UK national newspapers The Sun, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, and The Times are teaming up in a bid to ward off the threat of Google and Facebook to advertising revenue. According to City A.M., the newspaper groups are working on a “feasibility study” into how they can work together to boost their ad income.
The “well-resourced” project, named Project Juno, is reportedly being chaired by advertising executive Steve Booth, who also chairs media agency MC&C. “The newspaper industry has been overly competitive within itself,” Booth told City A.M. “And it would more likely be able to face its more obvious competition if it were united in its approach.”
The Guardian Media Group has been among a number of publishers to note the growing threat of Google and Facebook to ad revenues. The company’s digital turnover turnover fell 2.3% to $107.3 million in the 12 months to April 2016, with sources blaming the internet giants.
Project Juno is not the first time UK newspaper groups have clubbed together to tackle the volatile ad market. Titles including The Guardian, Financial Times and Reuters launched progammatic advertising network Pangaea last year, but the alliance has not been a roaring success. Digiday reported in June that Pangaea had generated “negligible” revenue for stakeholders including The Guardian. However, The Guardian’s chief revenue officer Tim Gentry told Digiday the alliance was going “from strength to strength,” having recently signed up Dennis Publishing title The Week and delivering over 500 campaigns.
In April, a similar newspaper alliance was formed in the US. Nucleus Marketing Solutions represents Gannett, Hearst, McClatchy, and Tribune Publishing and is headed up by former Mashable chief revenue officer Seth Rogin.