Over the weekend I thought I’d have a look at the new Prodigy video on VidZone. Yeah, I know it went live a little earlier than the weekend, but it’s hard to find the time when I’ve got the awesome G-Force game to work through. Anyway, I found “Take Me To The Hospital”, added it to my Playlist and hit go. I was then forced to watch a 15 seconds or so advert before Liam and friends started feeding their musical bliss out of my Missions. I don’t remember what the advert was for because I was so taken aback by seeing it that I was utterly confused. Moments later, after TMTTH had finished, another advert appeared.
Why? Well, because things that don’t cost you anything need monetising one way or another. With VidZone you get a massive collection of music streamed free to your PlayStation 3. You don’t pay for the service and you don’t pay for the application – it’s free. A few people have commented recently that they had a similar reaction to adverts on TheSixthAxis. When we started the site over two years ago we were getting a hundred or so readers a day – now we get 10,000 regular visitors a day, and much more if we get a traffic spike on a particular article. We’ve moved servers at least twice, and completely changed the software to handle the traffic too, but all this costs us, and we need to find ways to finance it.
Bear in mind that adverts you might see on the site, which now include contextual hyperlinks, aren’t here to make us rich. They pay for the bandwidth, and when we get enough to fund a month or two’s traffic we turn them down again, which we think is the fairest way to do it – we don’t like having to advertise like this, and especially don’t like certain adverts that continue to make themselves present, but given the way fansites like ours exist it’s really the only way we can finance things without funding the site personally, which brings about all kinds of other issues, not to mention the fact that we’re still doing this in our free time in addition (where we’re lucky enough) to our ‘real’ jobs.
So the next time you want to have a rant about some little red links (which we’re working with the company to reduce and make more appropriate to the content of the site) or a banner advert, remember what they’re doing: paying for TheSixthAxis, just like the adverts for whichever mobile phone company are presumably helping to fund the development and ongoing costs of Vidzone. Nobody wants them, but the quicker we make it up to the monthly required levels, the quicker they can be toned down a little. We do take pride in the design and usability of the site and would rather see them off, but that’s just the way it is.