Weather sponsorships get high traffic and are easy to sell, so most large media sites invest in licensing fees for souped up weather channels and weather alerts by e-mail or text message. But what about small local sites with home page views in the 60,000 range? We got a question from two small city site and decided to look at what is available.
With a variety of products on its own site, Accuweather also provides weather maps and radar to a large number of broadcast sites so has a well-known brand. Their four partnering options are listed here.
The first one, Netweather, puts a little weather bot in the corner for free. But clicking on the bot takes visitors back to accuweather.com, so forget selling ads or keeping the traffic onsite. The next option, Accunet, clicks through to a page on your site with ads around it, but doesn't have alerts and some clicks still go away...back to Accuweather. For 10 updates and an hour, the fee is $100 a month and the service will animate the jpgs of the radar images for a $500 one time price.
Our take: Without alerts or interactive, the $100 option is not very robust and all options still have cicks that go back to Accuweather.
MyWeather.com is actually a division of Weather Central, which provides graphics for broadcast news programs. The company has some really terrific products, including interactive radar that let's the visitor zoom in and a "personal forecast" option with e-alerts. The new version also allows text alerts, and can be seen at Channel 10's in Amarillo Texas. The standard version is at KCRG.com in Cedar Rapids.
On-map ad positions include a fairly sizable position on the interactive weather map, and units on the weather page.
Phil Hansen at firstname.lastname@example.org, who handles sales and ads operations says the pricing a small site is a negotiable $250 a month. All the clicks stay on site and the package is greatly enhanced.
A great weather service for smaller local sites is Zoom Radar. The key feature of Zoom is the interactive map with incredible detail: Visitors can drill in to see a the club house at the golf course. Zoom provide a map for free, or the a hi-resolution local zoom-in radar for a $35 a month. The catch is they sell the ads.
But for small sites (less than 50K impressions on the home page) who want to sell the ads, the price is just $50 a month or $75 a month with the high-res local zoom. The ad positions are juicy too, there is a large banner at the bottom and a square in the right hand corner of the map. Zooom's CEO, Jeff Barardelli is broadcast weather forecaster in Florida. He is always easy to reach at email@example.com and can put temperature points where ever a site wants them. Here are some examples: Albany, NY, Toledo Ohio and Phoenix AZ.
Our recommendation for small sites that want the weather map to round-out their local offering and monetize it is Zoom Radar. The ad positions stand out and at $75 it should be easy to find a sponsor for a nice cash return. For larger sites that want to be the last word in weather and provide personalization and alerts, myweather.com is our choice.
Finally, for organizations with internal programming talent, a free option is to stream form NOAA.com, the free national weather map service into a custom page.
One other note for selling the weather: Some interactive ad directors tell us that some legacy sponsors for the weather are paying very little on a cpm basis, do to the very high traffic. But no graceful way to back up and reprice. So sell share of voice on these units!
The author, Alisa Cromer is publisher of a variety of online media, including LocalMediaInsider and MediaExecsTech, developed while on a fellowship with the Reynolds Journalism Institute and which has evolved into a leading marketing company for media technology start-ups. In 2017 she founded Worldstir.com, an online magazine, to showcases perspectives from around the world on new topic each month, translated from and to the top five languages in the world.
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