Jun 27, 2017

Conservative media gets even bigger under Trump

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Some fascinating data points I picked up while investigating how partisan media has changed under Trump:

Right-wing killing it on Facebook and online: In studies done for Axios by Newswhip, which measures social media engagement, and Chartbeat, which measures website engagement, it is conservatives — not liberals — who have seen the bigger explosion of new, high-traffic sites and pages taking off in the Trump era. While everyone obsesses about Trump on Twitter, his Facebook fan base was much larger and probably more consequential in shaping public opinion. (Roughly half of U.S. adults say they get news from Facebook, per Pew.)

Fun Fact: Drudge drives more traffic to news sites than all but five companies in the world — and MORE than Google News.

Leftwing resistance growing: Several liberal groups most people never heard of are surging on Facebook: The Other 98%, Occupy Democrats, Proud Liberals, News and Guts. They are often early indicators of growing protests and pull Democrats to the left with a mix of emotion and movement.

The advertiser conundrum: There is a growing trend of advertisers being caught in the crosshairs of partisan media forces, and that pressure is particularly strong from liberal activists. Advertisers fled Breitbart, Hannity and O'Reilly in droves when faced with left-wing pressure, and most recently, a few boycotted Megyn Kelly's Sunday night interview with Infowars leader Alex Jones. Expect this trend to intensify on both sides.

The lesson learned? "Brand safety is becoming just as, if not more important, than ROI (return on investment)," says Steve Passwaiter, VP at Kantar Media, an advertising measurement firm. "It used to be that a controversial interview was a good thing. Go for the big-name interview and take advantage of the numbers. But that's just not the case anymore."

This article originally appeared in Axios' free weekly newsletter on media trends. Sign up here.

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