Why Taboola is the Robin Hood of journalism

Taboola - Adam Singolda

“We invest over $100 million a year in technologies that we believe matter to journalism”

Taboola has had a busy few months, as the company continues to grow and diversify its brand. Recently the company has made several major announcements:
Taboola appoints Jade McDade as APAC Director for Skimlinks
Taboola announces partnership with smartphone brand realme
Taboola and Seven West Media renew its exclusive partnership

This also follows the groundbreaking announcement that Taboola had signed a 30-year agreement with global publisher, Yahoo.

Mediaweek caught up with Adam Singolda the founder and CEO of Taboola to talk about the company’s investment in journalism and what that means for the future of the company.

Singolda said that Tabool is focused on providing value for both consumers and advertisers. 

“We help consumers discover things they love but never knew existed”, said Singolda. “It’s a big market and a huge opportunity because banners have been around for 30 years. You’ll never see a banner on a search page or on Instagram, but you still see banners on the internet. We think we can drive this revolution of reinventing the way consumers engage with the open web by making it personalised and reinventing the monetisation from display to native. Something that mimics more of what we see on Instagram, Snap, and Amazon.

“For advertisers, they are doing really well with Google and Facebook, but they don’t do well enough in the open web. There’s an opportunity here to really make it easy for advertisers to be successful and to bring them on board. The type of experience they get when they buy from social search, that’s a big priority for us as well.”

“For marketers, the biggest thing that people should know is that we reach 600 million people a day globally, and that is significant. It’s more than Twitter (now X), it’s more than Snapchat, it’s about Snap and Twitter (X) combined. You don’t need a lot more help than our own technology. This is safe, this is not you on a feed, this is you on some of the most amazing publishers on Earth like the BBC and ESPN.”

Yahoo’s 30-year deal

At the start of the year, Yahoo and Taboola closed their previously announced 30-year exclusive commercial agreement.

This unique deal makes Taboola the exclusive native advertising partner for all of Yahoo’s digital properties, strengthening Taboola’s position as a leading native advertising offering for advertisers, publishers and merchants on the open web.

The partnership brings Taboola to Yahoo’s digital properties, which reach nearly 900 million monthly active users worldwide across mail, sports, finance and news.

Under the partnership, Yahoo also enhanced its unified advertiser offerings, improved consumer experiences across its owned media properties, and benefited from shared value creation as Taboola’s largest shareholder. As part of the deal, Monica Mijaleski, CFO at Yahoo, joined Taboola’s Board of Directors.

Through the combined demand of Yahoo and Taboola, publishers – including Yahoo’s owned and operated properties – will get more premium advertisers bidding on the Taboola network, increasing quality and yields automatically. The collaboration will also develop new contextual segments for advertisers so that as they find it harder to buy on social networks, they can rely on Taboola to make them successful, which will also increase yield.

“The value for Yahoo is to grow the native revenue,” said Singolda. “Taboola is the leader in the space and it can help grow that business, as well as partner on contextual data segments especially as privacy is a big deal. We can learn from each other about how we can create contextual segments, and bring both advertisers into the mix. Yahoo will basically migrate into the Taboola ecosystem, and we will have a bigger set of advertisers that can bid on Taboola and on Yahoo. 

“Not only is it about a billion dollars a year, we’re also getting advertisers and we’re going to connect contextual segments as well. It additionally gives us a big step forward towards becoming the first ever large advertisement company on the open web.

“Now, if you’re an advertiser and you want to buy from the open web, it’s complicated. You have 20 companies and each one has its own account management and none of them are big enough. The open web deserves a two, three, four or five billion dollar revenue company. Someone that is significant. We’ve said publicly, that if we were live in 2022, we would be at two and a half billion dollars in revenue. This just gets us an inch closer to becoming that must-buy platform that I believe the open web deserves and needs.”

Why separates Taboola

Singolda said that Taboola has 9000 publishers all around the world, including in Australia where companies such as News Corp, Fox Sports, and Seven West Media have signed up to the platform. Singolda also stated that the reason publishers choose Taboola versus others in Australia comes down to three things.

“The first one is they generate more revenue with Taboola, we are the biggest. When you’re the biggest you have a network effect that comes with it. You have more data, more advertisers and more reach. 

“The second thing is we invest over $100 million a year in technologies that we believe matter to journalism and the open web. We have editorial technology software for writers and editors being used by almost 3000 writers around the world that helps AV test titles and get analytics about content trends. 

“We also have Taboola News, we put your content as a publisher on Android devices. You then get new users to come to your site. So now you’re working with Taboola and we increase your readership, for free.

“With e-commerce, we have Connexity which we have acquired. If you look at time.com, they used Taboola to launch TIME stamped, which is an E-commerce section. We help them write the content, we help them drive traffic to it, and we have helped them monetise it. Now they have an e-commerce section on their site. If you’re not working with Taboola then you need to work with 10 other vendors.”

What Taboola is doing for publishers

Singolda continued to discuss the investment that Taboola puts into the news publishing industry, and his hope to be a  “Robin Hood for journalism”.

“I always say internally that Taboola should get a Nobel Prize for dedicating its life to journalism. What other company cares so much about publishers? Not Google, not Facebook, not TikTok, not Snap. We don’t want our kids to grow up in a world where journalism is not as strong as it needs to be. You don’t want your children to discover information about healthcare or make career decisions based on what they saw on TikTok, that’s the end of humanity. Taboola’s mission is critical, we can’t fail. It’s too important.

“My hope is that every marketer out there is thinking how they can support journalism. A dollar spent on journalism is a better dollar spent. As an industry, we have a responsibility to support what matters to our future children. It’s important to try to get intimate with different technology companies and publishers and try to see how we can find success. For the marketer, as well as being a part of the open web and publishers. It’s easy to buy Google, it’s easy to buy search and social. It is more complicated to buy publishers. It’s important to make that impact, that’s something that I hope will become a bigger trend over time.”

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