"I have no idea how any of this will affect TechCrunch. So far AOL has kept true to its promise not to interfere with our editorial and there’s no reason to suppose that will change under Huffington. That said, it would be idiotic to think that our parents’ content strategy – particularly the SEO stuff – won’t have annoying trickle-down consequences for all of us in the long term."
[edit- Corrected source of the quote.]
AOL tells its editors to decide what topics to cover based on four considerations:
traffic potential, revenue potential, edit quality and turn-around time.
AOL asks its editors to decide whether to produce content based on
"the profitability consideration."
The documents reveal that AOL is, when the story calls for it, willing to boost
traffic by 5 to 10% with search ads and other "paid media."
AOL site leaders are expected to have eight ideas for packages that could
generate at least $1 million in revenue on hand at all times.
In-house AOL staffers are expected to write five to 10 stories per day.
Traditional publishers are cottoning to this tactic, too.
Think like that, but 100x more aggressive. Will it degrade the NYT brand a little bit? Meh, it is the NYT: they'll still be the world's preeminent newspaper, they'll still make money from advertisements, and they'll still be able to credibly threaten Google with PRmageddon if Big Daddy G gets uppity about it.
1) Tech Crunch doesn't really operate in an eCPM world, they operate in a "real" CPM world with advertisers that are largely paying for branding rather than conversions.
2) The CPMs on electronics reviews (high end or otherwise) are significantly lower than the CPMs on "content a CTO would want to read".
SEO for a publisher really only serves the purpose of getting organic traffic to more premium ad campaigns, much like paid traffic (where a publisher buys CPC ads). The catch with this is that inbound search engine traffic needs to roughly match the demographics you've sold ads for or you end up shooting yourself in the foot. You can do short term traffic buys to inflate ad views with otherwise shitty traffic, but only rarely and it's still dangerous.
(For those of you old enough to remember the Ford "quality" commercials.)
So no, I don't think direct sales are dead and I'm willing to pay not to see ads.
$244.8m in subscription revenue for q3 last year, but falling fast (as people figure out they're still signed up, I guess).
AFAIK, AOL went and bought Time Warner, the deal didn't work out though.
So yes, AOL bought Time Warner, not the other way around.
And MapQuest still has the greatest market share somehow...
edit: AOL sold Bebo in June
No. Google maps has the greatest market share. Mapquest is #2.
Disclaimer: I'm interning at MapQuest.
- the largest market share in consumer free web maps (probably as recent as 4 years ago)
- the holy grail for marketers. The brand reached "verbing" status. People used to say "MapQuest it"
- a health paid API biz. But sold that part of the biz to Microsoft's MapPoint (I was a customer of this and they basicly said I was SOOL when it happened)
It is clear they screwed up MQ but I'm more hopeful with AOl's recent moves. They know their strength lies in making content and getting eyeballs and the companies they grow/acquire reflects that.
MapQuest still has the greatest market share
AOL Investigation: No Proof TSA Scanners Are Safe
Back then my first thought was: Wait, AOL does investigations?
I think this is a win for both parties and for readers. With a sort-of 'proper' news site maybe AOL's own journalism can be taken more seriously, and conversely maybe they can make HuffPo more journalistic in the first place!
Tech crunch is a niche demographic (silicon valley gossip is only interesting to people inside that particular bubble). I'm honestly not sure what weblogs inc is.
One of the first people on Amazon (the free swag and shipping era), one of the first people using Google (got an email response from Sergei when she complained about an inappropriate search result), doesn't like Facebook, is into blogs, podcasts and web radio. So she probably doesn't click through the ads displayed on HuffPo unless it is something that she wants (in fact, I think she uses Adblock).
That said, she is fiercely loyal to companies that she sees as supporting her ideals. So if she does need something, and a product that has that functionality advertises on one of her media... she will get that product over another (perhaps better known or cheaper) product.
This actually contradicts the implication of my above post; that my mom reads it, therefore it must appeal to the masses.
The truth is, my mom likes it, and she is an excellent market indicator.
Huffington Post, I imagine, is mostly liberals of all genders, income, and level of education. I think there are far fewer companies that want to reach all of HuffPo's diverse readership.
Consider why popular, prestigious sites like washingtonpost.com have ads for Mesothelioma lawsuits and home mortgage refinancing.
That either means she's jumped the shark or is a rising star.
Weblogs, Inc: $1,000,000.
TechCrunch: (guestimating) $12,000,000.
AOL needs content it can direct users too, my mom isn't interested in TechCrunch, but she might be interested in HuffPo's content.
First AOL is a giant when it comes to news these days. Along with Fox, CNN and MSNBC. I guess this allows for another competitor to hit the market. But also allows for News to be under control again by a large corporation and that corporations views on how the world should be reported.
I would gladly see Huff Post move to Television and Maybe more investigative like Reuters.
Those area's would gladly and happily be invested in, if I owned a large New Corp.
They also own Engadget, though, and I would love to see how that would comply with owning Gizmodo.
Amazing that she built this on the backs of authors, most of whom got paid nothing. Am I alone in finding this exploitative?
What I find more exploitative is their working method - often, they took some hard news (which is quite expensive to produce, requiring real reporter to go somewhere), and then their blogger (siting at home in pajamas) took the best quotes and facts from that article, wrote some quick fluff around those quotes and hola!, we have content.
Yes, this is essentially what blogging is about, and if someone does this as an amateur to express his opinion, that's ok. But I feel it is a bit exploitative to make business out of work of journalists working for other media.
For me, this means there's more value rehashing content than producing original content
If someone asks me for spec work I tell them no, if I ask someone to do spec work for them to raise my profile I'm hoping they don't tell me no.
Exploitation is about power, not the money that's involved.
Yes. I was also talking about the fact that sometimes circumstances force people into exploitative situations.
Heroin/crack addicts often face a choice between prostitution or death from withdrawal symptoms.
The obvious answer is to jump up the ladder and say "well they chose to start taking drugs;" it is often not as simple as that either unfortunately.
I don't find this exploitive, and I think this is very similar.
A post on the Huffington has advertisements alongside it making the company money. That alone makes it much more a grey area than contributing to an open source project.
It seems it is a trade off good writers are choosing to make and if there is more value in their writing a competitor will come along and steal the best writers.
The Huffington Post makes money on ads. Every user who uses Google Chrome is a user that isn't using another browser. This means Google makes more money on search ads because they aren't giving a cut to Mozilla, Apple, etc.