MAINSTREAM PRINT PUBLISHERS' WEB SITES SHOW MAJOR GAINS

Third Quarter Ad Revenues Rose 45.9% Over Last Year

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Third-quarter ad revenues for the Web sites of 26 mainstream U.S. media companies rose an average of 45.9% over the same period last year, according to a report by the Online Publishers Association.

The OPA is a trade organization whose members include the online operations of some of the country's largest newspaper and magazine publishers, from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to Conde Nash and Meredith.

A poll of 26 of those OPA member companies found that year-to-date online ad revenues increased 38.2% over 2002, according to the report.

Michael Zimbalist, executive director of the OPA, used the data to hammer home a major promotional point of the organization -- that online audiences and advertisers are heavily drawn to sites that have trusted brands and high-quality news and feature content.

Company financial facts
In an unusual move, the OPA also provided a company-by-company montage of colorful financial facts from the 26 online publishing ventures as follows:

  • WashingtonPost.com and NewsweekInteractive: National and local ad revenue jumped 143% in first nine months of 2003 over the same period in 2002.

  • Wall Street Journal Online: Saw a 40% jump in year-over-year revenue for the third quarter. Achieved paid circulation of 686,000 as of Sept. 30.

  • CondeNet: Epicurious and Concierge grew ad revenue 95% in the third quarter over 2002; year-to-date revenue is up 61%.

  • Knight Ridder Digital: Posted third-quarter revenue of $21.5 million, up 51.3% from the same period in 2002. Knight Ridder's Real Cities Network had a year-over-year increase of 32% in men 18 to 34 years old visiting its sites as of September 2003.

  • New York Times Digital: Profitability for nine consecutive quarters. Year-to-date ad revenue through third quarter rose 29% from same period a year ago.

  • Belo Interactive: Precision targeting capabilities on its 22 newspaper and broadcast Web sites are expected to account for 25% of the company's total revenue in 2004, up from 6% in 2002.

  • USAToday.com: Launched behavioral and demographic segmentation advertising products in September 2003 that helped contribute to a 28% year-over-year increase in its advertising account base through October.

  • Meredith Interactive Media: Reported sales of 1.5 million magazine subscriptions on its Web sites in the last three years.

  • Tribune Interactive: Saw third-quarter revenues of $25 million, up 24% on the strength of classified, banner and sponsorship advertising.

  • Bankrate.com: Third-quarter publishing revenue increased 30% over the same period in 2002.

  • MarktWatch.com: The site was profitable for the third quarter and total revenue for the quarter increased by 5.4%, spurred by a 30% increase in ad sales revenue.

  • SportingNews.com: Achieved more than $7 million in new revenues from premium content in the past two years, representing 60% of its total online revenues.

  • Weather.com: Third-quarter ad revenue rose 59.4% over the same period last year; year-to-date revenue jumped 48.8% over last year.

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