In a press release, Media General mentions that they’re testing out a new online advertising model on the Daily Progress website:
A transforming development occurring in the world of online advertising right now is the deployment of Yahoo!’s targeted advertising technology on our Web sites. This capability opens significant opportunity for our markets and advertisers. Essentially, the Yahoo! technology delivers smart ads to users based on their online behavior. Our pilot site launched in Charlottesville in March. We’ve signed new business in the auto, retail, service and real estate categories as a result. Advertisers are keenly interested in being able to target their message so precisely to consumers who are most likely to buy their product or service. All of our sites will be using this leading-edge technology by the end of the third quarter.
Yahoo only started customizing ads for viewers of their ad network sites in February, the culmination of a disastrous years-long process to duplicate Google’s success in the same market. The move means that while the Progress was once limited to displaying the same advertisements on their entire website, no matter the visitor, now somebody who has read an article about the Dogwood Festival is more likely to see an ad for the event. If this sounds obvious, you’re right—Google and DoubleClick have been providing these sorts of ads for over half a decade. This is good news for the Progress, though, because it increases the value of their online advertising at a time when they very much need to show Media General that they’re a newspaper worth keeping as a going interest.