Scale Clouds Quality Online

We Online Business People pray to the gods of scale. Does it scale? Do you have scale? I read an article in the trades recently quoting someone that said about a deal “now we have scale” triumphantly.

Scale matters in advertising. If you do something that works you want to know you can do more of it. If you invest time and effort into a project you want to have the reach to have this effort move your business.

Scale matters. But influence often comes from composition rather than reach.

Chris Anderson comments on some data from PubMatic that shows the long tail is able to charge more than the head. The value, Anderson argues in this multi-year focus on the long tail, comes where the scale isn’t. Put another way, there is more value and potential influence with more focused, smaller areas of the web.

Then comes the data on average CPMs across a sampling of 1000s of websites (click to enlarge image)

2 thoughts:

1. Those are wickedly low CPMS. Even the markedly higher “small” websites (less than 1,000,000 page views a month) are averaging $1.29 per 1000 impressions!

2. Scale and quality do not have to be separated but the filter of quality will always create a smaller offering. It would seem that the industry excitement with scale is creating an environment where impressions are, as Wenda Harris Millard once said, traded like pork-bellies.

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