With the rising concern of Fake News and ad fraud, marketers are increasingly looking for brand safe environments to present their message.    For media planners, building a strong strategy should be about more than just considering the numbers. Quality is as important, if not more important than quantity, and aligning your brand with a premium publisher should be a strategy to consider. Why is this important?

First, let’s define what “Premium Publisher” means.  We see it used frequently in digital advertising and relate it to publisher websites with trusted content and engaged users.

  • Premium publishers are actively sought out by their viewers or readers, who tend to have a loyal, meaningful, committed relationship with them.
  • Consumers go to premium publishers because of the quality of what they have to offer—sports, news, entertainment or other popular content, or a unique perspective or voice.
  • Premium publishers understand their audience and know how to connect to it.

In contrast, non-premium publishers often utilize a strategy to push their content onto audiences rather than to draw a quality audience that actively seeks its content.

“Premium publishers are trusted and, generally, held to a much higher standard” states Kevin Whitmer, Vice President of Content at NJ Advance Media. “These brands have been built meticulously over the years – generations really. There is a commitment to quality, fairness, the public good.” He also believes for premium publishers to survive and thrive they must adapt to a changing landscape and needs of the public.  “As a result, publishers now are building large, loyal audiences on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and other social platforms.”

Spending most of her days talking to Fortune 500 brands and agencies alike about premium publishers, Randi Ungar, Vice President of Digital & Expansion at NJ Advance Media understands that, “Now, more than ever, the value of surrounding your brand around premium content is of utmost importance. In a time where “fake” news is a household phrase, the quality of the websites on which your brand appears matters.”

Ms. Ungar helps answer the question of quality over quantity with this, “There will always be places to get a cheaper rate or cast a wider net, but as a marketer, you need to ask yourself: what am I actually looking for?” Efficiency buys will continue to have their place in the media buying landscape, but for brands that are truly looking to connect with consumers, they need to do so in environments within which those consumers are already comfortable. “Premium publishers have trust and reliability on their side – and to consumers, that trustworthiness and reliability is extended to brands by osmosis” said Ms. Ungar.

A great message won’t have an impact if the readers don’t trust the source. People respond to messages connected with a site or publication they know and trust, and content trust is responsible for 84% of ad trust.1

It seems pretty clear that quality wins out – well at least most of the time for most brands and campaigns.

Big brands, such as JP Morgan Chase, are leading the trend away from random, long-tail sites with minimal visits per month.  These marketers are choosing to shift their ad and content placements to premium, curated, real publisher sites that have a true editorial voice over just running a box ad on the corner of a random webpage.2

Teads, a global video media platform conducted a study with Neuro-Insight, the world leader in neuroscience-based market research on this very same topic.  The research demonstrated that premium editorial engages viewers with highly memorable content and has a greater impact for video advertisers. Through testing editorial articles from premium publisher partners, the study confirmed that premium editorial delivers an experience with powerful memory impact.  For the rational/detailed-oriented (left) side of the brain, premium editorial was found to have a 19% greater impact on memory. For the emotional (right) side of the brain, premium editorial had an 8% greater impact on memory.  This memorable content helps make ads in premium editorial environments more memorable therefore increasing overall campaign effectiveness. 3

NJ Advance Media is in a unique position as a premium publisher, according to Mr. Whitmer.  “We are statewide. We are print. We are digital. We are social. We are a leader in our industry, which allows us to reach a wider audience.”

For a brand campaign to see optimal lift and effectiveness, placement on a premium, quality publisher site is a necessity.  It eliminates the worry for the brand and results in better performance.   As advertisers determine where to invest their marketing dollars, they need to remember that a premium publisher knows their audience like no one else and knows to how to connect with them.  As a premium publisher, NJ Advance Media offers a unique experience when it comes to reaching active and engaged consumers through our digital media platforms such as NJ.com  and lehighvalleylive.com, and our print publications including The Star-Ledger and other daily and weekly newspapers throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.  Contact us today to learn more about how you can benefit from the ‘Halo Effect’ of working with a premium publisher.

Written by: Monica Sandler, Marketing Research and Data Manager – NJ Advance Media


  1. https://newsmediaworks.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/AdTrust2018_FINAL_Published_compressed.pdf
  2. https://www.emarketer.com/Article/Why-Premium-Publishers-Prime-Position-2018/1016875
  3. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-research-from-teads-reveals-premium-editorial-content-is-more-memorable-and-engaging-than-social-feeds-300413255.html