During yesterday's earning call, Google reported a 16 percent decline in CPC, meaning the value of each advertisement clicked has gone down. That follows a 12 percent drop last quarter and 8 percent the quarter before that. Even at the company that managed to make money off of Internet advertising, those online ads are continually losing value.Fact is, the near-infinite available inventory online is pushing advertising costs down, while sophisticated targeting technologies allows advertisers to eschew site-specific advertising in favor of hyper-targeted internet-wide campaigns. In other words, no site can deliver exclusively 20-40 year-old males who live in Kansas City looking to buy a station wagon, but Google can deliver me that specific audience by piecing together visitors to any site that carries Google advertising.
What that means is that web publications like Daily Kos can no longer depend on advertising to finance operations. A few years ago, 95 percent of revenues came from advertising. This year, it’ll be 58 percent. And if current trends continue (and they will), advertising will cover less than half of our expenses next year.
Since we’re not about to start linkwhoring or resorting to bullshit slideshows to artificially drive up pageviews, and since we don’t want to lard up the site with even more obnoxious ads, that means we have to make up the shortfall in other ways. Bottom line, if you value the news, activism, and/or community we provide, I need you to help fund those efforts.
You can buy yourself a subscription—which means you can see the site without ads, have access to several e-books from staff (including my last one, American Taliban, and soon, a compilation of
Hunter's Romney's "Dear Diary" series), access to the entire community photo library, and future benefits currently in development.
If you don’t have anyone like that in mind, or if you hate everyone on the site who doesn’t already have a subscription, you can just donate. That works too!
We’re closing out the best year of our existence—whether in terms of traffic or actual results. We’ve got insanely great things planned for 2013 and then it’s on to 2014, when we buck history and retire John Boehner. But with changing web economics, we’ll need you more than ever to help fund our efforts.