In keeping with its plans to capture more online ad revenue for its content, AP is joining QuadrantONE, the national ad-sales newspaper alliance started by the New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), Gannett (NYSE: GCI), Tribune and Hearst, Mediapost reported.
The deal with quadrantONE comes as AP and its newspaper members face perilous challenges from the downward pressure on ad spending. It is also part of a markedly more aggressive campaign by the AP to try to benefit from online and mobile distribution.
Mobile expansion: The year-old quadrantOne will manage the AP's ad sales across all of the wire service's digital platforms, including its mobile news portal, APNews.com, and various AP News apps. The newspaper alliance is in 20 major markets and roughly a dozen smaller ones. It claims to reach over 70 million monthly uniques through its newspaper and broadcast network. Andy Ellenthal, quadrantOne's CEO, told Mediapost that sales across mobile apps will be a particular focus, saying that the AP Mobile represents the start of its expansion in that area.
*Yahoo* Newspaper partnership, eventually: While quadrantONE is often thought of as a rival to the Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Newspaper Consortium, the two operate on different levels. Yahoo's members try to bridge local and national online ad sales, while quadrantONE has been primarily focused on national. Up to now, AP had relied on a variety of ad networks to sell its national inventory. The decision to sign up with quadrantONE reflects the wire service's concentration national ad selling, but it doesn't plan to limit itself in any way. As the wire service gets those national goals firmed up, it will ultimately begin fashioning a more local focus with its newspaper members, AP's Jane Seagrave told me. Seagrave, the AP's SVP for Global Product Development, added that one of the reasons the company signed on with quadrantONE was its stepped-up mobile plans. "We work with a number of ad networks, such as JumpTap, Ad Infuse and Quattro Wireless," she said. "We saw quadrantONE's offerings as a good complement to what we consider to be a multidimensional approach to improving our ad sales."
By David Kaplan