Chris Anderson’s post on LongTail.com contains an observation that is so obvious, it is missed by many self-appointed experts. (Okay, I’ll admit I live in that glass house.):
“Not only do small (Long Tail) publishers montetize their content at 3-5 times the rate of the larger publishers in PubMatic’s survey, but they’re improving in the current environment while the big publisher decline.
This is a fact of life in business-to-business-media, where the business model has long been focused on “free” distribution of content to decision-makers in specialized fields. The “cost per thousand” (CPM) model of advertising sales does not exist as a metric in this long-tail of the media world. Of course, if an advertiser selling a $100,000 piece of equipment can reach 90% of the decision makers in a market of 5,000 specifying engineers, then, hell-yeah, the publisher of that content should be able to monetize it at hundreds of times the rate of, say, a newsweekly.
The lesson here: Online, if you want to monetize content, the number of eyeballs seeing your content is less important than who those eyeballs belong to. And the more helpful that content is in assisting real people make important and valuable decisions, the more “monetizable” it will be.