Johnston Outsourcing Another Online Classifieds Service: Local Video Ads

Johnston Press will use a startup run by a former Trinity Mirror (LSE: TNI) executive to serve rich media ads across its 273 news sites.

It is the latest online service Johnston, now helmed by Ashley Highfield, is outsourcing, following births, deaths and marriages notices; recruitment ads and local business reviews.

Johnston is calling up Localstars, a service that lets small local businesses create their own short web video ads using off-the-shelf library footage. It was started by Chris Bunyan, who was made redundant as Trinity Mirror’s regional digital director in August 2010.

Johnston was already using it for that purpose. But now it has integrated Localstars’ ad platform with its own ad server and booking system and is enlisting Localstars to serve other ads on a three-year contract.

This is the latest outsourcing deal from Johnston, which has chopped its own services and shipped them outside to save money…

— It has given over its family notices service to iAnnounce.

— It has given over its recruitment adsservice to rival DMGT’s Jobsite.

— It has a deal with Qype to “integrate their digital directory proposition within the group’s local websites … This will replace and significantly upgrade the existing in-house developed directory website”.

The deals have shaved Johnston costs and give it dedicated segment partners, but likely leave it taking a percentage of classified ads revenue rather than the whole thing.