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Clemens Riedl, CMO of VZnet, Germany’s largest social network (yes, larger than Facebook across all age segments) spoke at EADP today about the ups and downs of holding that market position.

The site counts 15 million unique visitors, with 80 percent active at least once per month and 40 percent active daily. Its core audience includes 5.4 million high school students, 5.9 million college students and 3.7 million college alumni. Riedl said the site generates 80 percent of its revenues from targeted display advertising and 20 percent from community or local advertising.

Most interesting is that VZnet has now entered agreements with traditional newspapers, which provide highly localized content for small communities. The company tracks the traffic that the newspaper delivers and then the newspaper sales rep can augment its overall reach.

VZnet then shares revenues from incremental traffic newspaper partners are able to drive. This offers considerable leverage for VZnet by adding highly localized and relevant content — which the newspapers are best at building — and deepening their ties to local communities.

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