"CNET faces an odd
Catch-22: It's a tech site, so it can charge a premium for tech
advertising. But as it tries to grow and attract more mainstream
consumer ads, it's discovering its rates are too high.
In 2004, tech-site ad rates jumped 46%, vs. no more than 4%
for finance or sports sites. So CNET took in a lot of money from core
advertisers like Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and Hewlett-Packard, but to maintain its growth, it needs to land a broader variety of
advertisers. With ad prices so high, "for a retailer or entertainment
company they're cost-prohibitive," says Jeff Lanctot, vice-president
for media at Avenue A/Razorfish, the largest buyer of online ads in the
Interesting article from Business Week on online advertising within tech websites. Personally, I believe the relatively high rates for advertisers within News.com might be justified. Not only considering the demographic profile of its users but also their viral/social influence on other Internet users. Taking into account the thinking of Malcolm Gladwell (Tipping Point) and Seth Godin (IdeaVirus), I wonder what the total value of the CNET average user might be. This value might also be appealing to non-tech brands, even at high rates.