Google to invest $300m to support publishers and combat fake news

Google is stepping up efforts to improve relations with news publishers with a $300m commitment that includes support for subscriptions and efforts to fight fake news. The launch of the Google News Initiative comes as Google and Facebook are facing criticism for their emergence as gatekeepers for information, their dominance of the digital advertising market and their role in the proliferation of false and misleading stories online in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit vote

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Facebook plans sweeping changes to newsfeed

Facebook is planning sweeping changes to its newsfeed, as Mark Zuckerberg pledges to help users have more meaningful social interactions on the platform by prioritising posts from friends and family at the expense of those from publishers. Mr Zuckerberg said users would see less public content “like posts from businesses, brands and media”. This content would be prioritised based on whether it encouraged interactions between people, rather than “passively read”.

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Financial Times surpasses 700,000 digital subscribers and boasts highest readership in 130-year history

The Financial Times claims to have exceeded 900,000 ‘paying readers’ for the first time. The title has seen a surge in digital subscribers since April when it revealed the total stood at 650,000, up 14 per cent year on year. At the time it said Brexit and the US presidential election appeared to have particularly fuelled subscriber growth

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Advertising companies struggle to adapt to a new world

It has been a miserable year for the holding companies that own the world’s largest advertising groups, with shares in WPP, Publicis, Omnicom and Interpublic Group all down sharply over the past 12 months. Consumer groups are rethinking their marketing spending while unease about the effectiveness of digital advertising has damped investor spirits. With advertising’s Mad Men in danger of becoming sad men, what future is there for the holding companies? Their business model, which has traditionally brought together creative agencies, media buying and planning groups, is under attack on multiple fronts.

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Amazon now has a $1 billion ad business

Amazon is making good on its promise to eat advertising. In its third-quarter earnings report today, the e-commerce giant said it saw “other” revenue, which is mostly composed of ad sales (and to a much smaller extent, its credit card business), grow 58 percent year over year to $1.12 billion. That’s a slight increase from the growth rate in the prior second quarter, when it grew 53 percent year over year

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