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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:

paraphrased
---------------------------------------
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...

6:23 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The great Y! mentality is kicking in. Pay even more to advertise :D Becuase they are the 'leaders' your gonna pay :)
6:24 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I am speechless - look at their PFI scheme, first you pay to have the privilege to be editorially reviewed, THEN you pay for each click your listing generates.

Now they plan on charging us for the privilege to pay them money for each click on their PPC listings.

What's next? Charge us to check our positions?

6:27 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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What's next?
They charge you in exchange for them being your best friend.
6:33 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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April fool? Wrong time of year surely. I expect a lot of advertisers to leave the program and fewer to sign up if a subscription fee was introduced.
6:40 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I for one would pay for the industry reports that were mentioned in the survey:

Receive customized reports that offer insights into how other companies in your category are doing. Sample information may include industry trends, price per click information, conversion rates and average spend.

However, why couldn't they just offer them as a stand alone product. This whole scheme sounds like a way to force advertisers to use Sitematch.

Notice the above quote mentions conversion rates. Yesterday, Shopping.com announced they're upping their PPC rates during the back to school rush due to historical conversion data collected through their "free" roi tracker. Now Overture is saying you can buy a list of your competitors' best converting keywords. Who would have ever thought it was a bad idea to share your conversion data with the company that is selling you advertising ;)

6:41 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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>>>a small subscription fee

I wonder if will be as "small" as the old fee?

6:46 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Subscription fees can be paid monthly, quarterly or for a full year

They usually donít offer payment plans when the fee is small.

6:51 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Stinky. Reminds me of those Kung Fu movies where the villagers are all paying their taxes, but the local honcho needs more dough to support his lifestyle, so he sends his soldiers into the village to shake them down for more.

A more enlightened approach would be to encourage tourism to the village and nurture greater industry in order to create an expansion in the revenue base. That's the best course.

In other words, Overture should grow their advertiser base, as well as grow the advertising opportunities. 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. It also leaves a negative feeling.

[edited by: martinibuster at 7:38 pm (utc) on Aug. 10, 2004]

7:31 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Who would have ever thought it was a bad idea to share your conversion data with the company that is selling you advertising ;)

This is sure to go over well.

7:32 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Don't use the conversion tools provided by the media properties you advertise on.

It will keep coming back to bite everyone in the a$$

8:01 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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wow... I'm speechless, I might as well call my competitors now and fax over all my conversion data..
8:04 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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wow... I'm speechless, I might as well call my competitors now and fax over all my conversion data..
That would be a better deal than O is offering because you wouldn't have to pay a third party for "generously" collecting that data first.
8:23 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Going forward, you will not be able to advertise with Overture unless you pay this subscription fee."

Is this just with PFI or with all of their programs?

(So much for their "no personally identifiable data" claim. Okay, maybe they don't know it's ME, but they know what industry I'm in, who else shows up when my ads show up, etc.etc.)

8:31 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I wonder if Google will be watching to see how Overture does with this...? Hmmm.
9:08 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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It is an abuse of knowledge in my opinion. Just like with their service where they will come up with keywords, etc for you - all they do is find a competitor and grab theirs. Stinks I tell ya. Bunch of bull.
9:10 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I haven't received this email. Is everyone seeing it? How much is the subscription fee? Are they saying?
10:03 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Is this just with PFI or with all of their programs?
In the survey, it's presented as a number of packaged deals with different features on top of having the privledge of using their Precision Match service. They then ask if you would pay $X a month for each package.

Most of the "deals" include your homepage in Sitematch. I'm still a little confused on whether it's the standard Sitematch we've all grown to love or some new variant.

10:45 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Most of the "deals" include your homepage in Sitematch

Sounds like they've hired select members of the strategy team from LookSmart, maybe some of the folks profiled on that actdumb site from long ago.

10:50 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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'They can't be serious' is my first reaction... What's next - revenue share?
11:17 pm on Aug 10, 2004 (gmt 0)

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So then, I think the general consensus is that this would be a big kick in the ass to their current customer base...but would you actually stop using them or recommending them to clients?

Unless these changes also arrived with substantial improvements to the editorial and customer service systems, I for one would stop using them immediately!

1:31 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I smell a class action brewing even before this thing launches...
1:34 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"I for one would stop using them immediately"

I think for a lot of people/businesses, it would come down to ROI. Isn't that what PPC is all about anyway? If a good ROI is still there taking possible subscription fees into account, most people will more than likely pay the "ransom". They may not like it, but if the ROI is there, they'll probably do it.

2:28 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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it would come down to ROI
Definitely. I for one wouldn't even consider leaving over a $20 / month fee. How could I? Unfortunately for advertisers, Yahoo! / Overture always capitalize on being put in such a position:

  • direcory listing changed to an annual fee of $299
  • minimum bid increases of 500% and 100% on PPC
  • Sitematch

    With advertisers' conversion data in hand, Yahoo! now knows exactly how hard they can push. Can you imagine the numbers games they can play?

  • 3:55 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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    That's the problem with big business in general - the shareholders - they have a great thing going for them and they keep pushing and pushing til something breaks.

    It's been almost two weeks now since I put new keywords in for approval and no word - wonder if this has anything to do with it.

    10:08 am on Aug 11, 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...

    That sums up exactly what the search engine game has become. It's all about the money, not just the money but the billions of $$$. What we (webmasters and the general public) need is a dozen more start up V.C. backed search engines that are happy to be worth ONLY $50m, and not $50b.

    Search engine clients and users are not getting the deal they used to be. Y is getting too powerful.

    11:23 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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    If the subscription was in the $20 pm area. Our ROI wouldn't change much. We are a heavy ppc user. Its bad news being over a barrel, but if a mugger demanded 20 cents would you be too dismayed?
    11:50 am on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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    How long would it stay at $20pm?
    That's just for starters, they'll bleed you dry as soon as they get a foot in the door.
    12:05 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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    Has anyone else received this email from Overture regarding the subscription fee? We are heavy advertisers with Overture, and we did not see this. I just called four of my associates and they have not received it either. Are we sure this is real?

    We have been duped before. :-(

    Cheers,

    CaboWabo

    12:52 pm on Aug 11, 2004 (gmt 0)

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    growth for Wall Street is a short term solution to a long term problem

    The City is all Bull$*** anyway. Wall Street, Hang Seng, FTSe - the lot. All they care about is short term. How else could a £750m Profit be seen as failure and the stock price actually retreat 10% because they haven't made it to a billion........ obscene.

    I'd settle for a million profit .... ;)

    Y will be no different - the greedy men on the stock floor want to get bigger and better bonuses and the only way that's gonna happen is for companies like Y to increase share and capital year on year... hence we (read 'suckers' to the brokers) have to foot the ever increasing price of advertising with the leader...

    hmmm wonder how long that will last?

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