Ad network fad hits music blogs

MP3 blog like Peter Rojas's RCRD LBL attract "tastemakers who wield considerable influence over their peers" reports Fortune. Only they don't attract very many of them. For example, Thefader.com has 93,000 monthly uniques, RCRD LBL, 125,000 and Thetripwire.com about 15,000. So what are these small sites with attractive demographics to do? Hire crafty ad sales teams to sell limited, premium inventory to sponsors desperate to reach their "boutique" audience? No!

They're doing what everyone else is doing, throwing their inventory into a big pile and asking someone else to do the work in return for a large cut of the revenues. Jon Cohen and Rob Stone, principals of New York-based Cornerstone Promotion, have created an ad network for the very purpose. We're not surprised many follow this path. It's easy and allows publishers to focus on creating content — which is probably more fun than selling ads. We would be surprised if RCRD LBL's Rojas joins up. His blogfather, Weblogs Inc. founder Jason Calacanis, is a known proponent of going with internal ad sales teams over ad networks, which he describes as "short term and very damaging." Indeed, Fortune reports Rojas is rumored to be going the smart way: releasing a major artist's latest album, sponsored by a single advertiser.