Live at Brainstorm:TECH – “How Net Content will be Monetized Round Table” 1


By Kyle Austin

I took in the “How Net Content will be Monetized Round Table (Wedding Table) at Fortune Brainstorm: TECH this morning. Hosted by Fortune’s Adam Lashinsky the round table included Greg Waldorf, CEO of eHarmony; Neil Ashe, President of CBS Interactive; Robert Glaser, CEO of RealNetworks and Mike Volpi, CEO of Joost.

Here are some of the excerpts from the round table:

Adam Lashinsky: Good morning, we are going to be talking about “Net Monetization.” This is not the format that we planned on doing for a breakfast round table (straight table facing the audience). We had so many people sign-up we decided we’d do something like a head table at a wedding with you being the guests. However, we’re not going to talk to you we are going to talk with you.

Robert Glaser

Robert Glaser, President & CEO of RealNetworks:

  • 600 million in revue last year. 2/3 of monetization comes through consumer purchases. 1/3 is from net carriers.
  • Our goal is to create a balance in revenue streams.
  • You look at what Google does with only one revenue stream and may think we are taking the wrong route, but you have to diversify.
  • Behavioral targeting is an major opportunity, but there doesn’t appear to be an Overture type idea out there that goes beyond search.

Gregory Waldorf

Greg Waldorf, CEO of eHarmony:

  • eHarmony was founded 8 years ago to be a series match making site. It was a crazy idea at the time because the industry was dominated by the photo-clicking approach.
  • We recently released Harris Interactive numbers, which found that 236 people marry each day (on average) through eHarmony.
  • This has allowed the business to become very successful and over 200 million in revenues last year.
  • Lashinsky – “My best friend met his wife through eHarmony. He’s a serious guy, so I guess he needed a serious relationship site.”
  • 96 – 97 percent of our revenue comes from subscriptions.
  • Match.com and ourselves are really the biggest players in the space.
  • We want to keep a “happy” churn rate – given our goal to match couples in serious long-term relationships (which leads to them leaving site). Usually takes a couple of months for that to happen.
  • You can’t just create great content first and then say we’ll figure out how to monetize it later. I think people have this belief that good content will easily translate into ad revenue and that is just not the case when you are looking at scale.

Mike Volpi

Mike Volpi, CEO of Joost:

  • Joost was created in October of last year and has slightly under 1 million unique visitors.
  • We have a revenue share model that goes back to content owners.
  • We’ve really been the first online video destination to use the 30-second in-spot ad that is seen on TV.
  • Music has been really hard to monetize on our site because its hard to understand interests in music to target relevant ads at users.

Neil Ashe

President of CBS Interactive:

  • Earlier this year I was the CEO of CNET Networks and now I am the President of CBS Interactive after the close of our sale to the CBS Corporation.
  • We reach the 8th largest Internet network in the world.
  • 80 percent of business is ad supported through sponsorships or advertisements.
  • About 20 percent of our business is in major countries in Europe.
  • We’ve found that you can’t out grow your category. The growth of advertising revenue has grown across the Internet but there is a cap in how it can grow within certain markets on the Internet.
  • We’ve made mistakes along the way. We never could monetize Webshots. We could sell certain sponsorships but not for each individual page view.

Disclosure: eHarmony is a client of the Racepoint Group


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