QuadrantOne -- the online ad sales network launched last year by Gannett Co., Hearst Corp., The New York Times Co., and Tribune Co. -- today is expected to announce a partnership with The Associated Press to handle ad sales across the new service's digital platforms, including its mobile news portal, APNews.com, and various AP News apps.
QuadrantOne is owned by its four founding companies, but has actively sought affiliate partners to create a larger pool of online ad inventory for national advertisers. "QuadrantOne's understanding of the newspaper market makes them a logical partner," said Jeffrey Litvack, general manager of mobile and emerging products at AP.
AP News launched in May 2008 as the first product released by AP's Digital Cooperative, an initiative aimed at finding new digital outlets for news and information produced by AP members. Monthly traffic for AP Mobile has since exceeded 38 million page views.
QuadrantOne reaches well over 20 major markets and over a dozen smaller ones, with a network of newspaper and broadcast sites representing over 70 million unique monthly visitors. Now, QuadrantOne CEO Andy Ellenthal is setting his sights on the nascent world of mobile content. "AP Mobile is just the beginning of our expansion," Ellenthal said.
To simplify the buying process for large brand advertisers, QuadrantOne recently created a centralized pool of standardized ad units from newspapers nationwide, which can then be sold off in blocks.
The partnership comes amid solid growth in usership of online news resources. According to Nielsen Online, in January the number of monthly unique visitors to newspaper Web sites increased 7.9 million to 74.8 million, a jump of 11.9% over the same month in 2008.
Per the same measurements, 44% of all Web users visited newspaper Web sites in January, an increase of 7.3% over January 2008. The number of page views generated increased 15.4% to 3.7 billion.
quadrantOne Adds AP's Mobile Brands
The online ad consortium was formed last year by traditional media giants
NEW YORK quadrantOne, the online advertising consortium formed last year by the traditional media giants Tribune Company, Gannett, Hearst and the New York Times Co., has added the Associated Press’ mobile brands to its network.
The startup joint venture, which aggregates and sells ad inventory from 340 local news sites to advertisers, will now handle all national ad sales aggregates for the AP’s mobile brands, which include apnews.com and various mobile apps.
The AP claims its year-old mobile properties now generate as many as 38 million page views per month in total.
quadrantOne was formed in February 2008 to help local publishers establish clout in the online ad marketplace by creating scale that can attract big-name advertisers. The company sells inventory for the Web sites of publications such as the Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle and Boston Globe.
In keeping with its plans to capture more online ad revenue for its content, AP is joining QuadrantONE, the national ad-sales newspaper alliance started by the New York Times Company ( NYSE: NYT), Gannett ( NYSE: GCI), Tribune and Hearst, Mediapost reported.
The deal with quadrantONE comes as AP and its newspaper members face perilous challenges from the downward pressure on ad spending. It is also part of a markedly more aggressive campaign by the AP to try to benefit from online and mobile distribution.
Mobile expansion: The year-old quadrantOne will manage the AP’s ad sales across all of the wire service’s digital platforms, including its mobile news portal, APNews.com, and various AP News apps. The newspaper alliance is in 20 major markets and roughly a dozen smaller ones. It claims to reach over 70 million monthly uniques through its newspaper and broadcast network. Andy Ellenthal, quadrantOne’s CEO, told Mediapost that sales across mobile apps will be a particular focus, saying that the AP Mobile represents the start of its expansion in that area.
Yahoo Newspaper partnership, eventually: While quadrantONE is often thought of as a rival to the Yahoo ( NSDQ: YHOO) Newspaper Consortium, the two operate on different levels. Yahoo’s members try to bridge local and national online ad sales, while quadrantONE has been primarily focused on national. Up to now, AP had relied on a variety of ad networks to sell its national inventory. The decision to sign up with quadrantONE reflects the wire service’s concentration national ad selling, but it doesn’t plan to limit itself in any way. As the wire service gets those national goals firmed up, it will ultimately begin fashioning a more local focus with its newspaper members, AP’s Jane Seagrave told me. Seagrave, the AP’s SVP for Global Product Development, added that one of the reasons the company signed on with quadrantONE was its stepped-up mobile plans. “We work with a number of ad networks, such as JumpTap, Ad Infuse and Quattro Wireless,” she said. “We saw quadrantONE’s offerings as a good complement to what we consider to be a multidimensional approach to improving our ad sales.”