veteran news: OpenX raised $10M

Posted May 26, 2009 by peter_k_lee
Categories: advertising

Tim Cadogan, alumni, heads OpenX and raised $10M.  Good job!


Notes from comScore: State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q1 2009

Posted May 14, 2009 by peter_k_lee
Categories: advertising

Listening to comScore‘s State of the U.S. Online Retail Economy in Q1 2009 webinar and twittering at the same time.  Here are some of the bullet points / soundbites:

  • “A dollar saved is a dollar not spent” — Online spend of “older” folks and higher earning bracket are not growing as much. Probably trying to save more and reduce discretionary spending to offset losses in the stock market.
  • eCommerce categories growth year-over-year. Winners: Sports & Fitness, Books & Magazines, Video Games, Computer Software. Losers: Office Supplies, Music/Movies/Videos.
  • Survey says: 74% of consumers somewhat or very likely to pre-shop online before purchasing online or offline.
  • Importance of Online Features: Most=product details, purchasing incentives. Least=online chat.
  • Mobile is becoming important. 9.2M people visited an online retail site via mobile in March 09. Mobile users with smart phones are also in higher income brackets.
  • Online Display Ads.  Dell 1.3B ad views vs. HP 166M.
  • Online site categories that have high influence on purchasing behavior: Classified, Comparison Shopping, Social Media (including an obligatory showing of the Twiter user growth hockey stick).
  • Coupon redemption rate has gone up, as in any recessionary times.  Consumers redeeming coupons are not necessarily in lower income brackets.’s Special Ad Unit

Posted May 11, 2009 by peter_k_lee
Categories: advertising, cpm

I’m watching Lockhart Steele interviewed by Jason Calacanis on TWiST live streaming.   Lockhart Steele talked about a special type of blog advertising where a listing agent can put a listing for a cool apartment in NYC on Curbed NY site.  The “ad” will appear in the stream of blog entries and will flow with the blog as the day moves on.  This insertion costs a one time $250.

So, I poked around to see what sort of page view estimates it has. Reading the graph shows about 120,000 page views per day. shows about 27% of users go to Curbed NY.  So, it’s 32K page views for the NYC.  The CPM for this type of special Ad Unit works out to be $7.80 for a highly contextual ad.  Not a bad deal.

Direct Response TV, a.k.a. Infomercials

Posted March 23, 2009 by peter_k_lee
Categories: advertising, cpm

According to this article on AdAge, infomercials may get cheap enough due to the economic downturn to be a profitable business model (again). From this article “…air them on late-night cable at $1 per thousand viewers.” Yes, that’s right $1 CPM on TV.

Unrelated, but interesting, fact reported in this article: 24 million units of PedEgg at $10+ a pop. That’s one for every 12 people in the US.

“Buying” followers on Twitter? What’s the CPM?

Posted March 12, 2009 by peter_k_lee
Categories: advertising, cpm, twitter

This article about Jason Calacanis offering to “sponsor” a position on the twitter new user page has tons of numbers to make my mouth water. In short, Jason offers $250K for a two-year slot on the page of suggested users to follow for new twitter users. The belief is that new twitter users want to follow people (other wise a blank twitter page is pretty boring). If you get a position on this page of suggested twitter users, you are bound to get some clickthrus.

TechCrunch suggests that one can get 10,000 new followers every day from being listed on this suggestion list which adds up to 3.6 million in a year. No idea whether they can support this claim. Other famous people/entities on this list (e.g. Al Gore, Lance Armstrong, Kevin Rose, etc.) have only 250,000 followers.

To keep the math simple, I’ll use 1.0 million followers. This is less than the 365 times 10,000 suggested by TechCrunch but 4x that of actual and popular twitter users. One needs to tweet regularly but not too much to keep the followers. Let’s say it is 5 tweets a day times 365 days a year. So, for a cool $250K, you get to “touch” each of your followers 3,650 times over two years.

The CPM works out to be $250,000 / (3650 * 1,000,000 / 1000) = $0.068

Assuming that you can really amass a million followers, this is not a good deal, it is a great deal! Even if you only get a quarter of followers like the 250K followers of NYTimes and CNN, the CPM is still around $0.25, the range of many social media.

iPhone application usage and advertising economics

Posted February 23, 2009 by peter_k_lee
Categories: advertising, cpm, cpm advertising

This is quoted from an article about iPhone application usage: “Specifically, the average free app would need to earn $8.75 CPM (an advertising term that means cost per thousand) in order to equal revenues that paid apps receive on average, but the market is currently standing in a range of 50 cents to two dollars CPM.

The conclusion is that unless your application is very good at monetizing via advertising (and not the typical $0.50 CPM from ad networks like AdMob or Pinch Media), you should just take at least the minimum charge for your application through Apple AppStore.

Superbowl XLIII TV Commercial CPM

Posted February 3, 2009 by peter_k_lee
Categories: advertising, cpm

Average 30-second spot gone for $3 million. Latest report on viewership is 95.4 million people watched the Steelers vs. Cardinals game. The CPM works out to be $31.44.

There were a lot fewer ads than before. The majority of the ads were of the following categories:

  • Beer: The usual suspects.
  • Chips: Doritos, Cheeto
  • Job Search: Ladders, Monsters, CareerBuilder

They all look like cheap thrills in this economic hardship.

My favorite has to be the commercial where Alec Baldwin plays the alien commander of why hulu is evil.