A collection of alt weekly web sites grouped together by their long-time print ad cooperative Alternative Weekly Network (AWN) now represent a healthy 8,735 Million unique visitors monthly, compared to roughly half that number in April 2007.
Web publishers’ impressive gains over last year are not a surprise to AWN Executive Director Mark Hanzlik who reported the good news to members of the 12-year-old cooperative after collecting the figures from approximately 150 alt weekly web sites. “It’s nice to see this kind of growth in our network, whether it’s from increased visitors on alt weekly sites, or by adding additional sites to our cooperative network. Either way, we’re now making an impressive imprint in the digital world, and can now take our product to market more effectively.”
Over the past year, AWN effectively joined the online marketplace by establishing an online version of their successful print cooperative, pushed improvement of their sites’ advertising capabilities, and delivered campaigns to 38 new online advertisers.
Over the past 12 years, AWN’s accumulated gross billings have reached $163 million. The independent cooperative uses a member-empowered sales structure—fielding the industry’s single largest sales force on behalf of more than 150 publications and web sites in AWN’s growing sales roster.
The member-empowered sales structure allows ad reps from all publications to sell ads into the entire network. The unique sales structure has been a potent force in reaching advertisers in all parts of the country and driving a significant amount of regional business for member papers. “Over the years, reps from more than 50 AWN papers have been active in the sales process,” explained John Morrison, AWN Sales Director. “It’s sometimes a challenge to manage all the sales activity, but that’s not a bad problem to have, and it’s been made far easier because of the common vision and tremendous cooperation of our members.”