It’s no newsflash that the newspaper industry has taken a hit in recent years. Dwindling circulation bases, declines in ad revenues and lots of competition online have made the process of being creative and trying to stay afloat a real challenge for newspapers, especially smaller local ones. Unlike larger, national publications (who have their own problems) local publications lack budget, resources and clout to be able to negotiate decent returns for their advertising space. That may be about to change with the announcement of a new partnership between Google and the Local Media Consortium.
The Local Media Consortium is a strategic partnership of local media companies representing more than 800 daily newspapers and 200 broadcast outlets across the United States. Collectively, they say that their member websites and digital assets offer 10 billion monthly ad impressions, 2 billion page views and 240 monthly unique visitors. Their mission is to realize the potential of this collective power “by pursuing new relationships with a variety of technology companies and service providers.”
They would appear to have given themselves the opportunity to do just that with their three-year partnership deal with Google, which will allow members to easily access Google’s suite of publisher tools to help them to maximize revenues including:
- DoubleClick for Publishers: Google’s ad-serving and management platform will help members power their digital ads businesses across desktop, mobile and video.
- AdSense Contextual Ads: Members will have the chance to earn additional revenue from contextually matched ads that appear on their website and in search results which will be powered by Google Custom Search.
- Local Media Consortium Advertising Exchange: The Local Media Consortium will be creating a private exchange that sells publisher inventory programmatically (automatically in layman’s language) among its membership, powered by the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
While many members may already be using the first two features, it’s the new private ad exchange that’s the real draw. Laurent Cordier, Managing Director, America’s Partnerships, News & Magazines for Google told Nieman Journalism Lab, “The exciting part about this new exchange is that it allows all of the consortium’s members to bring together their inventory in a private exchange — this is unique in the industry. The vision is that this will be not just about remnant inventory, but a way for the consortium members to monetize their full businesses.”
Patrick J. Talamantes, President and Chief Executive Officer for The McClatchy Company, a founding member of the Consortium said of the partnership, “By partnering with Google we are able to bring Google’s digital tools, technology and sales opportunities to all of our media members and our advertisers across the country. The vast size and scale of the Consortium’s collective audience makes this kind of partnership possible with one of the world’s top digital companies. We’re excited about the possibilities of this partnership.”
I’m interested in watching to see how this type of partnership can give the little guys the opportunity to leverage Google’s tools and ad exchange to create a new marketplace. This collaboration should increase opportunities for marketers, and brands to reach premium local audiences in a much more efficient way – and in a manner that should deliver more value to both the advertisers and the publishers.
I think we might see more of this collective type of approach in the future, where groups with a common interest get together to negotiate deals that they couldn’t dream of reaching individually. What about you – is this a good way for the small players to compete with the big boys? I’d love to hear your thoughts.