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News Corp. Experiments With Ad Sales for 'The Daily'

  |  February 16, 2011   |  Comments

Sales team courts advertisers as iPad publication ducks behind a pay wall.

Having debuted earlier this month with sponsorship from major brands including Virgin Atlanic and Land Rover, News Corp.'s iPad-based news app The Daily is now pitching advertisers and agencies for its next round of ads.

The product remains in its infancy but advertiser reception so far has been positive, according to publisher Greg Clayman.

"Within the next month users will begin to see new creative and other advertisers," Clayman told ClickZ, explaining that ads are currently being sold in multi-week sponsorship packages. "We anticipate over the long term that advertisers might update their creative frequently. They don't necessarily want users looking at same thing over and over again."

The Daily Pepsi AdFollowing an initial free trial period The Daily will introduce a $.99 subscription charge next week to help subsidize the $500,000 overhead News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch estimates the venture will run up every seven days.

"We're priced very aggressively, and priced to attract readers and audience. In terms of the revenue split between subscriptions and advertising we don't know what that will be yet and can't say for the long term," Clayman said, adding that he's seen metrics suggesting similar products run at around a 50/50 split between the two revenue sources.

As Clayman points out, The Daily - and indeed the tablet medium itself - are both in their infancy. As a result the outfit is still experimenting with the technology and its capabilities, and learning how to best serve the needs of marketers. "In terms of how this media is sold there are differences between the Web and the iPad," he said, referring to the way ads sit on virtual "pages" in a manner similar to print.

The Daily hopes to use practices more common in Web advertising, such as behavioral and location-based targeting and detailed reporting. "We intend to be transparent with our data. We'll share the impression data, unique user data and engagement information that advertisers are accustomed to seeing from the Web," said Clayman.

From a technology standpoint, those ad serving and reporting solutions, as well as the creative units themselves, are powered by Medialets, a mobile ad platform provider. Medialets is working closely with The Daily, it's advertisers, and their agencies to produce the ads.

"Medialets is a useful party… Its team will help ensure that creative concepts work for the medium," Clayman said. He emphasized that The Daily's own production staff also plays a role in the ad creation process. "We don't want to create all these ads. They should come from the agencies, that's what they do well… That being said we have a lot of people here on staff who create content and some advertisers are saying to us, 'You create this stuff every day, could you work with us to create some stuff?'"

Clayman added that in-house staff have already created executions for fellow News Corp. brand Fox.

In terms of the type of advertisers The Daily hopes to appeal to, Clayman suggested the base is broad. Beyond the brand-focused campaigns the publication has already run for advertisers in the automotive, retail and consumer packaged goods verticals, however, He also predicted increasing interest from online retailers and digital goods vendors, such as application developers, for example.

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Jack Marshall

Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011. 

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