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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 04-Feb-18


Sunday 11-February-18

Advert overload : when monetization fails

I've listened to Dan Snow's History Hit podcast for a while now. It's really interesting, with interviews with knowledgeable historians, but I've just dropped it. Why? Because it has too many adverts. It starts with several minutes of ads, gets into the meat of the show, then breaks off mid-sentence for more ads.

A very real dilemma when applying adverts and promotions within web pages, podcasts, videos and so on, is that the more you do it, the more likely it is that people will abandon your page and perhaps your site for ever. This is a non-linear relationship and there is often a 'tipping point', such as where I reached with History Hit. You can do sophisticate A-B testing and more to test whether people click on more ads or ads in different positions, but what is more difficult to determine is their choice in whether to visit you at all, especially given their past experiences at your site.

This is one reason why I keep articles in Changing Minds as a single block with adverts above and below but not within the text. I want readers to feel good when they are reading and not irritated by interruptions. The same principle is often used in other podcasts I listen to, with adverts at the beginning and end but not in the middle.

With Changing Minds I kind of like it when I see lots of other sites with a high advert density as it helps make my site stand out. As a result I get lots of readers and returners and advert clicks are enough to keep me off the streets but is not making me a millionaire, which suits me fine,

With adverts, as with many other things, less is often more.

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