Village Voice to Launch Local Ad Network

Erick Schonfeld of  TechCrunch has a nice piece on Village Voice Media, owner of Backpage and many of the leading weekly newspapers, reportedly launching a local ad network that includes blogs. Here’s the juicy bit:

Village Voice Media is getting $7 to $12 CPMs for local ads and $14 CPMs for [national] geo-targeted ads. How much of that participating blogs will get, Jensen wouldn’t say. But not only can Village Voice sell inventory on a blog that writes only about Phoenix restaurants, but it can also show ads from Phoenix advertisers only to Phoenix readers on blogs with a national appeal, such as Topless Robot, which is a more general-interest tech blog.

According to Jensen, Village Voice Media is on track to bring in $20 million in online revenues this year, nearly double from 2008. Although this represents only a little more than 10 percent of the company’s total revenues, it is growing fast. Local ad revenue alone grew 140 percent last year. Content pageviews across the network are on track to top 500 million this year, versus 318 million last year. (Or, an average of 42 million pageviews a month). Total pageviews for the year are on track to hit 4 billion, with the vast majority of that coming from Backpage, its network of online classifieds that is trying to not be crushed by Craigslist . . .

This strategy makes a great deal of sense for VVM but it becomes yet another local ad network. However, as Schonfeld points out, VVM has a sales force that enables it potentially capture local ad dollars.

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