MediaPost: U.S. Advertising Drops 14% In July, Smallest Drop Since March
The drop in U.S. ad spending fell at its lowest rate of decline in July since the economic fallout of COVID-19 became apparent post-March, MediaPost reports. U.S. ad volume dropped 13.9% vs. July 2019, says the U.S. Ad Market Tracker, a collaboration of MediaPost and Standard Media Index. That’s opposed to a 17% decline in June, a 31% drop in May, a 35% fall in April and an 11% decline in March.
The July data is an indicator that the U.S. ad recession is reaching its lowest point, as many foresaw for the third quarter, says MediaPost. Additional data indicate that ad spending is proving more resilient in the U.S. than the drop in the overall national economy, says MediaPost. According to an exclusive MediaPost analysis, the U.S. ad industry shrank 14.4% during the first half vs. the U.S. GDP, which declined 19%.
Pew: Most Americans Believe Social Media Sites Censor Political Views
A Pew Research Center survey done in June finds that around three-quarters of U.S. adults say it is very (37%) or somewhat (36%) likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints that they find objectionable. Just 25% believe this is not likely the case. Majorities in both major parties believe censorship is likely occurring, but this belief is especially common and growing among Republicans. Nine in ten Republicans and independents who lean toward the Republican Party say it’s at least somewhat likely that social media platforms censor political viewpoints they find objectionable, up slightly from 85% in 2018, when Pew last asked this question.
Seventy-three percent of Democrats say they strongly or somewhat approve of social media companies labeling posts on their platforms from elected officials as inaccurate or misleading. Seventy-one percent of Republicans say they at least somewhat disapprove of this practice. Republicans are also far more likely than Democrats to say they have no confidence at all that social media companies would be able to determine which posts on their platforms should be labeled as inaccurate or misleading (50% vs. 11%).
Digital Content Next Writes to Apple’s Cook
Trade group Digital Content Next’s CEO Jason Kint has written a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking for disclosure of the terms of a deal between Amazon and Apple and asking if “anyone meeting the conditions” can apply to get the deal. Digital Content Next represents The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other outfits. The deal came up in a July 29 House hearing on online platforms and market power. At the hearing, Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) asked Apple CEO Tim Cook if the terms between Apple and Amazon are available to other developers. Cook said “anyone meeting the conditions” can apply for the terms.
Some background, from Digital Content Next: In 2017, Apple and Amazon made a deal where Amazon Prime Video would be available on Apple TV and Apple products would be available on Amazon. As part of the deal, Apple would lower its fee for people who subscribed to Prime Video from 30% to 15%. For existing Prime Video subscribers, Apple agreed to drop its normal 15% fee. “The cherry on top for Amazon was that they could use other payment systems outside of Apple,” says Digital Content Next. Those the details of the deal according to an email uncovered by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, says Digital Content Next. Apple and Amazon haven’t made details of the deal public.
CARES Lets McClatchy Postpone Pension Fund Contributions
The CARES Act has allowed McClatchy to postpone contributions to its pension fund until January 2021, the New York Post reported. The company also got a tax refund of $11.7 million because of CARES, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Post reported. McClatchy is operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
McClatchy has said it will give 77 percent of that refund to unsecured creditors. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. is one of the company’s top unsecured creditors and is taking over the pension plan. The pension plan is gauged to be underfunded by some $1 billion, the paper says. McClatchy is planning to wrap up its sale to hedge fund Chatham Asset Management in September.
• Westplex Media Group has bought The Mexico Ledger (Missouri) from Gannett, the twice-weekly paper reported.
• Australia’s Border Watch Newsgroup is shutting down. The Border Watch, South Eastern Times, The Pennant and the Millicent Print along with the company’s associated websites stopped production August 21. The closing was announced on the Border Watch Facebook page.
• Poynter has attempted to keep a running list of the layoffs, furloughs and closures caused by the coronavirus hit to the economy.
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