Media Groups Share Content in Ad Deals

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Media companies are sharing more than advertising sales as they form networks of like-minded sites to combat the growing ad-selling might of major Internet portals.

Sharing news headlines and other content is a component of many of the revenue-sharing partnerships being forged to give marketers an alternative to Google Inc. and other tech-centered advertising vendors when they want to reach an audience larger than any single site could deliver.

By letting blogs carry the headlines along with the ads, media companies can leverage the trust and reputation they have earned from their offline channels.

The cooperation also helps the traditional media organizations compete against online-only operations such as Glam Media Inc., which are also vying to draw ad money from the larger portals by building portfolios of sites around specific topics.

“We are taking the core content and extending that experience onto other sites and creating ad inventory,” said Kyoo Kim, vice president of sales with MSNBC.com, a joint venture between General Electric Co.’s NBC and Microsoft Corp.

Using technology from Seevast Corp., for instance, MSNBC.com distributes its news headlines through a “widget” ? code that the partner site simply adds to the Web page.

Visitors to an affiliate site like Families Online Magazine see a box with MSNBC content ? in this case featured videos from NBC’s “Today” show. An ad distributed by MSNBC and Seevast appears underneath.

Seevast rival Adify Corp. also has been testing content syndication in a deal with International Data Group, a publisher of technology magazines, newspapers and Web sites. On Tuesday, it plans to announce its Widget Share, which media companies can use to distribute headlines, video and other material to affiliates.

“What it gives our customer is the opportunity to be more than an ad network but a media network, driving traffic, sharing content and generating revenue,” said Joelle Kaufman, Adify’s vice president for marketing.

Yahoo Inc., meanwhile, has formed a consortium with about 600 newspapers to share ads and content. The program, which will fully launch later this year, is separate from the broader ad network that Yahoo runs, competing with the media companies’ emerging ad networks.

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