new york times self service advertisingHard to argue with a $5 CPM for advertising on a New York Times property, even if the ad run on its portfolio of hyperlocal properties. But what do the butcher, baker or candlestick maker know from CPMs?

The Times just announced on The Local, its clutch of microregional, citizen-journalism blogger sites, that it plans to make display advertising easy, self-service, and cheap. It's inviting nieghborhood dry cleaners and hardware merchants to design, post, and allocate a capped budget to ad campaigns targeted to neighborhood audiences.

At the introductory price of $5 CPM, it sounds like a bargain. It's still cheap advertising when the CPM climbs to $8 and $12 after launch, as PaidContent reports.

Any incremental ad dollars the Times can pull out of local advertisers won't save the paper from its financial woes, but they won't hurt, either. The question, really, is what else will the Times do to market this offering to local advertisers, and will the burden of those marketing efforts outweigh any revenues the product pulls in, at least for the foreseeable future?

For years, local weeklies and yellow pages attributed their revenue model to "feet on the street." Massive sales forces were dispatched up and down Main Streets to sell advertising. Selling advertising to mom-and-pops who spend more time on "white, rye, or whole wheat" than "CPM or PPC?" is potentially an equally high touch proposition (heck, there are people who work in this business who still don't know what "CPM" means). You can just bet the nice Korean lady at my local dry cleaners (the one who barely speaks English) is utterly oblivious to the intracacies of online advertising, self-service or otherwise.

The Times isn't alone in facing these challenges. Sites like Craigslist are thriving, as well as eating the newspapers' collective lunch, not just because they're free, but also because the learning curve for placing a free online classified ad Not so with display. Not even cheap display.

So the question facing the New York Times, as well as any other publisher hoping to monetize the mom 'n' pops of the world, is how will they educate their potential client base?

Rebecca Lieb

Published 23 July, 2009 by Rebecca Lieb

Rebecca Lieb oversees Econsultancy's North American operations.

Follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

160 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (2)

Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles, Tech Reporter at Econsultancy

Very interesting.

On second thought, however, I'm not so sure $5 CPM is a bargain. With the glut of display inventory, more sophisticated buyers are accessing quality audiences on the cheap (eg. far less than $5 CPMs) through ad exchanges, remnant/retargeting networks, etc. So comparatively, this doesn't look like such a good deal.

I think that's going to be especially true for small business who aren't interested in "branding". They need results (leads, sales, etc.) from their campaigns and display ads are the least likely to deliver. So I think the real question is how many small businesses the NYT will be able to convince to spend a few hundred or few thousand bucks before they realize that they've been duped.

almost 9 years ago



I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


almost 9 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.