NetAudioAds Wasting Publicity Pushing a Bad Idea

The WSJ just published another article about making money from blogs, highlighting Darren Rowse's success (congrats buddy) and some small ad networks aimed at bloggers, like NetAudioAds. These ad networks pay bloggers crumbs:

Blog publishers get a 25% cut of the ad revenue. About 25,000 publishers have signed up so far, says Michael Knox, V2P's co-founder, and several large companies and 2008 presidential campaigns have expressed interest in becoming advertisers through the service. A site that gets 2,000 unique visitors per day with an advertiser paying $14 per 1,000 plays might earn $28 a day, or $196 a week.

What self respecting publisher takes only 25% of ad revenue to annoy all of their visitors with audio ads? And how do you keep up your momentum and pageviews if you annoy everyone who comes across your site? If the idea wasn't bad enough, the company behind this ad network is talking to the media to pump their product while

  • a blogspot hate site ranks #1 for their official name
  • their official site that does rank for their official name does not even use NetAudioAds in the page title
  • they bid on AdWords their core brand name but they are not even bidding on alternate version of their name like Net Audio Ads

How do networks that offer advertising and marketing solutions for others do such a bad job marketing their own products?

Published: January 15, 2008 by Aaron Wall in blogs

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January 15, 2008 - 1:59pm

If an advertiser is paying $14 per 1,000 and the blog publisher pushes 2,000 page views, that's $7 s/he makes, 25% of the advertiser price.

Also, if you look up radio prices a 60 second spot on local radio at drivetime is actually cheaper per 1,000 listeners, and they are officially audited and you don't have millions of Russian bot farms tuning into the radio just to inflate the numbers!

(And I'd quite happily annoy my visitors for $200 per week, although I don't for one second expect it to pay out even a tenth of that)

January 15, 2008 - 2:06pm

and now seobook ranks #4 for their name

January 15, 2008 - 2:50pm


No $$$ amount is worth placing an audio ad in my opinion.

January 15, 2008 - 3:10pm

I have received a lot of messages from these people encouraging me to put this audio ads in my websites. As Aaron said, it would be more effective if they make a good SEO campaign instead of annoying to people with SPAM messages all the time.

They think they are advertising genius, but even they seem inexpert people in its own field.

January 15, 2008 - 4:48pm

From what I remember having audio is one of the biggest causes of bounces out there. Maybe for some site making absoloutly no money with any other affiliates they might try it, but you've gotta think if you go the audio route you can kiss most of your other affiliate income goodbye.

January 15, 2008 - 6:53pm

What a colossally bad idea.

When I go to a website and audio comes on, my first response is: AAACCKKK!!! Where's the coming from!?!!? How do I turn it off?!?!?

And I work home alone as a telecommuter - it isn't bothering anyone but me.

The only thing I can guess is that there is a younger generation (i.e. the MySpace generation) who isn't bothered by this. If they were, would they all put awful music on their MySpace pages? That music, BTW, is the number one reason that I never click on anything that links to MySpace ever. I just hate it.

Collin LaHay
January 15, 2008 - 7:55pm

Amen to that! I made an anti-ppp post about this time a month ago. It is a shame how many bloggers are willing to lie to their readers and over-hype such terrible products, only to make a few extra dollars. I am glad to see you hate this kind of monetization as well.

Paul Rushing
January 15, 2008 - 9:34pm

I do not think the blogspot blog you mention should really be considered a "hate site". It is pointing out past problems that NetAutdioAds - Voice2Page has had at running an affiliate program and how those original affiliates were ignored in the launch of this.

I have wished many involved good luck with this. It just is not viable and the company that handles the money does not have a good track record of paying affiliates.

But hey what do I know I pwned them for a while with a crappy blogspot blog, maybe they need to buy Charles' ebook and training program. Maybe it needs an update.

January 15, 2008 - 11:29pm

Hi Paul
The site could be considered something other than a hate site, but even in that case it still looks bad for them to not rank for their own brand.

Dave Keffen
January 15, 2008 - 9:37pm

Next step will be to offer 50% to just re-direct to the advertiser's page! Hmmm.

January 15, 2008 - 11:24pm

@ corey:
Showing as #1 on my DC right now :P

January 17, 2008 - 11:41pm

I'm somewhat offended that every response here is so negative. They're not trying to get every website out in the world to put this on there websites, they are focusing on bloggers from what I see and I think that's for a good reason. Blogging with a 5 second audio ad isn't going to bother me. I am concerned that the company keep legit and pay me for my Pay Per Play's, I've got Google Analytics they can't fudge the numbers, we'll know every impression that's made and if it doesn't match with our results then you can expect the lawyers we'll be brought in to settle the matter.

I'd say this is the companies second chance to get their crap together. Their are millions of blogs in the blogosphere, and I think people better take this Pay Per Play action seriously. It's in video now too. Soon people will say to hell with Pay Per Click and want money every time some jerk sees an ad. Google wake up! Everyone should be demanding this sort of model. Maybe then we can actually make some money on posting all those damn ads on our sites!

Here's my referral link: [spam removed!] Are you going to listen?

January 18, 2008 - 1:10am

Hi Ethan
If one wants to move up the value chain I think that ad networks coupled with editorial control are better than moving down the value chain via a CPM model.

Broad network CPM models say that my page views are worth no more than the pageviews on a splog or pageviews from a spammy traffic exchange network. I would need to be quite desperate to agree with that value proposition.

January 21, 2008 - 10:08pm

Personally, I do not think that 5 second pay per play ads [spam removed!] is going to be that intrusive. That and the visitor can always turn their speakers off if they get tired of it. What is the big deal?

January 22, 2008 - 5:38am

I have been shocked too many times by random sounds to discount them as a non-event.

January 22, 2008 - 1:59am


My name is Charles Heflin and I am the marketing director for the Pay-Per-Play deal for NetAudioAds.

I am not an employee but was contracted to launch the opportunity.

If this were not viable then how could we have gained over 30 thousand affiliates covering over 14 million websites in just under 2 months?

Further if it were not viable then why have we procured over 66,000 advertisers many of which are the most well respected brands in traditional advertising?

If the marketing vehicle were not effective then how did we gain attention from the Wall Street Journal so quickly?

SEO is not the only way to market products. Who cares who ranks #1 for NetAudioAds? In this model it simply doesn't matter. I have left the marketing in the hands of our publishers. NetAudioAds DOES NOT do any of its own marketing.

Granted there are some spam issues (what large campaign doesn't have them?)and we are dealing with those people as we discover them but all in all we now have affiliates and advertisers in 192 countries in less than 2 months.

Many people seem to think that we are targeting bloggers but the reason that rumor got started is because bloggers were the first to start promoting it to other bloggers.

I actively advocate that audio ads are not appropriate for every kind of website. Further there is no "evidence" that shows that a 5 second audio ad will drive visitors away.

I fully expected the "hate" to roll in off this campaign but never expected it from you. We are filling a gap that has been created by DVRs (digital video recorders) and the Internet which have narrowed the effectiveness of television advertising because people spend more time online and people fast forward through commercials.

We now offer major brands a way to target specific audiences in specific geographic locations within specific niches of interest.

Do you think AdSense pays publishers 25%? No way... They don't even pay 10% in most cases. Does AdSense publish how much they pay ... Nope.

We are not telling anyone to replace their monetization methods with ours. We are simply offering a way to add more revenue to what they are already doing... Found money.

I have respected you for a long time, Aaron, because I too am an SEO educator but your post seems like an uninformed point of view. I always looked to you as having an innovative mind yet you are slamming innovation.

I invite you to show me evidence that audio ads "annoy" visitors. Granted they will annoy some but where is the evidence, the study, the facts?

The findings over the last 2 1/2 years are quite different than your "opinion".

To say I did a bad job marketing the product is insulting. When clearly my marketing effort exceeded everyone's expectations. Who else could command the presence we have gained in such a short period of time?

I am going to chalk your comments in your post up as coming from an "uninformed" point of view. I can't believe that someone with your stature would create a post for the sole purpose of rallying support on undocumented opinion.

In closing I will say again that I am not an employee of NetAudioAds V2P (aka. Pay-Per-Play. I was contracted because of my expertise in launching products to the Internet marketplace. My statements and opinions are my own and should not be construed as statements from NetAudioAds, Voice2Page or V2P.

- Charles Heflin

January 22, 2008 - 5:44am

Hi Charles

Your comment contains some inaccurate and uninformed statements like

Do you think AdSense pays publishers 25%? No way... They don't even pay 10% in most cases.

Please prove that to me.

In some cases I have bought and clicked my own ads as a test...and the payout was more than was roughly 50% on that test.

Who cares who ranks #1 for NetAudioAds?

If search doesn't matter, then why was the product brand name added to your page title AFTER I made this blog post?

January 22, 2008 - 6:27am

#1 ... ask any AdSense publisher what they earn compared to what Google takes in (on average) per click and you will see that the payout is a far cry from 50% (you are inflating numbers to defend your position). Uninformed and inaccurate?... Google does not publish what they pay so how could I be "inaccurate" or "uninformed" when nobody really knows what Google pays.

Granted you can do some testing to get a ballpark idea and if you scour the Internet and look at webmaster discussions you will see that my statement is "in line".

#2 ... As stated, I don't own NetAudioAds nor do I have editorial control over their domain so I couldn't have done what you are suggesting.

It seems that you are taking pot shots to defend an uninformed opinion on the viability of a company that you know nothing about and are publishing those opinions as if they are based on fact.

That is all I have to say because I don't want to fuel a fire that is based on opinion and judgment.

I will leave saying that I enjoyed your SEO Book and that you do put out quality information that I myself have used in my business over the years. Keep up the good work but be careful to gather facts before making posts like this because it looks really bad.

January 22, 2008 - 8:15am

ask any AdSense publisher what they earn compared to what Google takes in (on average) per click and you will see that the payout is a far cry from 50%

Contextual ads are discounted relative to search ads due to lower implied intent. I know this both as an advertiser who has bought premium keywords on content sites, and as an advertiser who has bought underpriced backfill inventory.

I make well into 6 figures from AdSense. Some of my sites average $2 a click in fields where affiliate leads sell for $5. I have a hard time believing Google is getting $20 a click for these ads, especially as the search ads sell for about $7 a click.

As stated, I don't own NetAudioAds nor do I have editorial control over their domain so I couldn't have done what you are suggesting.

It should have been looked into before the public relations campaign started, IMHO.

January 22, 2008 - 6:54am

Charles Heflin makes some great arguments Aaron. Why so harsh on these guys. I happen to agree with Charles on just about every point. I use Adsense, have never seen 25% or above on any advertising in over 3 years. Maybe once or twice, but not generally. Why so negative Aaron? Even SEO Masters have been known to be wrong once in a while, wouldn't you agree? And I can't believe you guys deleted my link for my NetAudioAd referral link! And then called it spam! Man, you guys are way harsh on every new idea aren't you!? My only question to Charles is what about the companies history of not paying out that is being spread across the net? These guys going to rip me off or what?

January 22, 2008 - 7:18am

Hey Ethan,

PPP is a new opportunity and is different from a program that NetAudioAds promoted a few years back... This is not the same program.

If the company doesn't pay then PPP will fall faster than it climbed. The PPP publishers made the program what it is and if they don't pay then they won't have a product to sell to advertisers because all their publishers will jump ship.

One of the many reasons I agreed to head the marketing is because of the vulnerability of their position despite their history. In other words, it would be foolish for NetAudioAds to give up millions of dollars in recurring monthly income as a sacrifice in favor of not paying publishers their commissions. I take comfort in this.

I am just a marketer for the product like you... PPP is just one of many projects I am involved in. If they fail to pay then I could easily turn the PPP forum into a class action forum. They know it and I know it... So in a way I offer a cushion of safety against such a non-payment scenario occurring.

I hope any PPP affiliate that reads this understands that without you, there would be no PPP so if NetAudioAds fails to pay then they will be out of business and into to class action so fast it will make your head spin.

January 22, 2008 - 7:29am

I totally agree with Charles and can't understand why someone would bash this idea so fast. I believe that these audio ads will be much more successful than bulky ads that must be clicked on. Time will tell but I am not missing out on the opportunity to generate revenue from this advertising.

It's totally free to sign up at: [spam removed!]

You can also find more information at: [spam removed!]

Best of luck to you all with your future endeavors!!! - Gene

January 22, 2008 - 8:18am

I have yet to hear a positive comment about this company outside of those directly connected with marketing it or dropping self promotional affiliate links.

An onslaught of affiliate spam forced me to close this page.

Unfortunate AND unsurprising.

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