Digital Publishing News Roundup: Week of February 21, 2022

    Fact checked by Vahe Arabian
    Vahe Arabian

    Founder and Editor in Chief of State of Digital Publishing. My vision is to provide digital publishing and media professionals a platform to collaborate and promote their efforts, my passion is to uncover talent and… Read more

    Edited by Andrew Kemp
    Andrew Kemp

    Andrew joined the State of Digital Publishing team in 2021, bringing with him more than a decade and a half of editorial experience in B2B publishing. His career has spanned the technology, natural resources, financ…Read more

    February news roundup

    What’s been happening in the world of digital publishing over the last week? Here’s your weekly round-up of news, announcements, product launches, and more.


    How advertisers are dealing with Meta’s ad price increases prompted by Apple’s ATT changes, with some shifting their ad budgets to Google, Amazon, and TikTok

    Facebook was long one of the surest bets in digital advertising. No longer.

    Martha Krueger, who runs a gift-basket business called Giften Market, used to spend her entire advertising budget on Meta Platforms Inc.’s FB 1.39% Facebook and Instagram. She picked up a new customer for every $14 she spent.

    Stay up to date on the latest news, trends, and best practices in digital publishing.

    When Apple Inc. AAPL 1.30% introduced a privacy feature for mobile devices last year that restricts user tracking, she said, her costs to acquire such customers rose 10-fold. In October, she shifted her whole ad budget to search ads on Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG 1.39% Google. Read more

    Why it matters: As the piece points out, “The privacy change is hitting the heart of Meta’s business: its ability to target ads at users with precision and prove to marketers that the ads generate sales. Earlier this month, Meta said it expects a roughly $10 billion hit to sales this year as the result of the Apple change, which requires apps to ask users for permission to track their activity and share it.”

    The Wall Street Journal Touts First-Party Data as Key to Repeat Media Buys

    The Wall Street Journal welcomes its cookieless future, and advertisers have taken notice.

    The publisher, in a case study conducted in partnership with Google Ad Manager, found that advertisers whose campaigns used first-party data from The Journal were 37% more likely to run another campaign. Campaigns built using first-party data also perform better than company benchmarks on average, said David Minkin, svp of strategic planning and delivery and general manager of The Exchange. The publisher declined to offer financial specifics. Read more

    Why it matters: As the article notes, “The Journal has reoriented much of its advertising business in recent years to collect and utilize first-party data, including standing up proprietary software like Thematic, Safesuite and Insite. It also has access to a wealth of first-party data, given that its parent company, Dow Jones, has more than 3 million digital subscribers across its properties.”

    Business growth

    Digital giants eye magazines to spur growth

    The U.S. consumer magazine industry shrunk by more than 20% in the past five years, due largely to print advertising declines, per PwC data. But the rate of decline is expected to slow slightly in the next five years, thanks to new efforts from online media companies to acquire and digitize traditional print brands.  Read more

    Why it matters: “If you make the right acquisition in the right vertical … it can give you real scale that is meaningful and major clout in that vertical very quickly,” said Jason Webby, chief revenue officer at Future, which owns over 200 print and digital magazine titles, including The Week, Marie Claire US and Kiplinger.

    UK magazine digital edition sales surge in 2021 with Economist out in front

    The Economist retained its spot as the UK magazine with the largest digital edition circulation, reaching nearly one million subscribers in 2021, according to the latest ABC report. The newest data suggests the magazine is now just under 5,000 digital subscriptions away from the one million total after recording a 14% increase in global digital circulation last year, from 874,802 to 995,228.  Read more

    Why it matters: “Overall digital edition sales at magazine publications currently audited by ABC grew by 20% from 1,783,146 in 2020 to 2,138,471 in 2021.”


    Rank Math Integrates IndexNow for WordPress Sites

    Popular WordPress plugin Rank Math now supports IndexNow for faster website indexing and ranking.

    Website owners and SEO experts spend time and money in creating content, product descriptions, and other changes to websites only to wait weeks or longer for changes to be seen on Bing, Google, Yandex, and other search engines.

    Integration of IndexNow into Rank Math for WordPress allows users to quickly inform search engines of changes such as new content, deleted content, and redirects. This leads to faster indexing, traffic, and conversions. Read more

    Google Page Experience Update Starts Rolling Out On Desktop

    Google’s Page Experience algorithm update for desktop search results is now rolling out “slowly,” the company confirms.

    The update is scheduled to finish rolling out by the end of March. Read more

    Social media

    Facebook Reels rolls out worldwide along with new creative tools and ads

    After publicly launching in the U.S. this past September, Facebook Reels today is becoming globally available in more than 150 countries. The feature, which is a key part of Meta’s response to the TikTok threat, allows creators to share short-form video content on Facebook or cross-post Reels from Instagram in order to reach a broader audience. Alongside today’s global rollout, Facebook is also introducing more creative tools and new ways for creators to make money from their Reels through advertising, and soon, Stars. Read more

    Why it matters: As the article points out, “While Reels first began as a way to directly combat TikTok with a feature inside the Instagram app, Meta soon realized it could mount a more powerful counteroffensive if it also brought Facebook into the mix. As a result, the company touted during its Q4 2021 earnings that Reels is now its “fastest-growing content format by far.” The company also said Reels was the biggest contributor to growth on Instagram and “growing very quickly” on Facebook, too.

    However, Reels currently monetizes at a lower rate than other content formats, like Instagram’s Feed and Stories; but Meta believes this will change over time.”

    LinkedIn debuts its own podcast network

    LinkedIn is delving deeper into the podcast world. It’s debuting a podcast network that features in-house shows from the LinkedIn News team as well as programs from industry figures.

    The shows, unsurprisingly, are geared toward a professional audience. They focus on areas including understanding tech, managing mental health and explaining the hiring process. Reid Hoffman, the co-founder and executive chairman of LinkedIn, will co-host a podcast about personal entrepreneurship called The Start-Up of You that will premiere this spring. Read more

    Why it matters: As pointed out in the article, “The podcast network ties into LinkedIn’s other products — such as newsletters, live events, videos and posts — with the idea that hosts and audiences will be able to keep conversations going outside of the shows. Listeners will be able to check out the podcasts on LinkedIn directly if they follow the hosts and subscribe to their newsletters.”

    Reddit Banned 2,625 Subreddits For Excessive Copyright Infringement in 2021

    Reddit’s latest transparency report reveals that during 2021, Reddit removed 665,898 pieces of content following copyright infringement complaints, up 104% on the previous year. Actions against “excessive” copyright infringers also increased significantly, with Reddit permanently banning 2,813 users and 2,625 subreddits. Read more

    Why it matters: As pointed out in the article, “With around 297 million pieces of content removed by Reddit in 2021, the 665,898 pieces removed on copyright grounds represent a small fraction of the overall problem. However, with user accounts and entire communities on the line, consequences can be great when errant users repeatedly and intentionally overstep the line.”



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