Making Peace (and Money) with Local Newspapers
Why: Because they’ve turned over their hyperlocal ad sales to a local newspaper, the Village Voice
“It’s still ramping up, but I’ve noticed they’ve been selling more each week. For us, the rationale is that it gives us coverage in three verticals that we can’t easily do ourselves – real estate, restaurants and bars. That lets our sales team focus on the verticals they are good at, and sourcing national deals. As long as their performance continues, we’ll begin expanding to the other cities we both have properties in – Los Angeles will be next,” Jake Dobkin, co-founder and publisher of Gothamist, wrote in an email today.
From where we sit at Street Fight, we see a battle for the local advertiser underway — a $150 billion pot. As a result, the local advertiser is getting hit up by multiple sales reps all offering only mildly different pitches. Gothamist, whose Dobkin will emphasize the company’s “local” not hyperlocal focus, recognized the hyperlocal ad opportunity – but also the fact that one of its competitors on that front, the Village Voice, already had feet on the street. So, last fall, it leveraged a partnership to earn ad dollars it wouldn’t have captured at all.
We think there’s opportunity in this sort of arrangement for both hyperlocals and newspapers to alleviate a key pain point around ad sales – newspapers not having the hyperlocal inventory, hyperlocal publishers not having the merchant relationships or resources to develop them.
Do you think more hyperlocal sites should partner with newspapers on ad sales? Post your view in the comments.
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