We just reached another big milestone on Printcasting with a feature that we think will redefine how publishers perceive and use the service.

Starting now, all ads placed with the Printcasting self-serve advertising tool cost $10, an amount that publishers can mark up per publication. In addition, 60% of every ad dollar is shared with publishers through their Paypal accounts, and 30% of every dollar is set aside to share with participating content providers in the future in proportion to how often their content has been used in Printcasts.

We’ve also made it easier for advertisers to place ads in each magazine by adding a “Place an Ad” button on the microsite pages. Click that, and you’ll see that your publication is automatically selected as a target (see an example here). This allows a business to advertise in publications they like by simply typing in the URL from the PDF printout (possibly in a sample copy that a publisher gives to them), click that button, pay and be done.

All of this is important for several reasons:

  • First, we can finally tell publishers and content providers that they can use Printcasting not only to meet the information needs of their communities, but also to help pay the freight for reporting, content creation, printing and distribution. Like our fellow Knight News Challenge project Spot.us, we’re helping answer the question of how to pay for local journalism.
  • It creates a very compelling new way for local businesses to place affordable ads that they know will be seen locally. This is especially helpful for so-called “long tail” advertisers, that majority of businesses in every town that have very little time or money (and these days less money than ever before), but still need to market their services to stay open. These are businesses like nail salons, home contractors, local book stores, ice cream shops and the like.
  • For newspapers, like The Bakersfield Californian and partners such as MediaNews Group, it creates a new way to reach those long-tail advertisers. One of the biggest problems newspapers are coping with right now is that most of their revenue comes from very large businesses. When two of them merge, or one ceases operation, it starts a snowball effect that these days leads to things like cost-cutting, layoffs and a corresponding loss of quality. For this reason, everyone who likes getting local news from newspapers has a vested interest in newspapers’ ability to diversify their revenue sources. Expanding their revenue to small businesses is one critical part of that.
  • And finally, it completes the feature set we laid out 18 months ago when we entered the Knight News Challenge. From this point onward, everything we do will build upon and improve the core features in response to the feedback and usage patterns of users and partners.

Many thanks to The Commerce Guys and our lead developer Ron Robinson for getting this launched. You guys rock!

Find more info about on the Printcasting blog about how revenue sharing works and, if you’re a publisher or contributor, some important things you need to do to get paid.