The CBS-TV owned and operated stations are making a pitch to local bloggers and hyperlocal sites to add value to their sites with various news headline and video widgets, and take a share of ad revenues.
The CBS effort to land bloggers and find a way to compensate them is part of a growing trend among traditional media sites. Several newspapers and social sites are also looking at ways of incorporating (and paying) bloggers.
Mostly, the CBS package is designed to extend CBS’ local (and vertical) reach on the Web. That is a key thing for CBS and other local sites that don’t have enough premium inventory to go around, but still tend to under-perform on the Web due to lower online rates.
The CBS deal has been put together by SyndiGO, an arm of Seevast — an ad services holding company that is a direct descendant of Kanoodle. SyndiGO already has local deals in place in various markets with AT&T, Honda dealers and Liberty Mutual Insurance. Examples of participating bloggers include Urban Spoon, The Landry Hat and David Eisenthal.
Seevast exec Jaan Janes (who I consulted for when he was with NFL.com), says the new network takes all the pain out of putting ads on blogger sites. Built on Doubleclick’s backbone, the network recruits the sites, automates the service and provides customer service. It also screens blogs and other sites for suitable content — an important consideration for TV stations.
Another important thing about SyndiGO is it takes care of all payments, and provides a much higher CPM than the networks, according to Janes. He estimates the CPMs will climb above 50 cents –far higher than small local sites would receive from national ad networks such as Advertising.com, Blue Lithium and ValueClick. These sell remnant advertising for CPMs as low as 2 cents.
In our estimation, some sites are likely to get pretty good money from this that may go beyond subsistence. The vast majority of local sites, however, receive little traffic and would get less than $100 a month.
Janes adds that Martha Stewart has gone the same home grown route for Martha’s Circle (although that was done by Adify, a competing ad service). Looking forward, he expects to be working with a wide range of vertical sites in addition to local sites. He is specifically focusing on health, financial services and travel.