Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ebay AdContext Selling Point

While reading through opinions on the new Ebay AdContext program I thought it would be a run of the mill ad network.

My initial reasons to avoid the Ebay AdContext program.
1) To me their initial screenshots look like a mix between Adsense and Amazon.
2) I have little doubt ads will be served up through javascript. In this case its not that big of a deal because to the best of my knowledge advertisers are not paying for these ads and most auctions themselves are over too quickly to launch an SEO campaign. Never the less, as a publisher I would like to be able to supplement my content with something viewable.
3) 2.6% to 4.55% commissions seems a little weak. If you look at the adsense model you can generate a few dollars on a single click. From Ebay it looks like your users would have to click through and actually buy something to earn a similar commission.
4) Ebay already dominates the online auction market.

Initially I was compiling data that might dissuade publishers from signing up for the AdContext affiliate program. Then I stumbled upon a piece of information that is in my mind game changing. While reading through this blog entry by Darren Rowse I came upon this comment…

Winning Bids/BINs: Note that the publisher can actually generate revenue from multiple winning bids/BINs (not just one). The publisher “owns” the referral for up to 7 days and any winning bids/BINs generated in this time period contribute to the revenue shared with the publisher. For instance, a person reading a cell phone review can click on an ad unit for a cell phone and purchases it via Buy-It-Now and then may decide to place a bid on a bluetooth headset and win that auction 4 days later. Both the revenue on BIN cell phone and the auction bluetooth headset are part of the revenue share to that publisher. Note that since tracking is done on a “last publisher to refer the user wins” basis by CJ.

Initially I thought this would be another check mark in the bad column. Snagging a referral for a meager 7 days is nothing. I’ll bet if you statistically look at new Ebay users they are probably a little apprehensive the first week. Then after a month or so when they have familiarized themselves with the system and feel comfortable their bidding starts going up.

Then the last sentence really struck me. “last publisher to refer the user wins” basis by CJ. I guess this means I can effectively refer active Ebay users for up to 7 days. This completely wipes out my reason to avoid AdContext above. ( 4) Ebay already dominates the online auction market.) This means I don’t have to target non-Ebay users so my potential number of qualified viewers dramatically goes up.

This also means I can refer veteran Ebay users who might have 20-50 bids going on at one time as opposed to someone who might be a little apprehensive at first. I would like to see the 7 days turn into 30 but being able to refer existing Ebay users more than makes up for it in my mind.


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