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Photo illustration: Axios Visuals

News Corp is taking aim at the digital-ad dominance of Google and Facebook with a new platform to let advertisers reach audiences across all of its online properties. The new platform, called News IQ, will pull audience data from sites like The Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Barron's and give advertisers a way to reach specific audiences around safe content.

Why it matters: News Corp is the latest publishing company to launch a data-based advertising network to win back digital ad dollars from Google and Facebook. Disney, NBC and Vox Media, and Verizon and Oath have all similar steps.

While none of these new ad networks are as big as Google or Facebook's, they are hoping to offer more brand-safe content at scale — major selling point for advertisers spooked by terrorist content and suicide videos.

News IQ will launch globally over the coming months and years, News Corp CEO Robert Thomson tells Axios exclusively. "We're not going to stop at U.S. borders."

  • The product was built in Australia, where News Corp has a significant media footprint, and then brought to the U.S. The U.K. will be next. "There isn't another publisher that reaches the global English-speaking population at scale with this quality," says Jesse Angelo, Publisher and CEO of The New York Post and Chief of Digital Advertising Solutions for News Corp.

Launch partners will include Douglas Elliman, Seabourn Cruise Line, Fox Broadcasting Company, and the Dentsu Aegis Network, and more. The News IQ team will generate specific data on advertising impressions and traffic across all of the publishing properties. Angelo says the launch partners will be advertisers interested in "cleaning up the messy digital ad system."

News IQ will have a small corporate sales team, but will be sold through the individual brands so they can better use specific reader data. Such on a platform like Realtor.com, News IQ could use data to open up many more opportunities for advertisers.

"We'll have zip-code data and we will know when someone is just about to buy a home," says Thomson. "A new home means a new cable contract, a new supermarket, a new car maybe a new breakfast cereal. It's very distinctive data."

Bottom line: News Corp's ad network will reach 140 million in the U.S. and millions of more globally, according to comScore, but competing with Google and Facebook on scale and efficiency will be tough. Facebook says it has more than two billion monthly active users, and both Facebook and Google reach over 200 million monthly active users monthly, per comScore.

Go deeper

Dominion sends cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Dominion Voting Systems on Monday sent a cease and desist letter to My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell over his spread of misinformation related to the 2020 election.

Why it matters: Trump and several of his allies have pushed false conspiracy theories about the company, leading Dominion to take legal action. It's suing pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation and $1.3 billion in damages, and a Dominion employee has sued Trump himself, OANN and Newsmax.

Off the Rails

Episode 5: The secret CIA plan

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer, Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 5: Trump vs. Gina — The president becomes increasingly rash and devises a plan to tamper with the nation's intelligence command.

In his final weeks in office, after losing the election to Joe Biden, President Donald Trump embarked on a vengeful exit strategy that included a hasty and ill-thought-out plan to jam up CIA Director Gina Haspel by firing her top deputy and replacing him with a protege of Republican Congressman Devin Nunes.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: CDC director defends agency's response to pandemic — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Empire State Building among hundreds to light up in Biden inauguration coronavirus tribute.
  3. Vaccine: Fauci: 100 million doses in 100 days is "absolutely" doable.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode again.
  5. Tech: Kids' screen time sees a big increase.