Buying ads on ad networks is standard practice these days. In fact, according to an article from AdAge, 65% of ad buys will pass through ad networks in 2009. Even in tough times like these that’s a lot of money.
The referenced article is actually about the announcement of Time Inc.’s own ad network that will leverage the 26 properties that they have which includes some big names like People, Time (duh!) and Sports Illustrated. The network, called Time Axcess, offers advertisers access (get it?) to about 27 million unique visitors per month.
Admittedly I was a little surprised that this was even news because I would have assumed that a media giant like Time would have done this a while back. Apparently though they are a little bit behind the curve with competitors like Martha Stewart, Living Omnimedia and Conde Nast already in the game. Difference being with those groups is that they use outside partners to accomplish what Time is doing in house.
As one would suspect it is anticipated that advertisers will be receptive to this offering. Media buyers are excited.
“First off, I know who Time Inc. has,” said Michael Hayes, exec VP-managing director at Initiative Digital. “Even if I don’t know the exact placement of the inventory, when I go to talk to Dr Pepper or Ikea or Bayer, that creates comfort for them. When I tell them it’s running on an ad network and it’s blind, they get incredibly uncomfortable, and rightly so.”
Time is excited for the fact they are not paying a middleman to move their inventory now.
Kirk McDonald, president of Time Inc. Digital said, “Ad networks buy inventory today from companies like us at pennies on the dollar,” he said. “We’re going to take the same impressions that today we’re getting pennies on the dollar for, and get dollars for those.”
While it is exciting for Time to have this opportunity it also may be a case of being patient and giving actual time for it to develop. This network comes online when advertising is taking a hit of historic proportions so it may be a while before they know just how good this will be for them.