Are you just a node on a network?

This comment to a PaidContent.org article on Belo’s 4th quarter losses caught my attention. The report included that revenue from the TV station websites in their network was off 3.2 percent during the quarter and 5.2 percent for the whole year. That prompted the Disqus comment below:

Comment from PaidContent.org

Now I know what you might be thinking about an anonymous comment, but this is something I’m hearing rather regularly, especially from advertisers who really understand the web. The days of media companies setting high rates for display ads associated with news content are numbered. Moreover, local media companies that function as third-party ad networks will not fare well in the future, because the assumption that ads adjacent to content “work” is suicidal.

This is one of the reasons Gordon Borrell’s conference next week in New York is so important. It looks at companies that are making money beyond their brands and their brand.com websites. I also have believed for years that the flexibility for revenue growth with local media companies exists at the property level, and not by lumping all those properties together as a network. Why? Because all the tactical flexibility for revenue growth exists at the property level. Moreover, the needs of the network outweigh the needs of the individual nodes on that network, so media company divisions that function as ad networks eventually do a disservice to the company as a whole.

Thank you, redsonja420, whoever you are.

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