Newspaper publishers unite in video advertising deal

The publishers of Britain’s leading quality newspapers have signed a landmark deal to create a one-stop shop for video advertising online, in a sign of increasing industry collaboration to challenge the dominance of Facebook and Google.

Telegraph Media Group, Guardian News and Media, and News UK will pool their video advertising slots in The Verified Marketplace to offer a total audience of nearly 40 million unique users. The websites and apps of The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and The Sun will all be part of the same offering.

The venture is designed to attract advertisers seeking large audiences and to ensure their brands do not appear alongside inappropriate material, as well as assurance their money is not wasted.

A string of brands including Tesco and Volkswagen stopped advertising on YouTube earlier this year after it emerged Google’s video service had placed them alongside extremist propaganda. Advertisers have also raised concerns over widespread fraud in which unscrupulous middlemen generate fake traffic on obscure websites to make it appear that campaigns have been viewed by real people.

The Verified Marketplace covers only what is known as outstream video inventory, advertising typically inserted between paragraphs of articles. Advertisers spent £363m on the format in the first half of the year, more than half the total online video market, according to industry figures.

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