Impact of AdVoice at Forbes still unclear
by Chris Roush
Jason Del Ray of Advertising Age looks at AdVoice, the initiative launched by Forbes in 2010 to generate revenue from advertisers by selling them space on its website.
Del Ray writes, “In the 22 months since launch, 13 advertisers have used AdVoice; seven of them online, according to Meredith Levien, Forbes Media’s chief revenue officer. While Forbes says the product has been a nice differentiator for the sales team, it appears it’s not yet a source of big business. AdVoice posts have generated 3.3 million page views over that time, or about 150,000 a month on average. Sixty percent of that traffic has come from SAP, the business-software maker that has been an AdVoice partner since day one and whose posts have garnered a total of 2 million page views.
“The way Forbes has sold AdVoice also makes it difficult to gauge its effect on the business’ top line. Advertisers have had to ‘earn’ their way into AdVoice participation by buying ad packages of at least $1 million on an annualized basis. But Forbes is now starting to introduce an alternative for advertisers who don’t want, or can’t afford, to buy a big campaign: a licensing model, with a six-month minimum, that will cost somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 a month, according to Ms. Levien.
“‘We are still working on formulating the right way to value it,’ she said.
“The best Forbes says it can do in measuring the revenue from AdVoice is to say that ad packages including AdVoice have accounted for about 10% of the company’s overall revenue this year. Ms. Levien said she expects that number to reach at least 25% next year. Forbes is also expanding its concept into video and will unveil its first Ad Voice video partner in October.”
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