Business Insider to offer sponsored content

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Jason Del Ray of Advertising Age reports that Business Insider plans to offer companies sponsored content on its website.

Del Ray writes, “Business Insider has sold sponsored posts and emails in the past, but is now doubling down on those efforts with what it calls ‘Brand Insider,’ which will allow advertisers to buy sponsored slideshows, videos, and even create their own blogs on subdomains within Business Insider that would mix branded content with relevant Business Insider editorial. (The site hasn’t closed a deal for a brand-sponsored blog yet, but Huffington Post’s collaboration with IBM is an example of what one might look like.)

“The site will continue to run traditional ads, which currently account for the majority of Business Insider’s projected $12 million of 2012 revenue (2011 revenue was $7.7 million and Mr. Blodget has said that revenue was $4.8 million in 2010.) But company President and COO Julie Hansen believes there’s a lot of untapped potential in selling content opportunities to brands.

“‘If it were half [of total revenue] in a couple years’ time, that would be great,’ she said.

“The foray into branded content is being led by Pete Spande, the former Federated Media CMO who joined Business Insider in March as its first chief revenue officer. (Mr. Spande was already quite familiar with Business Insider since Federated Media sold ads for the site until last summer.) In an interview, Mr. Spande said his sales team is focusing initially on helping advertisers simply find a new audience for compelling content they’ve already created.”

Read more here.