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Overture to charge compulsory subscription fee

Info from market research study....

6:01 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Overture just asked me to complete an online survey. Within it, was this info:

This new program will include new features and services that are not currently available. In order to be able to access some of the features, a subscription fee will be charged in addition to your regular advertising expenditure. This program replaces the current program, but the current minimum charge will no longer apply.

Going forward, you will not be able to advertise with Overture unless you pay this subscription fee. Subscription fees can be paid monthly, quarterly or anually.

(It then goes on to ask how I'd prefer to pay a subscription fee).

This was news to me - I don't remember being notified that a compulsory subscription fee was to be introduced...

3:11 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Personally, Overture is not as big a deal to my clients. They are important, but Google in a macro sense performs better. Some of my clients could deal without Overture ... but some couldn't. I wonder if this fee will be per login, or per account (we have about 10 accounts under 1 login).

This is all very crappy and I pray to God that the people at Overture just got their calendar mixed up and think its April Fools.

3:28 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Overture just asked me to complete an online survey. Within it, was this info

I'm not sure how you received your survey, but I was emailed the same one by a company called Evans Research Online and the email address and email (according to the headers) came from that company's email servers.

I did not complete the survey, I merely looked out of curiosity because, and this is important, we have no way of knowing if this is officially from Overture or not. While the email and survey both conspicuously display the Overture logo and use the Overture brand name all over the place, there is nothing there proving the email and survey are from or for Overture. Get a clue Overture, host these things on an overture.com site atleast!

From the looks of it, this could be unscrupulous marketers trying to get information out of us..wait.. Overture is unscrupulous (hello Gator!)-- .. This could be evil mark-- no.. that doesn't work. Wait a tic.

This could be someone besides Overture trying to get information out of us in a survey wrapped in what appears to be Overture specific questions.

And as a final note, I think paying a subscription fee is insane, even if it is in an effort to phase out the laughing stock they call Sitematch.

10:03 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Wow that was harsh. I guess I'm just frustrated by Overture's attitude about Claria/Gator/Search Scout. They blatantly refused to provide an opt-out option for advertisers and ever since I've felt like they've had an attitude of "well you don't really have a choice if you want Yahoo/MSN, now do you!?" Reading about a fee JUST to use their service just adds insult to injury, especially if it now means I'm paying for something I seriously don't agree with (Sitematch/PFI).

There is hope that Yahoo will change Overture for the better, but I know that there must be a huge locking of the proverbial horns by Yahoo, Overture and Inktomi's corporate culture right now. Which explains the hypocrisy/duality of having Sitematch while touting that your Search Engine is so good that it seems it shouldn't need Sitematch and also distributing the Yahoo Antiscumware toolbar while propping up Gator/Claria/Search Scout. (Can't wait for Yahoo to drop them, I have a feeling that'll put the final nail in Claria's coffin).

And speaking of "Claria", does anyone else feel that Gator's name change to "Claria" reeks (pun intended) of Phillip Morris' renaming to Altria [altriameanstobacco.com]?

Its starting to make me wonder if the "ria" stands for "we changed our name to hide from our reputation." Makes you wonder why Esso didn't become Exxoria instead of Exxon when they changed their name (atleast in the states) for the first time. Guess there is still time for them to become Mobria or something (now that they've changed their name for the *2nd* time to Mobil).

10:22 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The market will sort these things out - if people don't like it they'll vote with their feet.
Companies who are too greedy pay the price themselves in the end.
11:23 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Don't underestimate "the fear" we have of being left behind. I'm certain that many of these decisions are made to take advantage of "the fear". Cynical, I know, but true.

("heh heh...our advertisers will gripe, but they can't break the addiction!")

(Sorry OVT! I love you still! Don't hurt me!)

10:46 am on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I have been reviewing the Overture campaign for one of my sites over the last few days.
Really it is 50/50 whether or not to continue it.
If they introduce the subscription model, I will definitely end the campaign for this site.
7:41 pm on Aug 12, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>Cannibalizing on what they already have in order to increase income and create an illusion of growth for Wall Street is a short term solution to a long term problem.

Yes but why would they care about long term when they can make profit short term and through Wall Street? Since when Wall Street creates real wealth? It's just pumping money from Real World into Virtual World : Wall Street has invented Virtual Reality before Technology :D

Let's suppose they fall long term : it doesn't matter for investors it creates "opportunities" to resell it to another and inflate the price through bids competition, you know the same kind of game than for biding keywords ... just at another big scale :)

4:25 am on Sept 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

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.........What's next - revenue share?

I will bet you they have talked about it. Just imagine the exec's discussing where some hypothetical customer has only spent $20 with Overture and made $100 profit. "Overture deserve a share of that profit .It's just not fair that someone else has made $80 and we've only made $20" :-)

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