New RadarOnline.com Hangs Sponsor Packages on Celebrity Exclusives

  |  March 20, 2009   |  Comments

Radar magazine was shut down last year. Now an online version is investing in exclusive celebrity coverage, and linking ad packages to that coverage.

A partnership that includes the publishers of The National Enquirer has launched an online version of the defunct Radar Magazine, and one company official says the site is having no trouble finding advertisers, despite the down economy.

The print version of Radar, which focused on entertainment, fashion, politics and human interest, was closed late last year. The much more gossipy online-only version, at RadarOnline.com, is being operated by American Media and Integrity Multimedia. Integrity said in October it was making a "multi-million dollar investment" in RadarOnline.com.

The site focuses on original reporting of celebrity and entertainment news. It has made a name for itself by covering every possible angle of the Nadya Suleman ("Octo-Mom") story and is now going full-tilt after the details surrounding actress Natasha Richardson's death.

Adam Gordon, chief revenue officer for RadarOnline, said the site is relying heavily on internal story promotion and search to drive traffic and is using metatags to serve targeted ads. "No other content site sells ads this way," asserted Gordon. "We pitch it based on meta tag serving; Inserting you, the advertiser, around content the way a user navigates our site."

Because RadarOnline tries to break exclusive news stories, certain stories are being tagged as exclusives. There is no separate Exclusive Story page. Advertisers can buy fixed ads next to exclusive story promotions, said Gordon. "We have some interesting launch packages," he said. "Breaking news and packages are big and we're working on a couple of advertisers on exclusive story content. We're also doing things around social networking."

While it might not be the best economy in which to launch a new Web site, Gordon said RadarOnline is doing well. "It's a tough market, but I think there's a sweet spot for advertisers that want to sponsor a site in the sub-$200,000 price range," he said. "So those sponsorships are moving. Our first sponsors are movie- and TV studio-based. There also are some beverage clients we are talking with."

The site's sponsorship packages include one with a fixed 300x250 home page ad next to the "exclusive story" widget, meta tag-based placements including tethered display and an integrated logo in each exclusive story, and integrated content modules in the site's pop culture section, Gordon said. He said the company is also marketing a social networking sponsorship that includes a 728x90 and 160x600 wrap-around adjacent to commenting modules, integrated logo placement inside the commenting module, and an optional sweepstakes integrated in the popular culture section.

As video is a "big part" of the site, the ad sales team is working with advertisers around in-page video ads and a dedicated video channel with bugs, overlays, pre- and post-roll ads, homepage peelbacks and rich media, Gordon said.

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