Global UM chief executive Daryl Lee — the man with a $US18 billion advertising budget — floats a novel idea that he believes could change the fundamentals of the stressed newspaper advertising model: branded content.

Lee doesn’t mince his words when describing branded-content’s growth potential for local publishers after working closely with The New York Times’s ­T Brand Studio since its inception in 2014.

“We can’t keep up with the demand in the US and in the UK. Along with the use of data and analytics, branded-content will help save journalism,” Mr Lee told Media on a visit to Sydney this month from his New York base.

“Sometimes we take talent from the publisher and create content, and sometimes we just brief them and they create the content. It will be a big revenue source for brands that are quick to get there by allowing them to pivot off genuine journalistic values.”

For traditional publishers like The Times, pouring resources into such initiatives is vital. Although charging for digital access allows newspapers to reduce their reliance on volatile advertising toward more stable circulation revenue, print advertising is falling faster than digital-ad revenue is growing.

And in the online ad market, the dominance of Facebook and Google has reached an absurd proportion.

Read the full article here