Friday, June 26, 2009

Oce, et all re newspapers: Reinventing classifieds: MinnPost launches “real-time advertising” with a new business model

Reinventing classifieds: MinnPost launches “real-time advertising”
@Nieman Journalism Lab:
Real-Time Ads could appeal to marketers that already have Twitter accounts and blogs where they’re reaching out to customers, and MinnPost is hoping that the feature will become a destination site the way the classifieds section used to be treasured by newspaper readers. To me, the concept sounds like a viable way for local news sites to finally compete with Craigslist.

. . . But it won’t be sold on a CPM basis because much of the use of it will be on advertising-only pages. So, in that respect, it’s more like classified in the old days when, you know, readers would go to a section and actually look at the ads because they were looking for it as content. Well, here, the amount of traffic we have on the site will not be the defining factor. The issue will be how many people want to go look for these ads. [...]
The point is that if real time ads were output in print it could earn more revenue for the newspaper by unlocking the value of the Print piece. As of now, the experiment is based on $100 per week for the web. If it were also output in Print, my bet is that they would get alot more users and/or $150 per week.

The really neat thing is that cost of ad sales tends to go to zero.

So we’re creating a beta test, called MinnPost Real-Time Ads, in which we will take marketers, ranging from non-profits to government agencies to companies selling things, who have RSS feeds, maybe they’ve been marketing on Twitter or through other RSS feeds, and give them a space on our site, in which they can update their own messages frequently and create a place on the site where the reader can know that they can go to get ads with a great deal of immediacy. That they’ll get the latest messages from a lot of different marketers. And we’re going to try it by giving it away free, for a while, to marketers in the community that we can see are already doing it because we’re reading their feeds. [...]

It’s all local. You know, we appeal to a local audience and we are looking for local advertisers. The national advertising business pays so little, on a CPM basis now, that its not really very promising. So this is all local. And the test will be done on a small scale, you know maybe somewhere between 8 and 16 or so advertisers. But this could be done on a very big scale. You could think it could become kind of like a new version of classified ads in which many, many players at a low price point can communicate regularly to our audience. [...]

. . . They’re calling the service Real-Time Ads, and it’s live in the left column of the front page right now.

The service aggregates tweets, blog posts, and other feeds from local business with timely messages to convey — an ice cream shop announcing the flavor of the day, for instance, or a clothing store offering a one-day coupon. Joel Kramer, the editor and CEO of MinnPost, explains more about about the project in the video above, which I recorded at the Knight Foundation’s conference last week. You can also read the explanation he posted today, which credits local news sites The Deets (in Minneapolis) and The Windy Citizen (in Chicago) with pioneering the idea.

1 comment:

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