Viacom Eyes Local Sponsored Links for CBS Station Sites

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Viacom is intensifying its "Always On" digital media strategy with the introduction of locally targeted sponsored links to its newly relaunched CBS station Web sites.


Kanoodle, a provider of sponsored listings for content pages and search results, will serve online visitors customized links and targeted advertiser offers and products at all sites that are part of the Viacom Television Stations Digital Media Group.


"It's at the intersection of local sponsored links as well as the explosion of locally targeted content," said Mark Josephson, chief marketing officer at Kanoodle, New York. "It's fast becoming a de facto component of all content on the Web."


The CBS sites will use Kanoodle's LocalTarget product, applying a topic-matching approach to listings on city-specific Web pages.


Viacom's decision to offer sponsored links to site users generates an important revenue stream for its stations group. The group comprises 40 stations: 21 for CBS, 16 for UPN, one WB and two stations unaffiliated with major networks.


By yearend, Viacom will have relaunched sites for 17 CBS stations, followed by a similar exercise next year for UPN. The CBS sites include Pittsburgh's www.kdka.com, Dallas' www.cbs11tv.com, New York's www.wcbstv.com, Boston's www.cbs4boston.com and Chicago's www.cbs2chicago.com.


Sponsored content is increasingly common on publisher sites as they seek to attract local advertising dollars.


"It's reaching a large group of advertisers," Josephson said. "Most online publishers focus their sales force on the top 200 or so advertisers. Sponsored links ... provide a solution to reach the tens or hundreds of thousands of advertisers who may be relevant and valuable to their audiences."


Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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