AdStar.com’s ASP Business Gets a Boost with Village Voice Deal

AdStar.com said it has signed New York weekly alternative The Village Voice as a client of its private-label classified ad service.

Under the terms of the deal, AdStar.com will provide to the Voice the technology it uses in its Advertise123.com site, which allows advertisers to create, schedule and buy ads in print and online dailies across the country. Currently, the company counts about 4,000 affiliated newspapers or classified networks.

With Wednesday’s deal, AdStar’s Advertising123.com technology will allow The Village Voice‘s Web readership to place classified ads in its print and online versions via the Web.

The goal is to allow the weekly newspaper’s reach to new advertisers, and to boost ad revenue — especially important since the Voice doesn’t charge for newsstand copies.

Additionally, the Advertise123.com Web site will also contain an interface allowing its visitors and affiliates to place classified ads in the Voice. Advertise123.com has promotion and distribution relationships with several vertical Web sites, including human resources/recruiting sites HR.com and GovernmentJobs.com.

“We are excited to expand into the weeklies’ market and to sign an agreement with one of the largest, most widely read weeklies in the nation,” said Leslie Bernhard, president and chief executive officer for AdStar.com. “The Village Voice is a recognized name in the publishing world, regardless of where you are in the country, and we look forward to helping them broaden the advertising reach through Advertise123.com.”

The deal continues a move by 14-year-old AdStar into the ASP space, offering services to enable publishers to turn their Web sites into classified ad sales channels for their print and online publications. The effort comes as AdStar, which started out as an electronic classified-ad placing service, is working to reach profitability before it depletes its cash reserves.

In its most recent quarter, the company reported a loss of $0.34 per share — or $999,000 — on revenues of $777,000. It also reported that it has about $3.32 million in cash and marketable securities. Earlier this quarter, the company cut about 30 percent of its workforce recently in an effort to slim down.

At press time, shares of ADST were down 4.17 percent in slow trading, to $0.72, well off the stock’s 52-week high of $11.

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