About the Blog:

Guelph Politico is locally sourced and dedicated to covering the political and cultural scene in the City of Guelph. Est. 2008.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hey, actual good news for newspapers (sort of)

To anyone watching and lamenting the passing of the so-called old media, comes this hint from Media Bistro that there may be some life in those old printing presses after all.

Does combining Yahoo's technology and sales team and local papers' top-quality content equal a bulletproof online strategy? Maybe not, but $50 million in revenue ain't too shabby either.

The Yahoo Newspaper Consortium is a group of 500 newspapers that use Yahoo's ad platform, allowing the newspapers to offer larger targeted spots to advertisers. For example, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution had been selling targeted ads, but the slices it offered were "too small even for local advertisers," according to Ad Age. With the Consortium, Yahoo's sales reps can sell newspaper inventory and newspaper sales reps can sell ads on Yahoo's site, expanding the reach of both organizations. Scripps attributes a 30 percent growth ($800,000) in online ad revenues last quarter to the Yahoo platform.

SeattlePI.com is using the service, as is the Houston Chronicle. Ad Age reports that the papers are able to charge as much as a 15% premium for targeted ads.

These numbers are still a fraction of what newsrooms, in their current forms, need to stay afloat, but it's certainly promising news.

It's been a rough year for the newspaper biz, and the year's still not even close to being half over. Even locally its been especially rough with half the reporting staff of the Guelph Mercury having had to clear out their desks back in February, including the Arts and Opinion Page editors. While what Yahoo is doing isn't exactly the Rosetta Stone to solving a deepening problem for newspapers, it's at least an encouraging sign that there may be a business model out there that will help the industry recover. The original article is from the Advertising Age website.

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