PaidContent summarizes a new research report from Thomas Weisel analyst Gordon Hodge. The headline is that Time Inc Digital (the websites associated with Time Inc magazines such as People and Fortune) will generate an estimated $175 million in revenues next year.
But this is the line that caught my attention:
“even though traffic to magazine sites is only a small portion of the total traffic at Time Warner including AOL, the effective CPM rates are considerably higher, given the targeting and brand association of the magazine content, the strong national advertiser relationships in the magazine ad sales group and the overall quality of the Time Inc. brands, says the report.”
What could be more obvious, you ask? Well, it’s not obvious to everyone selling ads on the internet. While venture capital and media entrepreneurs invest heavily in next-generation ad-serving algorithms and ad-network approaches to marketing customers, we might all benefit from a close study of our print-publishing colleagues. I’m not going to defend the printed magazine format or the traditional (and restrictive) approach to intellectual property. But if relationships built on a deep understanding of customer needs and a focus on brands over demographics drives “considerably higher” rates for Time Warner, maybe the same approach will benefit those of us on the outside.