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Online Ad Targeting … for Print Magazines?

Hearst says yes, begins providing online ad targeting for readers of print magazines; plus, the Independent, True Ink, and time-based selling

Believe it or not, a big part of multiplatform strategy is your print product. After all, if you have a robust one, chances are you can make the transition to digital publishing and succeed. And, much like your web Portal, a print magazine serves as a hub for your operations. A lot can feed off of it. But Hearst is taking that notion to a new level: by providing online ad targeting for its print advertisers.

This is using every part of the buffalo, folks – we’re excited to see how it plays out for the legacy publisher.

Digiday has that news and more with recent coverage, including more digital advertising news about a metric shift. Let’s get to it!

Hearst Offering Online Ad Targeting for Print Magazines

Hearst has a new way of encouraging advertisers to go from print to digital: online ad targeting to track readers, Digiday reports.

“It’s doing so with a new campaign for Toyota’s new Prius, which marks the first time Hearst is targeting its print readers and then following them with digital ads, said Cameron Connors, who orchestrated the campaign as publisher and chief revenue officer of Hearst’s Popular Mechanics,” Lucia Moses writes.

“This is something that traditional print publishers, often bogged down by old data-collection systems, have struggled to do. Publishers are also aware that consumers might not want their personal information being used to target them with ads. Hearst’s ability to retarget was the result of its digital modernization over the past few years under its digital president Troy Young. When someone fills out a subscription form online, that data is loaded up into Hearst’s system and attributes like age, ethnicity and household income from third-party data are tacked on. Hearst can then target those readers across its online sites.”

The Independent’s Digital-Only Content Monetization

Earlier this year, The Independent went digital-only. So, how are they faring? Digiday has the lowdown.

“Before going online-only, the Independent was holding its own in terms of online traffic, with an average 3.1 million daily browsers, after the Telegraph with 4.2 million and ahead of The Sun’s 2.3 million, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations,” Jessica Davies writes.

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“Scaling the Independent’s audience domestically and internationally is a must, and by bolstering its programmatic team, the site can sell more of its overseas inventory without putting costly sales teams on the ground. It already does this in the U.S., where most of its inventory is sold programmatically. Now it will do the same in Europe and Asia. The publisher has six programmatic specialists and is hiring another three, one of which will be responsible for audience extensions.”

Niche Website True Ink’s Event Production

True Ink’s niche strategy includes some ambitious publisher events, Digiday reports.

“Rather than rely on advertising, True Ink raises money from readers in the form of memberships (they’re called “Lucky Pieces”) and events like a sailing trip to Cuba and the aforementioned pig dinner,” Moses writes.

“It’s doing ‘experiential’ branded content in the form of event sponsorships. For parties, it lined up Joseph Abboud, Koval whiskey and Crisloid, a maker of classic games like backgammon, for example. Eventually, Gray sees making money from branded products, e-commerce and other media like documentary-style shows and films inspired by True Ink’s content.”

Digital Publishers Joining Powers for Ads Based on Time Spent With Media

As clicks and views give way to time spent with media as a go-to metric, digital publishers are making sure to put themselves in a position to succeed, Digiday reports.

“The strategy is meant to combat the wider problem of viewable ads. Approximately half of online ads sold are never viewed, causing massive waste in advertiser budgets. According to analytics company Moat, only 56 percent of ads on desktop are classified as in view; this drops to 45 percent on mobile. Rather than forcing advertisers to create bigger, flashier and more interruptive ads, publishers are charging for the ad only if it caught the reader’s attention,” Lucinda Southern writes.

Do you think online ad targeting will fly with print readers and advertisers? Share your thoughts in the comments!

To read more about online ad targeting and other industry news, visit Digiday.

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