Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Guardian News & Media expands its own digital 'Select' network with addition of video syndication network

Guardian News & Media today announced that it would launch a private syndication portal that would monetize its digital video portfolio to the Guardian Select publisher network.

The new portal is being created in partnership with Rightster, a video distributor.

The Guardian Select is one of those very good ideas that seems, at least from this side of the pond, to be very clumsily pieced together. In essence, the idea is to gather together independent websites and blogs into one network of sites for advertisers.

The two keys to success then would be that the network is a visible entity containing sites of importance to readers, and that The Guardian's digital sales team would be able to then successfully represent the entirety.

A good example of a network that works is SB Nation, a sports network owned and operated by Vox Media. Each of the sites works on its own, or in combination with others. The individual bloggers benefit from the added exposure of being part of the whole, as well as through the technology changes the parent entity can provide. SB Nation is a very top down organization, however. A recent redesign was implemented across the network, whether individual sites would want the redesign or not.

The key, however, is the audience already attracted to the individual sites or blogs. In other words, is The Guardian good at the curation process? Also, is it good at digital ad sales?

Guardian Select is currently made up of 150 sites, grouped into 15 verticals. The Guardian is claiming over 234 million unique monthly users and 287 million page views worldwide, a very healthy network. Combined with the traffic The Guardian's own sites attract, the network claims to be able to sell over 579 million page views to advertisers.