For the next five months, Google is waiving its Ad Manager ad serving fees for news publishers around the globe, which have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. Read the blog post.
Many have seen ad revenue fall as national and local advertisers pull back, and as coronavirus-related keyword blocking makes it difficult to monetize related content, compared to soft news or counterprogramming.
“With these efforts, we aim to help news organizations reduce some of the cost of managing their businesses and funding important journalism during this time,” Jason Washing, Google’s director of global partnerships for news, wrote in a Friday blog post.
More than 500 publishers of all sizes are eligible for free ad serving, and will be contacted by Google in coming days. Their fees will be waived starting in April.
Google is waiving these fees as an extension of the Google News Initiative, a program that provides support to the struggling news industry.
Besides waiving ad serving costs, the Google News Initiative set up a Journalism Emergency Relief Fund (application here) this week. Small and local news publishers can apply to receive thousands to low tens of thousands of funding for news organizations producing original journalism.
Plus, Google will give $1 million to the International Center for Journalists, VP of news Richard Gingras said. And on April 2, Google committed $6.5 million to fund fact-checking around coronavirus-related misinformation. "We believe it is important to do what we can to alleviate the financial pressures on newsrooms,” he added.