By Ross Benes

Here’s one more thing for small publishers to worry about: New net-neutrality rules are going to jack up the costs of doing business.

Rolling back net neutrality would relegate independent publishers to the slow lane of the internet because they’d be unable to afford access to high speeds. Large publishers with more cash can overcome this obstacle, but they’ll be hit with onerous fees and face possible competitive disadvantages from subsidiaries of internet-service providers receiving preferential treatment.

“I suspect that ISPs would create different tiers of data transmission speeds and prioritization,” said Fred Lane, an attorney who specializes in emerging technologies. ”Large corporations would be in a position to negotiate preferential treatment in ways not available to smaller content producers.”

See the full article featuring comments from CTO John Potter here: http://digiday.com/media/net-neutrality-hurt-publishers/

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By Ross Benes

Publishers have gotten data religion.

A few years ago, publishers began enlisting data scientists to help with audience building and monetization. But back in 2014, publisher data teams usually consisted of only a person or two. Since then, several publishers have expanded their number of full-time data experts. And their roles have grown too. Media data scientists are now developing apps based on machine learning, shaping content-management systems, teaming up with first-party data providers and testing augmented reality features. Here are a handful of large publishers that have increased their emphasis on data analysis.

Mashable
In 2013, Mashable brought on Haile Owusu, who has a doctorate in theoretical and mathematical physics, as its chief data scientist to work on the site’s analytics tool that predicts which articles will go viral. Since then, Mashable has hired two additional full-time data analysts and added an intern. In the past year, the data team led by Owusu has helped shape Mashable’s new CMS and its Knowledge Graph tool, which tracks how branded content on Mashable is shared through social platforms, email and text messages. The team was not affected by the round of 30 layoffs Mashable did in April. “There was a pent-up demand for insights around the performance of our content,” Owusu said.

Purch
The tech network, which publishes Top Ten Reviews and Live Science, is a different type of publisher in its data focus and commerce-heavy strategy. Purch launched its own ad tech platform, Ramp, in 2014. Since then, its number of data scientists grew from one to five. Their focus is mostly on creating recommendation models that pair content with related consumer products. “We realized how much data we had and that we needed to analyze it to know whether we were charging the right price for advertising,” said Purch CTO John Potter. With Microsoft’s HoloLens, Snapchat’s Spectacles and Google Glass in the news, Purch’s data team has been testing augmented reality features in Purch-owned shopping app ShopSavvy.

Read the full article here: http://digiday.com/publishers/newsrooms-expanding-data-teams/

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By Lucia Moses

If some publishers are cooling on Facebook Instant Articles, they’re becoming hot and heavy with Google AMP, the search engine’s answer to Instant Articles.

In February, Google rolled out AMP, which stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, on mobile search results in Google News. Publishers scrambled to adopt Google’s open-source code on their pages because search still drives close to 40 percent of referral traffic overall, and they know that as their audiences shift to mobile, having fast mobile pages can only help them get surfaced by Google’s algorithm.

“We love it,” said Ben Robinson, Thrillist’s editorial director. Thrillist is getting 15 percent of its search traffic from AMP, boosting its search traffic by more than a third, which he called “exciting,” given the company is more lifestyle than news. At news-heavy USA Today Network, AMP is generating 12 percent of all mobile page views, said Michael Kuntz, svp of digital there.

So although Instant Articles is a new channel, AMP is fast becoming the de facto mobile web, so publishers have little choice but to get on board. “You really need access to that audience,” said John Potter, CTO of Purch.

Read the full article here: http://digiday.com/publishers/publishers-excited-google-amp-traffic-wonder-revenue-will-follow/

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By John Potter

The battle against ad blockers is heating up. Last week, Facebook announced it had found a way to circumvent ad blocking technology in what is perhaps the most extreme measure against ad blocking to date. Then, only two days later, the Adblock Plus community found a way to block ads again. Now, Facebook is rolling out new code to disable Adblock’s workaround. It’s only a matter of time before Adblock comes back with another solution. In the long-term though, the fact that Facebook has total control over the advertising environment means that it will almost certainly win this battle.

In particular, Facebook brings several unique advantages to its fight against ad blockers:

  • It serves all its ads from its own domain, so the ad blockers cannot simply block http calls to that domain.
  • Advertisers buy ads on Facebook based on Facebook’s data, not their own or third-party data. Therefore, no non-Facebook sourced pixels or scripts are necessary.
  • Most importantly, Facebook offers a unique service that users running ad blockers cannot easily find a substitute for.

- See more at: http://www.imediaconnection.com/article/232829/160817-john-potter-ad-blockers-vs-facebook-is-technology-the-answer#sthash.DhAdXAr0.dpuf

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By Anne Lu

Facebook has announced the official release of its updated Instant Articles to all publishers in the recently held Facebook F8 conference. This new platform is set to feature fast-loading and responsive posts compared to the usual posts on Facebook. Additionally, the social media giant opened up its Instant Articles to all publishers to create more interactive and shareable content on Facebook.

There were mixed speculations from publishers on the release of the Instant Articles platform which Ad Week has captured. The platform lets publishers post their content directly in the Facebook Instant Articles news feed as well sell ads other than their brand.

“Facebook Instant Articles is neither an ally nor a threat since the war is already over, and Facebook won,” said Sean Cullen, Fluent EVP for product and technology. “Publishers have no choice but to adopt Instant Articles in order to maintain their existing traffic levels and many will have no choice but to buy advertising from Facebook to grow.”

John Potter, CTO of Purch, told AdWeek that Facebook Instant Articles is an ally more than a threat. However, Potter reminded publishers that Instant Articles is just one of the many platforms to reach an audience.

Aside from Instant Articles, WordPress, Tumblr and LinkedIn are also considered alternative blogging and publishing platforms where publishers can showcase their products and articles. These platforms also contain plug-ins, customization and analytic tools that can benefit publishers.

Read the full article here: http://www.ibtimes.com.au/facebook-instant-articles-when-publishers-finally-embrace-new-platform-1517431

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