The real deal behind Multiply and ABS-CBN
The sphere has been abuzz in the last couple of days about this supposed ad deal between Multiply and ABS-CBN Interactive. But what’s is this partnership really all about? Let drill down a little about this deal.
There have been several big-time ad deals between social networking sites and advertising giants before. Google had an ad deal with MySpace early on in the tune of $900 Million, spanning between 2006 to 2010. Google struck a deal with Friendster later on for a yet undisclosed amount. Then, we all know why Microsoft bought $240 Million of Facebook — that is to secure a long term ad deal for MS adCenter.
Indeed, Multiply is also huge in the Philippines. According to Alexa, it’s the 5th most visited site in the Philippines, contributing about 35.7% of its total traffic. The Philippine intarwebs is still dominated by Friendster, Yahoo, YouTube and Google (in that descending order). However, Multiply’s 35.7% local usage is still close to Friendster’s 40.0% while YouTube only has 2.4%. Btw, we’re still talking Alexa figures here.
So what’s the deal all about? Well, if you look at the press release once again, the partnership does not mention any amount about the ad deal. So unlike the other ad deals mentioned above, ABS-CBN did not have to shell out any money. In fact, what ABS-CBN Interactive will do is to add Multiply to its sales portfolio that it presents to blue-chip advertisers here in the Philippines — San Miguel, PLDT, Smart, Globe, Ayala, etc.
In essence, since Multiply does not have an office here in the Philippines, they got a nice deal from ABS-CBN which will be doing all the ad selling for them. Then, they split whatever local ads they’d hopefully sell. That’s it. This ad representation is not new here. For about a year now, PinoyExchange had the same ad deal with Friendster. Look at Pex’s ad page for Friendster here. I reckon it’s the same revenue sharing scheme.
It is only logical for huge sites with huge followings in the Philippines to look for local advertising. And since both Friendster and Multiply have massive followings in the Philippines, they should have their own local sales here too right? So, they did the second best thing — get someone to do the ad selling for them. It’s more like an internet real estate broker to me.
So why Multiply? Well, if you believe the Alexa charts, being at #5 is already something. Besides, there’s no other international web properties for ABS CBN to represent here in the Philippines. MySpace is way down (#14), and Facebook (#26) isn’t even on the top 20. Friendster, well they already got PEx. Yahoo has their Singapore office and for YouTube, Google doesn’t need any helping.
Is this deal any good? Sure. An ad sale is still a sale. I am very curious to see which local big timers will bite the ad space on Multiply. Then again, if you look at the current corporate ads on the ABS CBN website, you’d also realize that they too are having problems filling up their own ad inventory. And if we follow the trend, would that mean we will be seeing real estate ads on Multiply too? Yeah, burn that CPM fill rate.
So what’s the catch? There’s no catch actually. The only other side benefit I see in all these is that ABS-CBN will be showcasing blogs for ad placements (Multiply is still a blog platform/service). If they can convince local businesses to advertise there, then hopefully we’d get more business for our blogs too.