So how much money is Stephen King throwing away?
October 2, 2000 4:36 PM   Subscribe

So how much money is Stephen King throwing away? G. Beato's take on the world's most famous e-publishing experiment makes a great point: King has the clout to drive traffic, and that can worth a hell of a lot more than what he's getting directly from his readers. King's got brand identity and endless content -- why is he bothering with a subscription fee?
posted by gknauss (8 comments total)
Unnecessary payment is sometimes about perceived value - but i'd doubt it in this case.

I think he's playing with other distribution models and he'll try a different one with his next book. He can't help the popular position he's in and he's not the best test case - but charging people something, a meagre $1, is neccesary to see whether this type of thing works.
posted by holloway at 5:22 PM on October 2, 2000

The problem is that even brand names would have trouble attracting $30 CPMs these days. The networks all get down to an ECPM (effective CPM -- actual earnings divided by actual pageviews) of $1 or less on reasonable traffic and they have for the last year. Yahoo probably gets a few $30 CPM buys, but on nothing close to all of their pages (most Yahoo impressions seem to be CPC -- which can have an ECPM of $0.30 or less).

I have no idea how many King fans there are (who are patient enough to read that much on screen), but 300 million page views sounds a little steep. Even if it isn't, advertising revenue could be 90% lower (or worse) than Beato imagines.

At a $2 CPM, the total would be $600K — and King would be better off getting $1 per chapter.

(If anyone is maintainning a CPM of $5 or more without a dedicated sales force, please let me know. I'm curious.)
posted by sylloge at 11:59 PM on October 2, 2000

Man, if you're getting CPC deals from Yahoo, I think I can get you a job with me, ASAP. And $30 dollar CPM's are not uncommon these days. If you're getting a $2 dollar CPM you are either lucky, or buying ads across a real crappy network. Although I still agree with your basic premise, that Steven King is probably making much more by charging for his work.
posted by Doug at 6:28 AM on October 3, 2000

Wow. I didn't realize there was *this much* I didn't know.

posted by baylink at 7:59 AM on October 3, 2000

Thanks to, some acronym expansions for those, like me, who've no idea WTF is going on:

1. Cost per thousand
2. Cycles per minute

(I'm guessing def'n 1 is relevant here)

CPC (amongst others) = Cost Per Click
posted by cCranium at 9:01 AM on October 3, 2000

I encourage everyone to continue buying ads across really crappy networks to support sites such as my own. Sure, my CPM is all of $1, but given my general lack of quality demographics, I'll take what I can get. :-)
posted by youhas at 11:04 AM on October 3, 2000

I try to buy ads on sites I like. I feel that's the only good thing that comes from being in such a soul-sucking, evil job. God help me. :)
posted by Doug at 1:27 PM on October 3, 2000

Doug: I was looking at it from the seller's side: you may buy a bunch at $30, but if the other 80% of my inventory is unsold (or undersold -- like bad CPC deals), then the ECPM to the seller is $6. Since there is a big supply glut, only a very small portion of most middle-tier sites' inventory is sold at a good rate and the rest is wasted.

(Yeah, it is soul-sucking & evil, but someone has to do it ;)
posted by sylloge at 12:57 AM on October 4, 2000

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