The Ozone Project, the UK's leading ad alliance between top newsbrands and publishers, has expanded its stable with the addition of ESI Media.
With publishers dissatisfied with the rates they garner from the digital advertising ecosystem, there is a growing belief that the scale and intelligence afforded by greater cooperation will help – particularly in a post-GDPR world where first-party data is in greater demand.
ESI Media, home of the Evening Standard and The Independent, joins News UK, The Telegraph, The Guardian and Reach, as well as recent additions Time Out Media, The Stylist Group and DC Thomson, delivering a deduplicated weekly reach of 1.9m people in the UK.
Project Ozone says it delivers a ‘high attention‘ digital advertising environment with inventory from premium news brands. Before the deal, it claimed to reach‘ more than 99% of UK online adults every month. Additions like ESI increase the depth of that reach and create the opportunity for more connected impressions with newsreaders. It says 83% of Ozone‘s monthly audience will visit its sites every week (up by 1.9 million) and 48%, according to PamCo figures.
Members have the chance to share in the alliance‘s ad clientele, which most recently included British Gas, HM Government, Lidl, Boots, Amazon, Pfizer and Nationwide.
Damon Reeve, chief executive of the Ozone Project, said: “We are delighted to welcome ESI Media to the Ozone family – not only as one of the UK’s biggest publishers, but as a shining example of the quality journalism fuelling our advertiser proposition. Ozone‘s purpose is to provide brands with greater choice in reaching the UK’s online population in the most trusted, safe and attentive environments, and we look forward to collaborating with ESI Media to build an even better future for digital advertising.”
Andy Morley, chief digital revenue Officer at ESI Media, said: “We are immensely proud of our position as the UK’s largest quality newsband with The Independent and the award-winning content of the standard.co.uk. In recent years we’ve seen a huge growth in readers across both of our flagship brands. In fact, The Independent has doubled the number of readers turning to it as a source of valuable, impartial and progressive news since becoming digital-only in 2016."
Pre-lockdown, The Independent and the Evening Standard made US pushes in line with the 2020 election with the hopes of monetising a more global audience. Alongside huge growth, it blamed a ‘tightening’ of the UK ad market which the company last year blamed for a £11.5m pre-tax loss.
Morley concluded: ”As we further develop our digital channels across both the Evening Standard and The Independent, we’re excited to join The Ozone Project to make it even easier for brands to connect with our engaged audiences.”