For many media buyers, the more prominent the ad, the better the ad.
Case in point: earlier this year, GM pulled its paid campaigns on Facebook in a very public way prior to the social network's highly-anticipated IPO.
The back story: Facebook had rebuffed GM's demand for bigger, bolder ads.
The next big (read: nine-figure) consumer internet acquisition may involve an unexpected buyer - CNN.
According to Reuters' Felix Salmon, the Time Warner-owned cable news network could announce as early as Tuesday that it is acquiring Mashable, one of the most popular tech/social media blogs for a figure that could be north of $200m.
The Huffington Post UK is launching branded blogs at the start of next year, mirroring a service already offered by its US counterpart and Forbes.
The US version of Huffington Post already offers brands the chance to blog, providing a new form of advertising to clients like BMW.
After being bought by AOL for $315m, it's safe to call The Huffington Post one of the most successful new media ventures to date.
The HuffPo's rapid rise and nine-figure acquisition is all the more
incredible because of the fact that much of the HuffPo's content is
created by unpaid contributors.
Lured by the promise of being able to
write for a massive audience, experienced and often-recognizable
individuals helped Arianna Huffington build the HuffPo into what it is
Yesterday's surprise announcement that AOL is buying The Huffington Post for $315m sent shockwaves through the blogosphere.
The deal is not only one of the biggest in the consumer internet space
in the past several years, it's one of the biggest online publishing
acquisitions ever involving a 'blog'.
If you're the head of a struggling newspaper, The Huffington Post has
an enviable business model. While content production is almost always the greatest cost in running a publishing/media business, it largely relies on the writing of an
unpaid army of contributors. The value proposition the HuffPo offers
them: exposure to a very large audience.
It's a model that has been the source of controversy. After all, the
HuffPo is a for-profit business, yet it doesn't pay the vast majority
of the individuals who labor for it. That's an especially interesting
thing for a company founded by a person who wrote a book entitled "Pigs
at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are
The Huffington Post, with its legion of unpaid contributors, has
provided a controversial model for journalism and publishing in the
digital age. Despite the controversy, it's hard to
argue that the Huffington Post hasn't had some success with its model
The model has apparently worked well enough to interest stodgy old
publishers to get in on the act. According to a tweet from Forbes
editor David M. Ewalt, Forbes.com will soon see its own brand of the
HuffPo model: standard journalistic fare supplemented with "a level 2
bottom of the pyramid: 1000s of outside contributors."
According to Arianna Huffington, writing for her website takes as much energy as lying on the couch to watch TV. Speaking at the CMSummit in New York, Huffington explained that people write for her website for fun and don't need to be paid.
As she says:
"Self-expression has become the new entertainment."
So much for the future of paid journalism. But at least she's consistent. As much as Huffington doesn't think writing on her site is worth paying for, she doesn't think readeres will be willing to pay either.
Everyone and their mother is trying to tap into the real time feed of Twitter. And many brands are attempting to make money from real time. While search giants like Google and Microsoft are encorporating real-time information into their search results, Huffington Post went straight for the content feed this week, encorporating tweets onto the sites pages and possible serving ads alongside.
But here's the catch. They didn't ask for permission first. And tweeters were less than pleased.
The Huffington Post is hoping to augment its impressive traffic numbers with some sponsored posts on the site. But rather than direct advertorial, HuffPo is betting that brands will be willing to pay to enter the fray of Twitter commentary underneath HuffPo articles.
According to AdAge:
"The Huffington Post has started offering marketers the ability to
inject their own paid comments among reader comments and place paid
Tweets among the live Twitter feeds the site assembles around news
subjects and events."
As with much of advertising, the success of this endeavor depends mostly on tone. And advertiser interest.