Wednesday, March 31, 2010
How's Times Skimmer Doing? One Bad Sign -- NYT Can't Seem To Find Anyone To Advertise On It.
On December 2, 2009, the NYT Media Group's chief advertising officer, Denise Warren, announced the launch of "Times Skimmer,"a new NYT application designed to mirror the experience of reading the print edition -- and to showcase a "custom advertising position" for an ad that would turn up on every page.
Just one problem. The NYT can't seem to sell the ad space to anyone.
We haven't been keeping track on a daily basis, but we've noticed on several occasions recently that the primo ad space on Times Skimmer often goes to a NYT house ad.
As most readers know, running a NYT house ad is basically like saying, we couldn't get anyone to spring for the space.
It's a nice spot, too. The news release described the advertising hole as "integrated into the design to move seamlessly with the layout and navigation." Meaning that even if you switch pages, the ad comes with you.
The NYT has stuffed the print edition with house ads lately. Full-page ads offer oddball items like Grateful Dead memorabilia -- you can buy a Grateful Dead “Skeleton & Roses” limited-edition lithograph, signed by Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley, at the NYT store right now for only $1,495! Another recent full-page ad pushed the NYT's bizarre entry into the sale of "patent models," some for more than $1,000.
But seeing an ad for the NYT's real estate section -- right there on the front page of Times Skimmer, where the NYT probably hoped to place a Prada purse or Tag Heuer watch -- suggests just how deep this recession has cut into the NYT's ad business, including online.
Frankly, it got us depressed. We want the NYT to succeed.
By the way, we're thinking the fact that the NYT can't sell a single ad for its free Times Skimmer -- meant to be a major part of the paper's online presence -- doesn't bode well for the NYT's advertising prospects once it moves the editorial content behind a paywall next year.
Posted by THE NYTPICKER at 8:19 AM