November 05, 2013

#AP becomes an #advertorial sellout as does #TexasTribune

First, I don't like the term "native advertising," precisely because it's NOT pejorative.

So, in this webspace, we still call it "advertorial."

And, that AP in the header is the one and only AP, the Associated Press.

Since former AP CEO Dean Singleton, et al, botched up how much the AP charged news aggregators back in the 1990s, with dreams of a "TV model" for website advertising revenue, it's now trying to make up lost ground with ...

Advertorial from AP!

First, the why:
In an acknowledgment that licensing content has become a disappointing business, the Associated Press will begin introducing native advertising into its stream of news and features on mobile apps and hosted websites next year.
So, AP admits it screwed up.

Next, the what:
Sponsored content will run the gamut, from text to video to photography, though the AP declined to discuss what exactly content will look like except to say that the ads won’t look like AP content. Instead the sponsored content will sit alongside AP material.
Well, we'll see how different it looks when it comes out.

And, we'll also see how this plays out:
“They’re really new and want to be really careful as their credibility is at stake,” the source said. “When someone like the New York Times or AP gets into native, they have more to lose.”
Given that I've seen ever more grammatical errors in AP stories, like increasing "its" vs. "it's" misuse, the AP's credibility has ALREADY gone downhill in the past decade, editorially. And, on the business side, per what I said above, its credibility went downhill proportionally to that of ... Dean Singleton.

Of course, the AP itself has already "lost more" on the ethics side, like when it decided to prostitute itself to celebrities two years ago.

And more of the what:
The ads will not run on the AP’s roster of syndicated sites. Instead, they will only run on AP’s owned and operated sites. Sources say the ads will be priced as a premium ad product and can range anywhere between $3,000 and $25,000. The ad content would be created by outside freelancers, not AP journalists. The AP will be using Polar, a native ad platform, to deliver native ads across its sites.
Not cheap, but premium indeed.

Speaking of, as newspapers tout premium websites, and some, like the Dallas Morning News, tout their affiliated online marketing and branding shops for other businesses, I'm surprised more metro daily newspapers aren't going into their own advertorial "product" creation.

I'm sorry, they ARE. And, an official New York Times affiliate is doing that too ... at that "more to lose" risk.
The Texas Tribune will begin experimenting with sponsored content in 2014 with a site dedicated to both standard and paid opinion pieces.

TribTalk will be the Austin-based news nonprofit’s answer to both the newspaper op-ed section and and the wave of interest in branded advertising — a place for commentary on Texas politics and an opportunity for the Trib to find a new stream of revenue.
Oh, doorknob.

What will happen?

Rich conservative organizations that have been serious astroturfers in years past will now turn their astroturfing campaigns to this new venue.

So, guess what, Texas Trib?

You just lost a lot of "more."

Here's its "what":
As an exercise in sponsored content, what that means is the Tribune might see submissions from organizations like the Beer Alliance of Texas, AT&T, or Texans for Education Reform. But the goal is to round out the site with unpaid submissions from readers, officials, and others, Ramshaw said, and they’ve already reached out to 200 experts and other thinkers around the state to ask if they would be interested in contributing. 
Oh, those "experts and other thinkers" may be unpaid by you, but ... unpaid by anybody? I doubt it.

I just threw up in my mouth, twice, over this one.

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