Guardian taps ex-Google marketer to head up platforms and partnerships

Anna Bateson, VP of platforms and partnerships, Guardian News & Media

Guardian News & Media (GNM) has tapped ex-Google marketer Anna Bateson to a newly created role dedicated to developing and managing the publisher’s partnerships with big platforms such as Facebook and Google, as publishers aim to ensure their relationship with the digital giants is a two-way street.

Bateson, formerly director of global consumer marketing at YouTube, will be responsible for managing the Guardian’s existing partnerships with companies such as Facebook and Google, building new global partnerships, as well as overseeing all the company’s rights and licensing activity.

She will also be responsible for all commercial aspects of the Guardian's video strategy, working in partnership with editorial, product and sales. She will report to chief executive officer David Pemsel and will sit on the Guardian News & Media Executive Committee.

Bateson held numerous roles at Google and YouTube in a seven-year stint. Prior to joining Google she led brand and viewer marketing at the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster ITV and was VP of marketing at MTV Networks. It’s a fitting resume for a publisher with a rocky future ahead, as print declines show no sign of slowing, and Facebook and Google command the lion's share of ad money.

News this year that Facebook has been inflating metrics, and both platforms have inadvertently acted as vehicles to push fake news, has made the issue of publishing on these platforms more pressing. Pulling out is unrealistic, so believes Johnston Press’ chief executive Ashley Highfield, so publishers are instead up-skilling to better understand the platforms and ensure the relationship between media owners and huge online platforms such as Facebook and Google are more evenly balanced – a trend evidenced by the Guardian’s hire of one of Google's top marketers.

Bateson said: “The importance of the strong yet challenging relationships they are building with the key players in the platform space, combined with the momentum they are building around video, make this a role I feel extremely passionate about."

David Pemsel, chief executive officer, Guardian Media Group, added: “Anna is a real talent who has a clear understanding of the unique opportunities that our relationships with the big platforms can offer and the importance, both commercially and editorially, of video as part of the overall reader experience.”

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