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Old 11-16-2002, 02:14 PM   #1
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Default Interesting Ad-Method On Salon.com

I don't normally visit this website, but I was interested to see that they were offering a free daily pass to their premium content provided you watched a four-page Mercedes Benz advert.

I'm still surprised that nothing seems to be happening with regards to those TV-style, "in-between pages" ads..
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Old 11-17-2002, 04:45 AM   #2

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Actually, in-between ads (these used to be called 'interstitials' in the days before people started referring to pops by that name) have been pushed by several players for a long time. And, strangely, while the results seem to have been positive in many of these tests, those responsible for buying media seem more interested in superstitials, takeovers and pops than the TV-style alternative.

Those who were members of the old Commonwealth Network and the early ContentZone (now both incorporated into 24/7 Media), will recall support for these types of full-page ads seperating two content sections. Others may recall the timed test Playboy.com ran for a liquor company, and the single-page flash screens that Salon.com, Vivendi Universal and eUniverse have toyed with in the past. Those that frequent the boards over at FreeWebspace.net will also be familiar with dk.ads' live trial of the format, which failed to attract advertiser interest despite its use of IAB-standard creative formats.

I wouldn't be surprised if Salon's latest effort was considered the first multi-page interstitial, and for that reason alone the effort is to be commended, but until advertiser support increases, the market for full-page ads will remain out-of-reach for unbranded properties.

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Old 11-20-2002, 03:28 PM   #3
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Default Salon's Bribery & New Ad Format

Interesting...very interesting...


Salon Breaks New Ad Ground
By Kate Kaye
Tuesday, November 19, 2002

Salon.comís latest ad offering could inspire site visitors to Ėyes -- thank advertisers.

Thereís no question consumers take advertisers for granted. In fact, the constant ad barrage incites resentment more than anything. However, the simple fact is advertisers are usually the ones bankrolling the content we think of as free. Viewing their ads is how we uphold our end of the bargain. Still, most consumers donít see it that way.

An ad for the E-Class Mercedes-Benz running on Salon.com could help to change that. As part of Salonís newly launched Salon Premium Day Pass program, a commercial break-style ad developed by Critical Mass and Mercedes in conjunction with Salon.com and its ad technology partner, Ultramercial, acts as a gateway to Salonís premium content. Salon users who donít already subscribe to access the siteís premium content, which costs $30 per year and includes in-depth reporting and exclusive columns, now have the option to view a multi-page, interactive Ultramercial ad in exchange for reading otherwise pay-only content.

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Old 11-20-2002, 06:47 PM   #4
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This sounds good but in reality Salon can't sell enough premium memberships so they figure this is a good way to get some people to view premium content and consider paying for it.
An ad that has to be seen before you can view content is an incentivized ads and as such those who view it are no different from those viewing freebie sites in essence.
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Old 11-20-2002, 11:30 PM   #5
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How can you say that firstmark?

Salon is growing with more subscribers... this lets people that might be itnerested in for a day.

So salon has a chance of getting a paid subscriber, while making money off of the ads.
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Old 11-21-2002, 12:16 AM   #6
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For the recent quarter Salon Media


has about 1 million in sales and 2.4 million in expenses. Salon's revenue can not even begin to approach their expenses let alone can they have a potential to break even. I don't think they are selling nearly enough subscriptions nor are they generating nearly enough in ad revenue. They lose in both areas so they try something new; offer paid content and if the surfer doesen't want to pay offer them a more annoying ad so Salon can at least make more ad revenue off them than usual.
The conept is interesting though and is revenue generating but so are uncapped popups.

Salon while a good site is not run in the way that internet media is meant to be run; that being very lean labor wise and very cost efficient. They are in essence an offline media organization that thinks they belong online.
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Old 11-21-2002, 03:58 PM   #7
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Its about getting the market established.

As they said, their subscriber growth rate is going UP!

October was their best, and novemeber will even beat that.

Remember when cable came out? It wasnt instantly profitable either ... Salon.com is a leader, and for the sakes of the profitability of internet business, I sure hope they make it. It wont kill us if they dont, but it WILL set us back!
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Old 11-21-2002, 04:22 PM   #8
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True True True BUT I sure hope I'm wrong with the following.

After reading the entire 10-Q and with some hesitation since it's dangerous to just pull stuff out we have a nearly "classic" "cash crunch" case.

Only about 250K cash left and it takes cash to pay exspenses. Supported by the fact that they are "discounting/selling" their ARs (Accounts Recievables) to produce enough cash to meet day to day exspenses. This is not a good sign.

Other parts of the 10-Q show a major turnaround which is great but they need "cash" to pay day to day exspenses accross their 10 properties. This cash crunch is more than likely responsable for the new ad method they are trying. Given the state of the capital markets and the fact that VC funding is down over 48% this year, it's going to be a tough road ahead.

I hope I'm wrong and they can remain and continue to prosper. I love the content and the writing and it would be really sad to see folks loose their jobs and the sites vanish.

Just my 2 cents worth.
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