Jeff Zucker: regulators need to investigate Google, Facebook domination in digital ad revenue

BARCELONA, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 26: President Jeff Zucker of CNN Worldwide attends a conference on ‘Creating Better Content and Media’ at the Mobile World Congress 2018 on February 26, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. Mobile World Congress 2018 is the largest exhibition for the mobile industry and runs from February 26 till March 1. (Photo by Robert Marquardt/Getty Images)

Posted Monday, February 26, 2018 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Jeff Zucker, CNN president, said federal regulators should look into the dominance of Google and Facebook in terms of digital ad revenue.

“The fact is nobody for some reason is looking at the monopolies that are Google and Facebook, and that’s where the government should be looking and helping to make sure that everyone else survives,” Zucker said at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday. “I think that’s probably the biggest issue facing the seriousness and growth of journalism in the years ahead.”

“I think we need help for the advertising world and technology world to monetize digital content,” Zucker continued. “Otherwise, good journalism will go away, and that will be bad for the United States, and that will be bad for those that are trying to tell the world about what is happening in Syria today. We need good journalism, and we need to support that.”

CNN recently cut several dozen digital employees after growing its digital unit rapidly in recent years.

eMarketer estimated that 63 percent of all digital ad revenue flows to Google or Facebook last year, up from 60 percent in 2016.

“Advertisers are increasingly demanding more granularity in targeting capabilities to reach consumers,” said Monica Peart, eMarketer’s senior director of forecasting, in a story last year. “Google and Facebook have positioned themselves at the front of this demand curve by being the ad publishers with some of the best-in-class targeting abilities in the digital ad market. With Facebook being able to provide targeting based upon consumer interests and Google capitalizing on where those consumers have been through searches, both companies ensure their lead among digital ad publishers.”


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