The New York Times Company is finally using the registration information from its nytimes.com Web site to help advertisers target their messages on the site.
Last week, the Times' New York Times Electronic Media unit began a targeting program based on information about the site's1.7 million users. The Times has been gathering data since the January 1996 launch of nytimes.com. "It is efficiency delivered online," said Martin Nisenholtz, president of NYT Electronic Media.
The New York Times Co. unit built a targeting engine to pinpoint users based on gender, age, income and zip code. The technology can also control ad frequency, and the number and types of users viewing the ads. Campaigns can be tweaked according to users' actions, taking users to a more specific level of information, or abandoning them as the wrong target.
The targeting mechanism can also incorporate other data, from third-party sources or advertisers' own consumer information. Advertisers will be charged a premium of 25 percent in addition to their budget for the first targeting level, and 5 percent for each level after that. The cost per thousand that the company charges for untargeted ads on the site ranges from $20-50.
Nisenholtz expects this type of filtering to distinguish the Internet from other media, noting that some forms of targeting are already prevalent in mass media. "It's called 'dayparting,'" he said, referring to one of TV's targeting options. "Without differentiated value, advertisers have no reason to use this medium."
The Times' move comes as targeting is becoming more central to online advertising. Juno Online, the ad-supported free email service, last week also unveiled a new targeting program for advertisers.--LR