Posted by Jennifer Sokolowsky on November 8, 2010 01:30 PM
The Economist has launched the Ideas People Channel, a digital ad network that aims to expose advertisers to an elite audience unbound by the usual demographics. Rather than defining targets according to age, education level or how much money they make – so they claim – the Ideas People Channel targets individuals based on their mind-set. This audience is "intellectually curious, opinionated, influential and passionate about business, globalization, innovation and culture," according to a press release. Oh, and another thing: affluent.
The network, which launches with 11 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S., includes nearly 30 selected outlets ranging from the Christian Science Monitor to Wonkette, among others, many with a political bent, including The Nation, Roll Call, Congress.org and The New Republic. Member publishers were identified by Economist readers as preferred online information sources.
The project is a move “back to common-sense media planning,” said Stephane Pere, vice president of Ideas People Channel. "It's a fallacy to believe that you can buy audience with technology. Cookies are not readers; editorial environment is key.”
While premium content ad networks are nothing new, focusing on “psychographics” rather then demographics is a different approach. It seems the Economist hopes to expand its reach by extending its cachet to the affiliated publishers. The question remains of whether advertisers will accept that the online readers of Daily Kos are as valuable as readers of economist.com. At this writing, there is exactly one advertiser signed up for the channel: IE Business School, an international business school in Madrid.
Although the network was initially launched in the U.S. market, many of the publishers are international and plans are afoot to expand the channel to Europe and Asia in 2011, with a goal of reaching 21 million globally – assuming there are that many like-minded, influential people of taste out there by then. Oh, and again, did we mention affluent?