4X more people trust ads on news sites than on social media now: Adam Singolda, Taboola

The Founder and CEO of Taboola says the network in India has seen an increase in traffic for topics like health insurance and bank loans

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Aug 25, 2020 9:29 AM
Adam Singolda, founder and CEO at Taboola

The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown changed a lot of things - from what people bought to what people thought and how brands capitalized on it. Adam Singolda, Founder and CEO at Taboola, talks to e4m about how people around the world have changed the way they consume news content in the light of COVID-19, brand categories that have a real opportunity to connect with consumers, as long as they do so authentically and with a purpose, and the next wave of brands that will likely emerge from the current crisis - across education, health, and technology.

Interestingly, according to Singolda, 4X more people have shown trust towards ads on news sites than social media during the current pandemic.

Edited excerpts:

Taboola Newsroom has seen a surge in readership traffic on its network. Tell us more about it.

In these unprecedented times, where people are staying in to avoid the spread of COVID-19, Taboola Newsroom has seen a surge in readership traffic on its network. The latest data relates to COVID-19, revealing shifts in how readers are consuming content during the lockdown which also impacts various brand strategies and how advertisers plan their future budget spend during and post pandemic. This enables advertisers to get a view of opportunities where they can get the maximum output for their advertising dollar.

How has the pandemic changed news consumption by people across the world?

We’ve seen a number of readership changes. The combination of empty grocery store aisles and springtime has driven many people to garden and raise livestock, increasing self-sustainability. Businesses selling the materials to support them are thriving. Home Depot’s shares are up 4.21%, and keyword searches for ‘how to snake a toilet’ and ‘home garden’ are both on the rise.

The entire home and garden category has seen a 140% increase in page views in the last month. Consumers are specifically interested in gardening and plumbing, which has seen a 245% increase. Lockdown has been an opportunity for animal shelters who have urged people to adopt while at home—and it’s working.

How should brands approach consumers in the new normal?

Volatile stocks, record unemployment rates, and predictions of our worst recession are naturally spurring companies of all sizes into cost-cutting defence, which is natural. The natural behavior in times of crises is to look inside for solutions or protection.

Recessions, while always difficult to navigate, have fostered some of the most impressive companies in history. The Great Depression brought us GE, Disney, and HP. All of them benefited from marketing while their rivals cut back. The Great Recession brought us companies that ushered us into the digital age and opened up the gig economy—Airbnb, Credit Karma, Uber, Slack, Venmo and Square. These companies were successful because they looked outside for opportunities as times changed, and came up with products and services the world needed. There were many signals that illustrated their eventual rise—but their success was fueled by a world looking for alternative work during hard times. Looking at a variety of data sources shows many categories ripe for brand innovation.

Since every crisis is also an opportunity, which brands do you think will emerge strongest once the pandemic is over?

We’ll start to see a whole new host of businesses emerge. Pet-related businesses—from the basics of food, toys and grooming, to mainstream TV channels for dogs like dogtv.com, more dedicated Netflix original shows for pets to keep them entertained, a proliferation of homemade meal services for cats and dogs like NomNom, virtual dog training courses, and tools to communicate with your pet like Hunger For Words.

For home improvement, perhaps a new marketplace of local service providers, a “Seamless” of plumbers will be born, and consumers will be a “click away” from getting someone to come and fix their plumbing. Marketplaces like Task Rabbit, Handy and Thumbtack will thrive, and new players will emerge.

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