Alphabet Inc’s Google has decided to waive ad serving fees for news publishers globally on Ad Manager for five months.
News publishers, especially the print media, have struggled as many advertisers pulled their marketing budgets to rein in costs because of economic uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Jason Kint, chief executive of media industry trade association Digital Content Next, said that any move to help the news publishing industry is appreciated.
“But we would be foolish to believe this changes any other well-founded concerns around Google’s dominance over the digital ad business,” Kint said.
Google Ad Manager, the service for which fees are being waived, is the most-used ad serving tool among news publishers, in part because of its low cost of pennies per every thousand ads shown to users. For smaller operations, it is free.
The larger expense for publishers is deals with Google and other technology partners that help them auction off ad slots.
The Internet search engine is still working on other ways to provide financial support to news organizations, Google said in a blog post.
In March, Facebook pledged $100 million in financing and advertising spending to support news organizations reeling from pressure due to the pandemic.