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The Problem with Pay Per Play Ads

I’ve been getting over a dozen email invites now about this new Pay-per-Play ad program that promises $4,800 revenue based on my Alexa rankings. I’m sure a lot of the other bloggers have heard of this too. Let me share with you why I think this thing won’t fly.

  • An ad program promising tons of dollars based on just your Alexa rankings is shooting itself on the foot. When you promise a hard number, you better deliver or all you’ll get are disappointed publishers at the end of the month.
  • Automatic audio playback on a web page is so 1998. Reminds me of Geocities, Angelfire and Tripod. if you do that now, most visitors would immediately hit the close button of the browser (especially in office or school environments where it could draw a lot of attention).
  • Even loyal readers using RSS feeds will get the same treatment once they try to leave a comment on your blog. And unless you can find a way for RSS readers to comment via their feed readers and not visit your page, I’m sure they’ll think twice next time they attempt to leave a comment on your blog. You’d be trading some usability and appeal for revenue (of course, many publishers also do that with PPC ads too).
  • Not all visitors have sound cards in their PC or actually turn on the speakers when they read. if they did have the speakers on, they’d prolly be playing some music or listening to a podcast. I doubt advertisers will be very happy to pay for audio ads nobody can hear. It’s almost a dole out already.
  • Other than number of audio ads played, there are no other measurable way of determining the ROI of the ads (no metrics for CTR or conversions). If advertisers cannot determine how successful an ad campaign is, they’re running blind and are lavishly paying for something they don’t know is actually working.

But that’s just my opinion. A couple of probloggers called me up and asked my opinion about it so I thought it was good I’d just write about it here. Nevertheless, you can still try them out and see how your readers react to it. There’s what I call good monetization and over-monetization — it’s up to you where to draw the line.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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16 Responses

  1. I have not yet implemented this on my blog yet. For the reason that I don’t believe in their system.

  2. spiderye says:

    im really apprehensive with other monetizing systems for blogs. I only trust adsense.

    Yuga, have you heard of bux.to? is this a hoax?

  3. BrianB says:

    With tabbed browsing, it could lead to mental health problems for some people.

  4. itot54joni says:

    i don’t support this kind of ads.its annoying for some.i heard about this last december and i read there campaign. One-Armed Pianist

  5. BrianB says:

    One-armed pianist? Big deal. I can play chopin with my nose.

  6. jamie says:

    i use the internet at work and i like using firefox. however since i do not have admin rights in the computer im using, i cant install programs and that includes the flash plugin in firefox. so i will just be able to see a yellow bar above the page when the supposed ad is playing.

  7. Jaypee says:

    I’m also not sold into this. IMO, this type of ads would be more annoying than regular ads to some if not most blog readers. I don’t want to lose my readers in exchange for some pocket change. :P

    @itot54joni – I happen to know her very well. Went to the same school and church in Bacolod. She’s so busy and always touring that I’ve never gotten the chance to meet her here in California. :)

  8. marhgil says:

    I joined them, because there’s no harm in trying. If I earned enough money, then good. If my visitors are annoyed and I got tons of complaints, removing the code can be done in less than 5 minutes. Just grabbing every opportunity that comes my way. :) by the way, have you seen this? that’s how they convince advertisers to advertise. :)

  9. No matter if you dislike the idea, these ads are appropriate for many sites. As younger and younger people get on the internet, the demographics will change and these types of ads will be common some day. The younger group thrives on multimedia and sensory stimulation.

  10. John Boyd says:

    What gets me is that most people still watch an enormous amount of commercials and annoying banner ads which flash in loops don’t cause a stir yet one 5 second ad and many are so upset. “Today’s children are exposed to far more TV advertising than their parents were–up to 200 commercials a day!”
    Source: http://www.tuberose.com/Television_Programming.html

    “Did you know that an average adult saw 65 more TV commercials a week, or nine more a day, in ’05 than in ’01? In ’05, the average adult saw 484 TV advertisements every week — which amount to 69 spots every day, according to the Initiative Futures Worldwide, global analysis on ‘Seeing through the clutter’. Globally, TV clutter levels are clearly on the rise, despite the emergence of new media in the digital era.”
    Source: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1960468.cms

    Percentage of Commercials Per Show:
    2007 – 30 percent
    Smallville, Heroes and House

    1952 – 13 percent of the time was spent watching commercials (only 4 minutes out of every half hour!)

    Source: http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/commerciallength.htm

    Even those who have Tivo still watch ads which interest them. And many people still don’t and won’t have Tivo:
    “And even when people watch recorded shows later, many are not fast-forwarding through the ads. On average, Nielsen found, DVR owners watch 40 percent of commercials that they could skip over — perhaps because they like ads, don’t mind them or simply can’t be bothered.”

    Now is the time when the web publishers can get paid big like the TV ad networks: “Advertisers spent upward of $70 billion last year for their TV spots — more than in any other type of media.”

    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/16/business/16commercials.html?ex=1329282000&en=ac19fdde5f3cdef3&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss

    I know many are skeptical and resistant to these changes. But as video exploded on the web with YouTube, audio is becoming increasingly popular. There is an opportunity for another company besides Google to gain market share in the advertising sector and the publisher and affiliate to reap the benefits. Many are tired of Adwords low pay and $100 minimum payout. As many are tired of the click fraud and low results of the so-called easy to track results Pay Per Click. It’s time for a change and the time is now! Maybe all you whiners should go live in a jungle somewhere so you don’t have to be exposed to any ads. Guess what? Ads are everywhere online, off line, and in print and they always will be. If you are so worried about being exposed to a 5 second audio ad maybe you should just hide out in seclusion.

  11. Alex says:

    Yeah too good to be true for us publishers at least.

    If this works like they claimed, (buy 100% of my ad inventory) then it’ll be very easy to earn $3k/day or $90k/month from my site.

    No signs of this happening anytime soon though. Just too good to be true. lol

    And yeah, I agree, I guess audioads just aren’t as effective as the traditional text/banner ads.

  12. John Boyd says:

    Ok so let’s say you only made $1,000/ mo. Wouldn’t that still be more than Adwords is earning you? I did add a * after the statement being paid on 100% of web traffic in response to statements made herein: *Contingent upon advertiser volume available to be served.

    Also in response to the comments about the ads not being played or user not having sound card, etc and visitors “fleeing like the wind”. First of all if your at work and not on break you are not supposed to be surfing the net anyway. Secondly, in an office there is typically a radio (or radios) being played and there are much longer and much more frequent than 5 second pay per play ads. In my hometown for example KWave is the common station played in office settings. It has plenty of commercials believe me. Or they PAY for XM radio. There’s no free lunch. See quotes below from the Pay Per Play Media site FAQs:

    QUESTION: Many people have sound turned off on their computers (especially in office environments). Advertisers will have to pay for “impressions” that no one even hears. How will PPP handle this issue?

    ANSWER: We understand this can be of some concern, but on it wildest day it won’t even remotely compare to the click fraud that goes on the pay per click arena, we have this loss reflected in the cost of our product. However with us, in time we will be able to map out a very accurate percentage as to what that loss is, and will be able to adjust for it, and price it accordingly.

    QUESTION: How have these 5 second audio ads been performing for advertisers?

    ANSWER: We have consistently outperformed, radio, television and paper ads plus the fact that we spider the website just like Google does, we only deliver ads that are directly related to the contextual nature of the site.

    QUESTION: Will this offend or cause people to not come to my website due to the audio ads?

    ANSWER: We are currently running these ads on 550,000 web pages, because the ad spot is only 5 seconds, complaints have been rare.

    Source: http://p-per-play.com/details/

    The bottom line is this. You pay for your experience with one or more of the following: subscription, ads being displayed via text, banner, or audio PERIOD. If you buy a membership or subscription the ads sometimes go away. But publishers almost always create content with profit in mind. This is reality and this won’t ever change.

    I would also note that if you as the site owner have more revenue you can offer incentives and better design & content to your visitors. Look at the growth of Yuwie who offers a few cents per 1,000 visits or something as an example. And get a load of the flashing banners on their pages after you log in! I’d take a 5 second audio ad over those any day of the week! Or the growth of YouTube when they gave away ipods (millions didn’t get one by the way).

  13. John Boyd says:

    And check this out. My post is not my post after I click submit. It has now been turned into an ad by certain keywords being converted into ad links. Wow. Funny how no one makes a stir about that but their going nuts over a 5 second ad which could offer them a deal on a product they or their associate may be in the market for.

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