Julian Delany on News Corp Australia’s partnership with Taboola

• Taboola gets to partner with Australia’s biggest web publisher

News Corp Australia last week announced a strategic four-year partnership with Taboola for the “News Native Network powered by Taboola” which launched on Thursday 21 February.

News Digital Networks Australia managing director Julian Delany told Mediaweek:

“We have been publishing native content for many years and I would like to think we were the publisher that took native to the next layer. Native is not just about the content, but how you serve it to consumers with various vendors and platforms.”

Signing with Taboola means News Corp Australia has moved on from former partner Outbrain. “In this area of paid content recommendation a lot of people do it well. For us to be able to plug and play into our infrastructure was a big factor in going to Taboola.”

Visitors to News Corp Australia sites will no longer see a strip of content recommendations from Outbrain at the bottom of web pages. Instead, Taboola will be providing consumers with a list of content recommendations.

Some of the Taboola recommendations will be News Corp Australia organic and native content in addition to third party off platform content.

“Taboola is an innovative, data-driven technology company that can help support our business and grow audience. We’re delighted to partner with them and look forward to working with the Taboola team in the long term.”

Delany added News Corp Australia is offering increased content personalisation on the home pages of all its metros. “We are using machine learning to understand how visitors are engaging with pages they visit regularly.”

News Corp Australia briefed Taboola about what ads are acceptable which forms what Delany said was a significant blacklist covering various topics, advertisers and publishers.

As to how significant a contribution to revenue a new deal with Taboola is, Delany said: “It is a significant revenue driver. The evolution of this product will help us get a better result on click-thru of our native content.”

Delany was not able to reveal too much about what else is happening around the News Corp Australia digital network as there are some significant announcements being readied for the Come Together event in March.

He hinted there could be a change ahead for one of the News Corp food brands (not taste.com.au or delicious) that he said they were very excited about.

News.com.au has had a pretty good summer with audiences of 10m+ in January.

One of the initiatives helping the summer audiences in News Corp properties was SuperCoach Big Bash League. “It was the biggest season we have ever had on BBL as far as registrations are concerned,” Delany said. “We had the best-ever inter-company co-ordination with Fox Sports talking about the product during match coverage, which helped growth of the digital asset.”

One of the contributing factors no doubt was Shane Warne who promoted the BBL SuperCoach product plus worked on air for Fox Sports. “The NRL and AFL Super Coach products have already launched for 2019 and we will be doing cross promotion with them too.”

The Taboola partnership will see News Corp Australia implement the Taboola Feed on desktop, mobile, web and in-app across its digital network, reaching over 13 million people every month.

This includes news.com.au, metro masthead brands such as The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun and The Courier-Mail, and lifestyle brands such as kidspot.com.au, taste.com.au and vogue.com.au.

The partnership will also see News Corp Australia leverage Taboola Newsroom’s insights and A/B testing capabilities, providing editorial teams with actionable insights and data about content performance in real time. The platform also provides editors with unique insights on trending topics from Taboola’s network.

Top Photo: Neil Robinson and Julian Delany with Taboola CTO Lior Golan visiting Sydney to launch the partnership

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