News & Opinion

News UK's Dominic Carter on Ozone, Facebook & the year ahead

With a new year around the corner, News UK's group chief commercial officer speaks to Digiday about 2018's important milestones and what's in the pipeline for 2019. 

Citing publishers' collaboration on The Ozone Project as one of the most important strategic milestones of 2018, Carter explains: "We have worked before together on a marketing level but never in terms of a joint investment and being joint owners of something — that's a new step forward for us all."

The initiative – which sees The Telegraph, The Guardian, News UK and Reach unite to form a joint digital sales hub – is an alternative to the open marketplace, with Carter saying: "If we can create a platform where more of the money can hit the media owner, and therefore the consumer and in a safe, contextual environment, what advertiser wouldn't want to do that?" He adds that The Times shut down open marketplace buying in February and has seen "significant growth as a result... we're also seeing double-digit growth for The Sun on the private marketplace".

Addressing Facebook's share of ad spend, Carter says that publishers deliver a strength that the duopoly doesn't: "A trusted environment where there is little risk to brand reputation".

Looking to the future, News UK’s acquisition of Wireless and hiring of Chris Evans is part of the group's ambition to "become a single shop that can reach different audiences and demographics in different ways, whether it's audio, written-word, branded content or video". Carter adds: "I want to put those things together seamlessly and provide a holistic way of utilising our media that gives access to our audience and gives the best return on investment to advertisers."

Another priority in 2019 will be the growth of voice technology: "It will be about how we as a media owner shift from just providing products into providing services and that's where having a diversified portfolio with different skill sets should help, and enable us to offer services to marketers that historically have thought of us as delivering product."

Source: Digiday

by Jessie Sampson 19/12/18

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