digitization era. From its early adoption of digital channels to produce and distribute relevant content to Canadians, to the challenges presented by citizen journalism, social media, and the rising costs of digital ad management and most recently, the categorical blocking of all news to avoid negative content alignment, News has been through it all.
Fortunately, we have seen some great innovation over the past year in support of the buy side such as increased access to local news through industry collaboration and the launch of technical solutions such as the IAB Tech Lab’s news allow list among other industry efforts to bolster this critical sector.
As we prepare for our upcoming session, “Breaking News About the Promising Future of News” we decided to sit down with IAB Canada member and participant in our panel next week, the Globe and Mail to kick off the conversation and to take a brief look back at the past year and to get a peek into 2022.
IAB Canada (IABC): It’s fair to say that 2020/21 were complex years for the news sector with the increased blocking of news content, heightened awareness, and criticism of fake news, rising costs and a local cry for support from Big Tech. What would you say stood out as the biggest challenge for Canadian news in 2021and what are some of the remedies you’ve seen that rise up to meet the needs of publishers and advertisers?
Globe and Mail (GM): Fortunately, we believe that we have moved on from a fear of fake news to a place where meaningful news is back to being a desired vertical for buyers. Brands are no longer just blindly blocking news content and are now looking to us for creative ways to integrate their messages into our reporting. Our role in 2022 will include finding ways for brands to align themselves with content around issues that mean something to them – like DEI and Indigenous rights but we will also need to continue to focus on ensuring our tech is meeting the demands of our ad partners. We have had to invest and to become more technically sophisticated to help them overlay data, contextually target and essentially measure against their performance goals in more meaningful ways.
IABC: Do you have the sense that the news industry is moving from competition to coopetition? What are the benefits of this shift?
GM: We are seeing both. While each publisher is unique in its offering, we do see many cases where cooperation between publishers and ad tech makes sense and benefit everyone in ecosystem. A perfect example of this is the work we do with social platforms like Google, Facebook and Apple for news distribution as well as the other collaborative initiatives involving competing publishers such as ourlocalmedia.org and the Maple News Initiative. Publishers need to be strategic but also remain agile in this dynamic marketplace.
IABC : What can the news industry as a whole look forward to in 2022 and what are some of the things your team is excited about at the Globe and Mail?
GM: When we think about 2022, we see that the industry is rethinking their approach to making smart media investments and investing in domestic news channels is an important consideration for advertisers both locally and nationally. News as a strategy is really exciting for us and for the industry as a whole. There is a lot of optimism and recognition that there are ways to engage with brands in a highly impactful and meaningful way. Meanwhile, investment in the future is critical as the landscape is constantly changing. The future of news is bright, and we are incredibly excited for what is to come!
We hope that you can join us on October 21st at 1pm when we will continue this conversation with the Globe and Mail, Google, Village Media and Indiegraf as they sit down with IAB Canada President Sonia Carreno to get us excited about what’s new in the news. Register here.