Patch Partners With Geomentum to Attract Big Brands

It’s widely known that AOL’s Patch network has been hemorrhaging money at a rapid clip — and that ad sales across its network of over 800 hyperlocal sites aren’t yet where they would need to be to ultimately make the company viable. But a new partnership with the country’s largest hyperlocal ad agency, Geomentum, could potentially turn into a major boost. The two companies announced today that they will collaborate on the development of digital campaigns to help national advertisers reach local consumers.

The announcement marks another step in Patch’s steady effort to bulk up through partnerships. Earlier this week, the company announced that it would partner with American Express Serve, a mobile wallet program enabling consumers to load local deals onto mobile devices. Earlier this year, the company also acquired Outside.in, which was previously a Patch distribution partner.

Although financial details of the arrangement were not released, Patch’s news platform clearly needs a win from this latest monetization opportunity. A recent VatorNews analysis of Patch’s finance pointed to a poor advertising model (premium prices for pedestrian advertising from local companies), over-expansion, low unique view numbers and, consequently, low employee morale. Street Fight’s Alex Salkever also recently suggested that part of the problem might be that the Patch sites don’t pay well enough to hold onto quality editors.

Geomentum will put heavy-hitter product and service names in front of local readers, helping shore up brands’ credibility with buyers while presumably gaining access to larger ad budgets. This may allow for creative that moves beyond the banal banner advertising Patch currently features.

The relationship also bridges the gap between Patch and major brand advertisers, essentially allowing the news site to take advantage of the blue-chip clientele Geomentum already has instead of spending time attracting national brands.

Related Content:
— Street Fight interview with Geomentum president Lisa Bradner
— Street Fight interview with Patch EIC Brian Farnham

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