BREAK IT DOWN [Author: Lum the Mad]

Today on AVault, Brian Clair tells exactly why every site you blow off the workday reading is going down the toilet.

Today your average advertiser will not pay you more than about 30 cents per CPM for a premium banner (those pop-ups and interstitials everyone hates so much — standard 468×60 banners are now demanded gratis). At 30 cents in our previous example, you could sell out your entire inventory of five million impressions and only earn $1500. Is it any wonder that gaming sites have been closing so rapidly? Of course, the ridiculous CPM is only the tip of the iceberg, as advertisers now make insane demands as well. Here’s a few we’ve seen in recent weeks: no payment if the click-thru (i.e., the number of people who actually click on a banner) percentage isn’t at least 1% or higher — just for reference, last year banners typically got around half a percent click-thru industry-wide; banners that must be targeted only to certain nations, to males only and only during certain times of the day — without using Doubleclick’s DART (which was just about the only service that could target so narrowly, if you were willing to pay for it); and my personal favorite, banners for giveaways whereby companies demand free advertising runs on your site in exchange for your site paying for the games for a giveaway promoting that company’s product.

I just want to know who the hell was getting $22 CPM. Even in the glory days of CNet Gamecenter we never got over $5 (and that was equally split between us and XRGaming). Of course now we get nothing but the occasional booth babe snapshot.