Four of Germany’s biggest publishing groups are joining forces to compete with the market power of tech platforms, such as Facebook, Google and Amazon. RTL Group, Gruner+Jahr and Media Impact, which is the joint marketing organisation of Axel Springer and Funke Mediengruppe, are pooling together their inventory to sell across titles. The media companies will be marketed together under the Ad Alliance partnership. The most recent additions to Ad Alliance will include major news titles such as Business Insider, Bild and Welt, among others. The new partnership will appeal to premium publishers looking for alternatives to counter tech platforms that can offer brand safety and contextual targeting within the digital ecosystem.
The aim of the collaboration is to entice media agency and direct advertising investment from the digital giants into Ad Alliance. The newly formed alliance will present the largest digital marketing offering in terms of quality and reach, with a combined monthly total of approximately 50 million unique users (source: AGOF daily digital facts April 2019). To put that into perspective, they will now be able to rival with Facebook, who receive 40 million monthly unique users in Germany (source: Statista). The Ad Alliance portfolio will now consist of 7 TV brands, 91 print brands and 110 digital brands. Digital inventory from Media Impact will be available for purchase both programmatically or directly, and collectively. Whilst RTL Group and Gruner+Jahr currently group together their TV and print inventory for sale. Come September 1st 2019, executives will begin negotiations of framework agreements.
Carsten Schwecke, CEO of Media Impact comments: “The successful development of Media Impact has shown us that publishing cooperation can be an essential building block for a promising and competitive marketing business. Now we are taking the next step and creating the conditions to grow even more strongly in the digital sector and to counter the increasingly international competition with force. Working together with the Ad Alliance, we are creating a highly attractive offer for advertisers in Germany.”
What does this mean for publishers?
Publishing houses forming alliances is not a new idea; UK based alliance ‘The Ozone’ was also formed for agencies looking for alternatives to the duoply. However, Ad Alliance and Media Impact will create the largest digital sales platform in Germany, making it the first of its kind. The main way that these types of alliances will affect publishers is that we can expect more digital ad spend to be funneled towards them and lured away from long tail publishers. If Ad Alliance proves to be successful, then we can probably expect to see more alliances forming in other areas where publishers hope to stand a better chance of competing with the digital giants.