AmericanTowns Releases Metrics, Ad Data

When I first encountered AmericanTowns three or maybe four years ago it was a fairly helter skelter collection of local information, albeit valuable. Since the site’s redesign (and syndication of its events and other content) several months ago, business has picked up. Today it released some interesting data about new traction.

From one point of view here’s the most interesting paragraph in the release:

Diversified revenue base now exceeds $10 of revenue per thousand page views, and the Company’s most established towns, serving 3 million people, are now profitable, with all corporate costs fully allocated by region.

Many people have never heard of the site. In a way, this is another story like DiscoverOurTown, which I wrote about previously.

The company isn’t doing its own ad sales, but getting ads from a range of partners. However, considering that CPM rates appear to be falling, those ad rates are extremely impressive. Ted Buerger, Chairman of AmericanTowns, spoke to me on Friday about some of this data and reiterated his faith in the power and importance of quality content at the local level. One could call the site a local or community “portal” but with an emphasis on local events as the differentiator.

Buerger wanted to reiterate the value of local to counter the perception of some of the more high profile local flame outs and skepticism that has met the segment in the recent past.

12 Responses to “AmericanTowns Releases Metrics, Ad Data”

  1. Ted Buerger Says:

    Just to clarify for your readers, Idearc made a $3.3 million investment in AmericanTowns equity last September. Their purchase from us of the url “localsearch.com” was at a separate undisclosed price, including cash and deferred payments.

    Sorry if I wasn’t clear on this, and thanks Greg for your continued thoughtful coverage of the local space.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    I guess I was confused about that. Sorry.

  3. Thomas Says:

    Congrats to AmericanTowns. Getting $10 RPM solely via ad networks is definitely an achievement.

    Can the folks from AmericanTowns comment on which ad networks are performing best for them? This would be really useful info for us folks in local land.

  4. Ted Buerger Says:

    Thomas,

    Great question. As noted in the release and in the quote Greg pulled from it, the key is to diversify revenue streams, based on quality local content. For Ad Networks, we are working withe Context Web, Marchex Adhere System and Yahoo Publishing as well as Google AdSense. You can see our Community Resources partners on the site; collectively, they are a powerful and growing revenue generator. Self-provisioned advertising is a third opportunity that’s come on faster than we budgeted.

    If it’s helpful, we are pulling together a bunch of our Community Resources content to share as a widget with other quality local sites. If you already have good content, this will expand your site into other useful information, increasing repeat visits and revenue effortlessly, while letting you focus on the core contribution that is the reason you have your site(s) to begin with. (The widget is very similar to the Community Calendar widget we started to provide other local sites earlier this month, but will have a revenue share attached to it.)

    Hope that’s helpful.

  5. Arul Sundaram Says:

    First off – congrats to Ted and American Towns. Really impressive work by the team.

    That said – Greg, your statement about “$10 CPMs” is not at all what Ted said. He said they are getting $10 of revenue per thousand pageviews – or the RPM metric that Thomas sites. CPMs generally refer to cost per thousand impressions. So if there’s an average of 2.5 impressions per page, that $10 RPM would translate to a $4 CPM. That is still impressive for an ad network play, though.

  6. Thomas Says:

    Ted, thanks for the info. The question is: of all the ad networks you list, which have performed the best for you? Or do you recommend deploying all four? I think other folks running locally-oriented sites would find this info helpful.

  7. Adnan Says:

    Does American Town aggregate their own event listings? If so, how do they differentiate themselves from Zvents or Eventful?

  8. joe Says:

    Thanks, Arul, that $10 CPM had me scratching my head, hard, since earlier in the week I’d had another company tell me $15 CPM through ad networks.

  9. Ted Says:

    Thomas, you have to run all four ad networks to get the best results, and continuously yield optimize, including expanding the content that is driving the most interest and revenues. If you can only use one ad network, Google AdSense is still the leader, but ContextWeb will run Google for you and see which prices best. (And we need more than ad networks to reach $10 RPM.)

  10. Ted Says:

    Adnan, I’ve asked Jim Maglione, our co-President, Community, to respond to your question contrasting us to event sites.

  11. Jim Maglione Says:

    Adnan, yes, AmericanTowns aggregates community events itself, over 12 million per year from over 100,000 websites and related original sources. We do share this unique database of “hyper-local” events with superpages.com, zvents, eventful, and through our partners, to over 200 newspaper sites as well as the new yellowpages.com app for the iPhone 3g. (Why share? Distribution of our event database gives broader reach to the community groups who post events to our site. We also get content back from superpages, etc. Everybody wins.)

    Note that AmericanTowns is not just an event site, but a place to “find and share” a broad range of local information important to people’s daily lives. The second paragraph of the press release (link below) enumerates these content elements; but strategically I would summarize by saying that the wide range of quality local content we accumulate ourselves and draw from partners and the community, all organized in one useful space, is the key to our growing traffic and revenues.

    http://www.americantowns.com/about/americantowns-2008-performance-metrics-affirm-vibrancy-of-the-hyper-local-space.html

  12. AhmedF Says:

    What a wonderful story. I love successes like this – kudos.

Comments are closed.


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