James Wildman: Market Not Rewarding Professionally Created Content

Trinity Mirror chief revenue officer James Wildman has said that news media publishers are having to compete on price with curators and aggregators who invest nothing in generating original news content.

Mr Wildman, chairman of the News Media Association’s national commercial board, told Mediatel’s Future of Newsbrands event that to compete more effectively with companies such as Google and Facebook, a greater degree of cooperation between publishers was needed to make it easier to do business with them, and create better tools and platforms.

He said: “We are certainly not short of sales argument, we are not short of evidence in terms of effectiveness of our media but the truth is that the market isn’t rewarding context or professionally created content that publishers do excellently but we are having to compete on price with curators that don’t have costs associated with creation.”

Attended by the NMA, the seminar heard from high profile industry speakers including  Mail Brands head of commercial development Rob Lynam, News UK creative content director Tiffanie Darke, Archant chief marketing officer Will Hattam and ESI Media chief digital revenue officer Scott Deutrom.

Rob and Scott both stressed the need to believe in the value  of news media content invested in by publishers and the need to demonstrate that value to advertisers. Scott said ESI Media were still investing heavily in journalism, for example by sending reporters to the front line in Syria to cover the conflict there despite the huge costs involved.

He added: “We still think that there is a premium for that quality journalism. It’s about hammering home that the newsbrands environments are more valuable to advertisers than some other environments in the space. We have to prove the value of providing high quality journalism.”

Tiffanie Darke saw a strong future for long form content adding that it was important to remember that there are lots of different storytelling ways. “God forbid, we should all be consuming content in the Facebook way,” she said.

She said that News UK was finding success by using different content, such as long form copy in print and video, on different platforms with different models to tell the whole story.