The latest additions to the lineup of publishers signing up for the UK’s industry-owned Ozone platform include Buzzfeed UK, HuffPost UK, Mumsnet and Autovia. The shared advertising platform – owned by News UK, Reach, Guardian News and Media and Telegraph Media Group – sells online display advertising and pre-roll video spots on behalf of member publishers.
What is Ozone?
- Ozone is a limited company owned by a consortium of UK news publishers. Just five years old, it sells advertising on behalf of 35 publishing groups with the objective of helping publishers offer similar scale to platforms like Facebook and Google in the UK.
- Ozone’s shareholders recently reported new funding for the joint venture following another year of ‘significant growth’. Management said the increased investment from existing shareholders is targeted at enabling ‘the business to fast-track development of its product and service offering for advertisers and tools and analytics for publishers’.
- Last year, the platform introduced new display and video formats that included Ozone Stories and Premium Only Video pre-roll. Ozone’s Biddable Management Service was also introduced. The service is designed to help small and medium-sized publishers, or the UK arms of international publishers, increase programmatic revenues.
- With around 100 staff, Ozone had more than 400 advertisers in 2022 and claimed an overall reach of 42.4 million users per month (Ipsos Iris) equating to 85% of the UK population. Revenue increased by 61%, with the network’s brand count up 48% year on year.
- Retained brands were reported to be spending 103% more on average, per campaign. These numbers beat the 7.4% Advertising Association and WARC forecast for online display advertising by more than eight times.
- The project is seen as a counter to ad-market domination by the Duopoly. Despite advertising growth last year, Press Gazette reports that publishers saw a ‘tiny slice’ of the UK’s advertising economy, estimated to be worth £30 billion a year, compared with the take of Google and Meta.
The two tech giants likely made around £10bn ad revenue in the UK last year, around ten times more online revenue than all the UK’s newspaper, magazine and online news publishers combined.
- Ozone management has said that it hopes the additional investment and the expanding roster of participating publishers will reinforce Ozone’s role in helping create a sustainable future for quality content and the UK’s digital advertising ecosystem at large. Ozone CEO Damon Reeve said:
The investment enables us to build on the exceptional performance we’ve seen in the past 12 months and focus on delivering better service, products and tools to our advertiser and publisher partners.
Ozone’s publisher network includes titles like The Independent, The Mirror, Evening Standard, The Sun, HELLO, Stylist and Time Out. Initially UK focussed, now includes 15 non-UK publishers.
Last year the company, with 100 staff, won numerous industry awards including Media Week’s Brand of the Year, The Media Leader’s Technology Company of the Year, and Digiday’s Best Publisher Platform.