EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 1333 - July 28, 2006     2 of 3

Mediabids: Online Auctions for Print Ads

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Mediabids has created an online auction site that brings together buyers of print advertising with publications that have ad space to sell. Jedd Gould, a former newspaper publisher, started Mediabids in 2003 after publishing 17 weekly newspapers in Connecticut and Pennsylvania called "The Voice," entirely written by the people in the community.

Mediabids works with over 3,500 newspapers and magazines. In addition to small, local publications, Mediabids publication users include many national newspapers and magazines including Rolling Stone, New York Times and Wall Street Journal, according to Lisa Cadan, the company's Manager of Marketing and Communications.

Advertisers - those looking to run ads in print publications - set up "Reverse Advertising Auctions" that show their requirements and their advertising budget. Publications can then submit bids (in the form of ad space, not money) to win an advertiser's auction. The advertiser then chooses what it considers to be the best ad space for the best value. Publishers pay Mediabids 8.5 percent for successfully completed transactions.

And while publications can list offers of ad space inventory (called "Ad-Space Offers"), they are not allowed to list the ad space in auction format - rather, they are fixed-price offers. Cadan explains, "we found that ad space in publications is not unique enough for an auction format." In other words, if demand for advertising increases, a newspaper or magazine could add pages to their publication, expanding their "inventory."

Mediabids has over 8,000 registered advertising decision-makers who buy ad space. Another interesting statistic: 25 percent of all ad space sold is done between the hours of 11 pm EST and 6 am EST. Cadan says advertisers are able to buy ad space on their own time - much like travel, shopping and banking. And the publication "Ad Space Offers," akin to fixed-priced, Buy-It-Now listings, account for 75 percent of all transactions sold on Mediabids.

About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to

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