Hearst Newspapers is entering the pay-per-article world by launching a system that allows advertisers to tie their messages to “hand-selected” stories, rather than just placing them on a specific landing page.
Hearst says the service will focus on breaking news.
Under the service, advertisers could pick key words, as well as set the type of breaking news stories with which they want their ads to appear. When an article meeting their criteria goes up in the specified section of the online publication, their ad will appear with that article.
A story from Hearst's chron.com, with a promoted headline above the regular one.
Developed by “engagement company” SolidOpinion, the system is currently testing at websites affiliated with several Hearst papers, including the San Francisco Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Connecticut Post.
The ads take the form of what SolidOpinion calls promoted headlines, a line of copy that runs immediately above a story’s headline. That promoted headline, which could also be linked to the advertiser’s website, would be a running part of the site’s editorial content, rather than existing in separate advertising space.
Stories that are not currently sponsored by an advertiser will have a line of type running above them promoting the option of running an ad.
The system would eliminate one major hurdle that faces banner ads on web pages: ad-blocking software. “We’re not banner code, we’re part of the page, so we can’t get blocked,” a promotional video from SolidOpinion says.