Media organizations need to blow up and re-engineer the ways they gather and distribute news, and the way they do business.
“In news, it’s really, really hard to make money on advertising unless you’ve got at least 10 million unique [viewers] a month,” Gingras said, adding that he specializes in product development rather than the advertising side of Google’s business. (Google News does not currently put ads on its homepage).
What about hyper-local advertising? As in, you’re reading your news site, and up pops an ad for a 2-for-1 at the local pizza place, or discounted movie tickets at your neighborhood theater, or clothing sales down the block?
Gingras agreed that in theory, news organizations could do a better job of targeting their ads to local markets.
“But even if they had the targeting signals … if you’re that local restaurant or car dealer, what’s the value proposition of having your ad in the news publication versus the 18 other ways you might try to generate customers? I’m not saying there’s no value, but it’s a tricky one.”