NY Regional Web Ad Program Goes After TV Revenues

By: Steve Outing

In the New York tri-state area (New Jersey, metro/suburban New York and Connecticut) are many businesses that want to advertise to the entire region. Also within the tri-state are numerous media property Web sites that cover only part of the region. As sales reps for the individual Web sites approached certain advertisers, they'd find that the companies would be more willing to buy online ad placements if they had a way to cover the region as a whole.

Thus was born NYRAP, the New York Regional Advertising Program for the Web. The program brings together the Web sites of Newsday (Long Island), the Village Voice (New York City), New Jersey Online, WCBS Radio News 88, Gannett's Westchester Newspapers (north suburban New York), and the Southern Connecticut Newspaper Group. As sales reps for these sites make their rounds, they can sell not only their own Web sites but also placements on the sites of fellow NYRAP members to create a regional buy.

Deborah Gallant, general manager of Journal Square Interactive, which operates New Jersey Online, explains that NYRAP was created because big regional advertisers wanted to cover the entire area, or parts of it, and they were reluctant to deal with multiple Web sites in order to get that coverage. For a regional auto dealers association to advertise to the entire area, for example, would require placing ads on several Web sites, dealing with multiple billing procedures, and supporting several different size ad banners.

The program is aimed at attracting regional advertisers to the Web. Other examples might include department store chains like Bloomingdales, which has stores throughout the tri-state region, sports teams, entertainment producers, or regional banks. NYRAP's first, and so far only, client is Microsoft, which purchased Web ads for a regional recruitment campaign. The NYRAP program has been operating for only two weeks, so it's too early to gauge its success.

Regional advertisers spend most of their money on broadcast, and the intent of the program is to steer some of those dollars to the online medium. Print media have had some success forming similar networks to attract regional advertisers away from relying solely on broadcast and cable television, so online is a natural extension of that trend.

The NYRAP program is non-exclusive to the partner Web sites, and the regional ad placement ability is just another tool in the salesperson's tool bag, says Gallant.

At the advice of lawyers for New Jersey Online and Newsday, the lead organizations in forming NYRAP, New York-based Real Media has been named as the third-party rate verifier for the program. The partners could not set their own rates, explains Real Media senior vice president Charles Smith, without running afoul of federal antitrust laws and potentially being accused of collusion, so Real Media sets the regional rates based on the individual sites' existing rates.

The partner Web sites sell their own ads, although Real Media also may do some selling of NYRAP Web ad placements. Real Media operates a national Web advertising network for newspaper sites, and develops Web ad management software.

Contacts: Deborah Gallant, gallant@nj.com
Charles Smith, charless@realmedia.com

Economist follows WSJ lead

British newsweekly The Economist launched its newly redesigned Web site on Friday, and instituted a subscription charge for the service. The new and improved Web edition costs $48 (US) per year for non-subscribers to the print edition; Economist print customers get the Web edition free at least through the end of the year.

The site includes all content from the weekly print edition, plus Web-exclusive content. A free area of the site for non-paying subscribers contains a handful of free articles. There's also a free archive search feature, with each downloaded article costing $1.

The Economist follows the lead of the Wall Street Journal in charging for news on the Web. The Journal charges $49 a year for non-print subscribers and $29 a year for existing print customers; it has reported surpassing 100,000 paying online subscribers. The Economist clearly considers itself in the same class, as a publication of such quality content that people will pay for it online despite the overwhelming preponderance of publications offering their content on the Web for free, supported by advertising.


Previous day's column|Next day's column | Archive of columns
This column is written by Steve Outing exclusively for Editor & Publisher Interactive three days a week. News, tips, and other communications may be sent to Mr. Outing at steve@planetarynews.com

The views expressed in the above column do not necessarily represent the views of the Editor & Publisher company


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here