Dell to Sponsor CNN's 'Citizen Journalism'

User-Generated Content Will Be Vetted by CNN Editors

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- At a time when much of the digital media world's focus is on how to monetize user-generated content, CNN has signed Dell as a major sponsor of its foray into citizen journalism -- iReports and the CNN Exchange program.
CNN still holds the power of what will and will not make it on the Exchange page, ensuring Dell won't be placed next to something that's not of quality.
CNN still holds the power of what will and will not make it on the Exchange page, ensuring Dell won't be placed next to something that's not of quality.

Video, photos, stories
CNN Exchange is the news network's online destination for viewers to submit their own video, photos and stories for potential publication online and on air. The user-generated news reports -- which the network has coined iReports -- will endure the "same extensive vetting process CNN employs for all content that goes on air or online," according to a statement announcing the program.

"User-generated social content is a thing of the future," said Greg D'Alba, exec VP-chief operating officer for ad sales and marketing, CNN Ad Sales. "We just have more affiliates now."

He said the concept wasn't a difficult sell to make to Dell, given that the network still holds power of what will and will not make it on air, ensuring the marketer's ad or message won't be placed next to something that's not of quality. Dell has category exclusivity sponsorship through October and its ads will be found on the CNN Exchange main page and as 30-second pre-roll clips prior to all audience-generated video reports.

60 million video streams monthly
Mr. D'Alba said CNN gets 23 million unique visitors a month and 60 million free video streams a month, up from 30 million six months ago. He wouldn't comment on cost of the ad buy but said, "We give fair value for these opportunities -- it depends on how well it connects [Dell] to their best customer base."

"There's such a strong trend for personalization and telling stories from personalized view," he continued. "Love it or hate it, user-generated content is revolutionizing the news business. ... This is an example of where the ad opportunities are."
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