[ About Us | Popular | Marcom | AdNet | IChannel | Glossary ]

May 31, 2008

Ad Dollars to Platforms, Publishers, or Members??

Celebrity Baby Blog is Acquired: People.com’s Gain Is FM Publishing’s Loss


It’s nice to see blogs growing up, even if they are about babies. People.com has bought Celebrity Baby Blog, a fast-growing blog started four years ago by Danielle Friedland. She confirmed the deal earlier this week, after MediaWeek broke the story. The site has an editorial staff of 17 editors, contributors, writers, and reviewers (presumably, not all full time).

The blog is an obvious fit for People, which knows that stories about pregnant celebrities and their babies sell. (Doesn’t it seem like pregnant celebrities are on the cover of People more than anything else?). The price was not disclosed, but Friedland and staff will stay on to grow the site.

But People.com’s gain is Federated Media Publishing’s loss. With this acquisition, FM Publishing is losing yet another anchor blog from its advertising network. Last year, it lost Digg to Microsoft, and earlier this month it lost Ars Technica to Condé Nast. Now, Time Inc. (my former employer) has snapped up Celebrity Baby Blog.

Celebrity Baby is FM Publishing’s top parenting blog, and has recently started to pull in more pageviews (and thus advertising impressions) than FM stalwart BoingBoing. Since February its traffic has shot up—to 6.9 million pageviews and 720,000 unique visitors in April, according to comScore. That month, BoingBoing had more unique visitors (2 million), but fewer pageviews (3.7 million). See the chart below.

Deals like this point to the fundamental weakness of FM’s business model. When a blog in FM Publishing’s network gets big enough or gets bought, FM loses all or part of their advertising inventory. The more profitable a blog is for FM, the more likely it is to try to sell ads on its own or be taken away by a larger media company with its own ad sales force. (Disclosure: TechCrunch is also an FM partner site. They sell a portion of our ads, but we also sell our own)...

b5media Partners With PicScout For Free Licensed Images

b5media, a media network with over 350 blogs, has partnered with PicScout to obtain legally licensed images at no cost through their PicAppapplication.

PicScout originally started off as a content copyright enforcer, hunting down unlicensed images on the web with its flagship ImageTracker program. After realizing how ubiquitous unlicensed images were, the company launched PicApp, a flash-based image provider that offers legally licensed images from large databases for free. The company makes money by including ads as part of the embedded picture viewer.

b5media will use PicApp to complement a number of other image partners. Many high quality images from licensed catalogs can go for $10 and up, which can have a significant impact on a blogging network’s bottom line. The company says that using PicApp’s free content for some of these images should reduce licensing fees substantially. b5 has over 250 bloggers, which generate upwards of 10 million unique visitors monthly.

The partnership marks a big win for PicApp, but it’s hard to imagine a Flash-based image provider becoming commonplace on the web. Flash is clunky and slow compared to normal images, but at this point the plugin is a necessity for image catalogs to control their content. GumGum is another player in this space that uses similar Flash technology...

Ed: Ads on images delivered via Flash; ownership of websites. Bigger issue is value earned by whom?

  • Platform providers (Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Hotmail; Myspace profiles, Yelp reviews, social media; video at Youtube, images via PicApp, and PowerPoints at Slideshare; Flickr wants fees.)
  • Website publishers (Google AS affiliates, FM members, enterprise brands, RSS feeds, in-game ads)
  • Community members (blogger, Facebook apps, Microsoft CPA)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments accepted immediately, but moderated.

Support Our Sponsors: