We have spent a few weeks discussing online advertising and ad networks with the CEO of Adify. In this post, let’s take a look at how blogs would be able to leverage quality ad networks.
Today, the notion of ‘A-List’ bloggers depends on 2 things: (a) Traffic (b) Content. Often, you find blogs with high quality content languish lower down in the Alexa or Technorati rankings, because the authors are not necessarily investing energy in Digg, Del.icio.us, Reddit, and other traffic driver sites. Nonetheless, it is still a combination of the two that would get you to the stature of an A-List blog.
You need that stature to get an Ad Network like FM Publishing, Travel Ad Network, etc. to represent you, and by gaining that representation, you will start being able to access the high CPM advertising inventory.
Now, the reason I am so excited about technology players like Adify, is that they will hasten the move of old media players like Time Warner into the Ad Network business, which has so far been a duopoly dominated by Google Adsense and Yahoo Publishers Network, with a few smaller new entrants.
Let’s take the example of Time Warner’s new Sports Ad Network being launched with Adify and Sports Illustrated. Hundreds and thousands of high quality Sports bloggers all over the world would now be able to access (a) Audience / Traffic (b) Higher CPM Ad Inventory from large scale branding campaigns because of this network, and can focus exclusively on producing quality content, without having to “Digg” around.
Computerworld is also launching a similar ad network with Adify focused on a technology (IT) audience, which is their core competency, and numerous technology bloggers would now be able to monetize their blogs via this network, as well as expand their reach into a targeted audience.
Below is a chart calculating some numbers for Publishers / Bloggers, as well as for Ad Networks, using the example of 3 segments: Travel, Technology, and Business. Based on these numbers, my conclusion is that if a publisher has quality content, and can make it into the right Ad Network, the business model certainly supports viable monetization and sustainability.
Of course, this is all predicated upon the fact that the Ad Network is of the caliber of WSJ, Business Week, CNN Money (Business), National Geographic, Travel & Leisure (Travel), and CNet, ComputerWorld, PC Magazine, etc. (Technology). If Adify can bring these networks to bear, then this would be the path to salvation for many vertical publishers.