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Monetizing The Web In The New Year

01/05/2007 -03:00 AM

A Folio: and Readex survey conducted last year showed that print remains the dominant revenue stream for publishers. That’s in spite of the fact that print advertising is declining and both readers and advertisers are flocking to the Web. Much of the problem stems not from a lack of investment in online media, but from a lack of understanding on the part of publishers on how to monetize their Web properties.

The issue is two-fold. For one, setting print advertising rates is second nature in the publishing industry and is often done using a rate base or by using paid or controlled circulation models. But setting advertising rates online is more difficult and publishers often find themselves with the quandary of whether to set rates according to Web traffic or impressions, or according demographics or how much time users actually spend on their sites.

The second issue is a lack of space and creativity in the online ad realm. Publishers need to move beyond the banner ad and the often-ineffective interstitial and find other, more creative ways to allow advertisers to market their products and services. This could be remedied as simply as adding more video, audio, sponsorship and social networking offerings to Web sites. But publishers must also think outside the box to offer advertisers more diverse ways to reach to consumers.

VNU Business Media this week launched a job portal that will combine the resources of its entertainment, advertising and media trade publications on a single Web site. The hope, said VNU eMedia group sales director Jeff Green, is that the portal will allow VNU to take a large bite out of the $50 million employers in the aforementioned three industries spend annually to advertise jobs on major and niche job sites. Because the three different industries often look for employees with similar skill sets, VNU believes they’ll have an advantage over their competition by offering a one-stop shop for people working in advertising, entertainment and/or media jobs. And who knows, they just might.

The time has come to not only put in place a quantifiable method for setting ad rates online, but to also look for new and creative ways to make money online. Two-thousand-seven should be the year to monetize the Web.

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