City AM will let advertisers publish directly to its site

London business-focused newspaper City AM is launching a new native product, called City Talk, that’s designed to let advertisers publish content directly to the site, using the same content management system and tools that its own editorial staff and contributors use. Starting next month advertisers will have their own log-ins for the site a la Forbes and soon Condé Nast.

City AM’s newly appointed chief operating officer Charles Yardley is leading the changes; until very recently he was managing director of EMEA for Forbes. The move will open up an “entirely new tenancy revenue-based route” for the publisher, according to Yardley. That means advertisers wanting this option will pay a fixed monthly rate, and will need to commit for a minimum of six months upfront. “Our clients demands in the content space, their latest KPIs and objectives, will be well served by our native proposition,” he added.

The publisher features native advertising packages on its site (which relaunched a few weeks ago), including in-stream on the home page and also within article pages. Four separate packages are available currently, which cost an average of £2,000 ($2,830) per day.

But it hasn’t previously allowed advertisers to access its CMS directly, and Yardley said there is no native revenue currently. Naturally he plans to change that with the launch of City Talk, and he wants to have three brand partners on board by the end of the year.

What City AM hasn’t done is launch its own content studio to create ads for brands.  All brand partners will be responsible for the content they upload, which will be clearly labelled and will extend to mobile.

“We’re adopting this because of client demand, the changing brand journalism landscape and the desire to be among the first to market a proposition in the UK that is already gaining a lot of positive dialogue. It’s a key part of our plans as we undergo a meaningful transformation of our business in a highly competitive environment,” added Yardley.

The new product is one of many changes happening at the title, which also announced Tuesday that it’s upping its programmatic advertising sales, courtesy of a partnership with Automated Guaranteed marketplace AdEye. Last year programmatic revenues accounted for single digits in City AM’s overall digital revenue pot, but Yardley wants to also aggressively scale its programmatic revenue this year.

“This quarter we will start to market cross-platform solutions around editorial franchises that we know our audience is already engaged with,” said Yardley.

That includes commercial packages around new editorial products, like the Power 100 Women List due to launch next month, which will also extend to a live event. The print newspaper will also be guest-edited by the CEO of Virgin Money Jayne Anne Gadhia, for the day of the launch.

City AM also made headlines recently, after it became the first U.K. title to ban desktop visitors with ad blockers enabled. The title was encouraged by the initial results, which showed a number of readers switch off their ad blockers. It’s still running the ban on the relaunched version of its site.


The new site has been designed to offer a cleaner, richer experience, and easier navigation. New channels and sections have been added, along with live public page-view counters on every article.

Main image: courtesy of Wikimedia.

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