Gannett Builds Trust with Advertisers & Identifies White Space Content Opportunities with Tubular

Gannett Builds Trust with Advertisers & Identifies White Space Content Opportunities with Tubular

“We use Tubular to get at the type of videos that we think our readers and viewers will watch and want to consume, as a one-stop shop looking across social platforms in one-consolidated dashboard.”

Russ Torres, VP of Digital Content and Strategy, USA TODAY

Gannett is a leading mass-media company that effectively reaches 43% of the U.S. online population through renowned properties including USA Today and 109 local media organization across 34 states and Guam.

Traditional publishers like Gannett have faced the challenge of moving beyond their previous strategies of mass broadcasting to delve deeper into a network of localized channels that cater to specific audience interests and granular content trends.

Navigating content opportunities, emerging trends, evolving audience preferences, and new platforms is an intricate undertaking. Strategies that once relied on a generalized understanding of public trends now demand deeper insights into micro-communities, subcategories, and platform nuances. Consequently, the expertise and caliber of insights possessed by today’s analysts have become more crucial than ever.

For traditional publishers like Gannett, there are two sides of the coin to consider:

  1. How to create and disseminate content that nurtures their audience
  2. How to attract and cultivate relationships with advertisers

To shed light on Gannett’s distinctive customer story, we will explore how Tubular insights have empowered the publisher to overcome challenges and meet business objectives on both fronts.



First, let’s understand why video is so important to Gannett’s advertisers.

“Video gives us an opportunity. It’s a medium that holds [viewers] on the page and keeps them more engaged longer than a traditional article. That boosts our numbers. It’s better time spent, better engagement, likely VCR, and hopefully even CTR. Those engagement numbers are advertiser-friendly. Video makes more monetization.”

Ilana Leven, Director of National Ad Sales in the West + Midwest, Gannett

What is the primary challenge that publishers like Gannett encounter when it comes to establishing relationships with advertisers? One might assume that for a trusted household brand like USA Today, this would be a straightforward deal. However, the reality is that today’s advertisers want guaranteed views. The Gannett team constantly receives this demand, but guaranteeing views is virtually impossible due to the uncertainty and unpredictability of social platforms.


While advertisers can’t guarantee viewership or engagement in advance, they do have the opportunity to leverage real-time insights from Tubular. These insights enable them to understand why a sponsored piece of content isn’t performing as expected and quickly make adjustments to direct viewers and maximize value for advertisers.  

With Tubular’s capabilities, Gannett can ensure that advertisers’ money is effectively utilized and that their goals are reached.


When Gannett acquired a sponsor for their World Series coverage, they faced an initial setback when the first two pieces of content did not generate the views or engagement they anticipated. It’s understandable that the type of content that resonated in the past for this event doesn’t necessarily work today. However, Gannet’s insight team swiftly leveraged Tubular insights to identify the reasons behind decline in viewership and offered suggestions to enhance the sponsored content. This proactive approach played a crucial role in boosting performance and satisfying their sponsor.

While advertisers will never have access to guaranteed views, partnering with trusted publishers like Gannett, who have access to real-time insights, is the next best option. This enables publishers to quickly pivot strategies and improve content based on up-to-date insights.

Today, Gannett has strengthened their client development, as returning sponsors place their trust in Gannett’s network to utilize real-time insights and effectively ensure sponsors get their money’s worth.

Content Creation


Gannett needed to maintain leadership in a new distributed digital video age by producing engaging video content. This posed several key challenges

  • Determining the types of videos to produce and selecting the most suitable platforms 
  • Transforming a centralized television strategy into a network of localized channels that cater to diverse audiences and platform variations
  • Competing with other publishers who are rapidly expanding their presence across social subcategories

Needless to say, today’s content strategists are under immense pressure to navigate these challenges successfully.  Keeping pace with the dynamic social video landscape is nearly impossible without comprehensive insights that provide access to emerging trends and evolving audience preferences.


Gannett used Tubular audience data to evaluate white space opportunities that drove new franchises under their umbrella.

“Tubular is helping us identify white space and understand who the leaders are in particular categories. Those are ways that we get at the type of videos our viewers will watch and want to consume— and then we think we have an opportunity.”

– Russ Torres, VP of Digital Video Content and Strategy

Gannett leverages insights to understand optimal content types for different platforms. For instance, what works on YouTube doesn’t always work on TikTok or Instagram. Understanding that copy-and-paste is not a content strategy, their content team uses insights to strategically tailor their content to new platforms.


Gannett’s insights and content team learned what was working in the news space, adapted to content trends, and implemented specific strategies for each platform, all in one place.

Gannett leverages insights to identify what subcategories present unique white space opportunities to grow audience reach. One huge win has been the company’s Humankind franchise. Using Tubular insights, they understood that the channel’s most successful subcategories included military, animal, and kids content. By identifying these granular audience preferences, they were able to launch successful offspring channels under the Humankind umbrella, including Militarykind, Animalkind, and Kidskind.

The evolution of traditional publishers like Gannett necessitates a shift from mass broadcasting to social channels that cater to audience interests and emerging content trends. Navigating the complex social landscape requires deeper insights into micro-communities, subcategories, and platform nuances.

Gannett’s focus on nurturing their audience and cultivating relationships with advertisers highlights the dual objectives they face. By harnessing Tubular insights, Gannett empowers themselves to overcome challenges, achieve business objectives, and drive success in the dynamic world of social media.



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