Interactive

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Demand Media IPO

From the AuthorityLabs blog

Ever wonder how some of the webs most popular content driven sites do financially? Here’s an infographic pulled together by the folks over at AuthorityLabs which breaks down Demand Media, their holdings, how much they pay their freelance writers per article and best of all, the profitability behind the reported 5,700 articles & posts that are published daily on their network of high-profile sites like ehow.com, cracked.com and livestrong.com (to name just a few).

As reported by Demand Media, out of their network of over 10,000 freelance content creators, the average price per article is only a meager $15. Folks, that’s NOTHING! With around 86 million unique visitors per month (totaling around 550 million page views after re-visits) this means that those $15 posts are drawing in so much traffic that they’re able to generate an insane amount of capital, from both advertising networks as well as strategic partners who pay for the targeted traffic views.

According to their estimates, the content network alone is worth roughly $650 million dollars, and when combined with the rest of their holdings (including liquid assets around 33 million), it makes Demand Media a $1.83 billion dollar content network.

….and to think I was happy just being able to pay for the hosting fees from the meager ads on this website, damn!

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Skype just announced a new business spin-off of their popular VOIP service partnering with European Directories to offer free click-to-call services for their business listings (free to the consumer at least). Pretty much it takes your typical yellow pages a step further by allowing the user to connect directly to the service provider by clicking on a “Free Call” button attached to each listing. According to their press release, this will provide free consumer phone calls for up to 700,000 business across Europe. The most interesting part of this deal is that the Skype/European Directories partnership doesn’t end with just covering directory services. Skype plans on offering each company the ability to embed the “Free Call” button anywhere else on the web that their number is posted.

Is there a catch? Of course there is. In order for you to be able to use (or probably even see) the click-to-call button you will need to have both the latest version of Skype for Windows installed in addition to the latest Skype browser plug-ins. This now sounds more like a click-to-download promotion. Ouch.

I should point out that this isn’t even close to being a new idea, directories like Yext have been around since 2006 offering fully-loaded click-to-call advertising & directory services. Yext just recently was awarded $25 million dollars in funding after participating in the TechCrunch50 (they also broke this news story a few hours before the official Skype press release).

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The marriage of VOIP & Online Advertising is something that will soon be taking over the current way we interact with online ads with companies like Twilio & Voxeo leading the way by providing inexpensive developer platforms for creating IVR/VoIP solutions (and of course, really cool web-apps!)

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In an effort to bolster their reach into the digital or ‘interactive’ side of the industry, Publicis Groupe SA has just announced their purchase of Microsoft’s award winning interactive firm Razorfish for a reported $530 million. Part of the agreement also guarantees cheaper advertising rates on all Microsoft owned properties for the french advertising giant. Surprisingly this is not the first major purchase for the french advertising conglomerate, two years ago they bought Boston agency Digitas for close to $1.6 billion. In a statement released today, Publicis Group hopes that their digital assets will account for 25% of their over-all revenue in the next year. They previously only accounted for roughly 20.8% of the total earnings.

So this means cheaper media buys for Publicis clients. It also probably means a rough series of conversations with current clients explaining why that doesn’t translate to a smaller bill from the agency (not to mention putting out fires related to what next years media plan will look like). I’d love to be a fly on the wall for those conference calls.

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