NEW YORK (AP) Russian newspapers are taking a page out of Facebook’s book, embracing the technology of social media for a lucrative new advertising revenue.
They are using digital ads on the platform to boost readership, and to push advertisers to a more sophisticated social media strategy, according to people familiar with the plans.
The New York Times is spending $100,000 on digital ads in Moscow in the first quarter, including $100k for a Moscow station that will run ads on Facebook Live.
The Times is also spending $150,000 to build a digital presence in the capital, a person familiar with its plans said.
The ads appear to be targeting Russian-language readers who are more likely to click on the Times’ ads than the general population, who tend to stay on Facebook, the Times said in a statement.
The Times and the Associated Press are among a handful of newspapers that have made the leap to Facebook as a revenue stream, with many of their ads showing up in other news feeds.
The New York Post is the most prominent U.S. newspaper to go digital.
Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The digital-only strategy has been embraced by Russia’s largest newspaper, Izvestia, which is using the technology to sell ads in Russia.
The paper’s president, Vadim Kolesnikov, has said the strategy has helped the newspaper reach an audience of about 1.6 million.
The Izvestiya plan has sparked concern among publishers, who say it could create a new competitor to Facebook and Twitter.
The company has said it has no plans to move its advertising business to Facebook or Twitter.
But some in Russia’s digital media industry say the new model is a win for Russia’s dominant media conglomerate, Rossiya Segodnya.
The newspaper has been a major investor in social media companies including Facebook and Instagram.