Tag Archives: newspaper consortium

Yahoo Adds Valassis to Local Reseller Network

Yahoo is seeking to extend direct marketing budgets online via a new deal with DM giant Valassis, which claims 15,000 advertisers and reaches 114 million shoppers.

The new effort adds another dimension to Yahoo’s local reachout, which currently focuses on newspapers and Yellow Pages. The Valassis relationship has the potential to bring its broadcaster and telco marketing affiliates into Yahoo’s fold as well.

The new deal marks an evolution of the local strategy, which seeks to be all embracing in efforts to win a higher percentage of local budgets for online, while also focusing on specific verticals, such as fast food.

In related local Yahoo news, Paid Content reports that Yahoo has dropped some under-performers from its Newspaper Consortium. Yahoo told the newsletter that fewer than a dozen of its 800-plus newspaper members were involved.

AT&T, Yahoo Team for Behavioral Targeted Display Ads

Yahoo is extending its local sales reach for its behavioral targeting-informed display ads, enlisting AT&T Interactive’s 5000+ sales reps. They will begin selling the “APT” branded- display ads later this summer to local businesses in more than 300 categories, along with Yellowpages.com, search packages, online video and other products.

The announcement is something of a milestone for AT&T, which now moves beyond Yellow Pages advertising into display ads and other local advertising more associated with newspapers. (And AT&T joins ReachLocal and others that are selling display alongside search to SMBs).

AT&T’s move, however, has created some uncertainty among some of the 30 newspaper companies that comprise the Yahoo! Newspaper Consortium. They believed they had partnered with Yahoo! to build up the local marketplace for behavioral targeting – even though, apparently, there was no guaranteed exclusivity.

To us, the reality of the situation is that most newspapers are not selling as widely as Yellow Pages. Consequently, the direct, short-term impact is likely to be minimal. At the same time, many newspaper-oriented customers (i.e. car dealers, hospitals) are unlikely to abandon ship and take an alternative package from YP sales. The deal, however, does set the stage for possible competition in the long-term (assuming there is a long-term).

The deal also reinforces the insecurity that many newspapers feel about Yahoo’s support for the newspaper consortium since the company’s leadership was taken over by CEO Carol Bortz – something, that to date, appears to be unfounded. To us, the complaints echo similar complaints from a few months ago, when Yahoo announced that its telemarketers would target local SMBs that had been eyed by newspapers.

What is clear is that the newspapers want to continue working with Yahoo (and they’d better, because they are tied to multi-year deals with major penalties for bowing out). Newspaper execs tell us that revenue- wise, Yahoo has helped the bottom line, especially with the healthy 200 percent boosts in pricing they sometimes see for products associated with behavioral targeting.

But the revenue contributions from selling the Yahoo products aren’t critical. Carol Bartz even acknowledged, during a press call, that Yahoo may have overpromised results when the APT program was rolled out. Moreover, the Yahoo sales efforts have proven to be a distraction in some small to medium-sized newspapers that have been overwhelmed and aren’t able to sell other enhanced revenue products, such as special sections.

Analyst Ken Doctor has more from the newspaper POV on his blog

Boston Globe Signs on With Yahoo Newspaper Consortium

Yahoo has announced the addition of The Boston Globe and St. Petersburg Times to its Newspaper Consortium, which now has 37 media companies with 796 newspapers. The announcement was timed for The Newspaper Association of America’s MediaXChange meeting this week in Las Vegas, where Yahoo holds a bi-annual summit.

The consortium was initially envisioned as a “one size fits all” platform when it launched in November 2006. But newspapers had conflicting issues in terms of existing contracts, commitment etc. Consequently, many newspapers are participating on a pick n’ choose basis.

Currently, 120 newspapers participate with the Apt ad management behavioral targeting program (100 of which are “live”). There are also 300 newspapers participating in the “referral” program, in which Yahoo sends users to newspaper sites for specific content; and 600 newspapers participating with Yahoo’s HotJobs recruitment site.

Yahoo: Newspaper Consortium Cutting Into Broadcast Ad Dollars

The Yahoo Newspaper Consortium is seeing new ad dollars coming in, primarily for its behavioral targeted campaigns, which accounts for 90 percent of its business, per Yahoo VP Lem Lloyd. Lloyd oversees the program for Exec VP Hilary Schneider. (Both were featured this weekend in a glowing report in The New York Times, complete with picture).

Lloyd says that newspapers selling Yahoo solutions are seeing a “share shift. They’re taking money from broadcast and outdoor (advertising). Lots of local advertisers are opening up traditional ad spending budgets” and seeking alternatives.

Local advertisers have typically bought certain GRPs (gross rating points) on TV, or outdoor. But with sales down and costs up, “they’re rethinking that,” says Lloyd. “They’re open to a story that combines the local newspaper and Yahoo together.” The consortium offer can “match the audience reach of broadcasters, coupled with “the premium targeting that behavioral campaigns offer.” All for a significant discount.

At this point, most of Lloyd’s assessment is anecdotal and hasn’t been internally quantified. But the word on the street is highly positive – at least, on Yahoo’s street. “Advertisers would be predisposed to say it isn’t working, to get a better deal,” says Lloyd. “But they say: ‘Hey, we sold a lot more cars.’”

He sees more evidence via the high click through rates. Generally speaking, the average click through rate is .34. “But we’re seeing ‘multiples’ of that.”

At the newspaper level, of course, the tallies can definitely be quantified. Among the 50 newspapers that are actively selling the program, “more than ten newspapers have sold more than $1 million. Several sold more than $2 million.” Interestingly, Lloyd says the size of the newspaper in not necessarily an indicator as to how to well the campaign will do.

“We saw a 69,000 circulation paper get $1.8 million in one week,” says Lloyd. “Another paper with a circulation of 33,000 got $350,000. It is more about sales leadership.”

The New York Times photo of Lloyd with Exec VP Hilary Schneider

Bakersfield Californian: ‘Smaller Advertisers Clearly Our Future’

Bakersfield Californian President and CEO Richard Beene says that smaller advertisers will be receiving more and more focus by the independently owned paper – something that many newspapers say, but few really do much about.

In a note to employees discussing recent company layoffs, published by LA Observed, Beene says that the newspaper’s New Business Development team is “focused on smaller advertisers that are clearly our future. This group is scoring success after success and I only see this becoming a larger and more important part of our sales efforts.”

Beene also says that “our partnership with Yahoo is beginning to pay important dividends. We see this as a way to leverage our combined strengths to grow both revenue and market share and give us a better foothold in the digital sales arena.”