28 February 2008

US Newspapers Team Up For Ads

Four newspaper groups in the US have joined forces to create a company selling online ad spaces on their local news web pages.

Based in Chicago, quadrantONE has a team of 17 aiming to encourage national firms to advertise on their local news sites.

The project is the brainchild of Gannett, the Tribune Company, Hearst Corporation and the New York Times Company.

Agents will be selling online ad space on a range of titles owned by the four - including the Des Moines Register, Boston Globe and Houston Chronicle.

Lincoln Millstein, senior vice president for digital media at Hearst Newspapers, told the New York Times: “We want to control our own destiny.”

The news groups boast that quadrantONE provides advertisers with access to some 50 million unique users, but the scheme has met with skepticism in some quarters.

Forrester Research spokesperson Shar VanBoskirk said: “I don’t think the alignment of newspaper companies will solve the issue.

“They need that alignment with a technology company that will bring them the set of skills that they need to monetise their content.”

Meanwhile, Amy Gahran reckons the news groups have overlooked some potentially important matters - such as contextual advertising in addition to display ads.

She writes on PoynterOnline: “The more quadrantONE’s back-end interface for advertisers borrows the best from Google and Yahoo ad systems, the more likely it is that both advertisers and newspapers will make more money.”

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