We’ve got a memo Gawker Media owner Nick Denton sent to his editors explaining how much they should spend on stories and information.”A good benchmark,” writes Denton is “$10 per thousand new visitors.”
Yesterday, we learned the Gawker Media’s sports gossip blog, Deadspin, paid “more than we ever have” for naked crotch shot photos Brett Favre allegedly took of himself and then sent to Jets employee Jenn Sterger.
Let’s get to the maths. The Favre story currently has 470,000 visits. That means for it to be judged a success in Denton’s eyes, Deadspin would have had to paid under $5,000. Unless Denton wants new visitors, not just total visitors – then the price has to be much lower.
Deadspin’s story on one Duke alumna’s sexploits with some of the school’s athletes got just as much traffic yestereday, and that story was free.
As people who care about traffic ourselves, we have to sympathezie with the Gawker editors making a decision about how much money to spend for a story. It’s not hard to predict when stories will be popular – but it’s very hard to predict how popular.
In the past, Gawker paid for stories on Balloon boy, Apple’s iPhone 4, and the infamous McSteamy sex tape. Together, they’ve combined for over 14 million visits to Gawker properties. So maybe the practice is working just fine.
Here’s Denon’s memo:
From: Nick Denton <[email protected]>
Date: September 30, 2010 6:13:26 PM EDT
Subject: How to spend your editorial budget
Some of you have asked how to determine the price for a bounty or a commissioned piece of content.
We’ve crunched the numbers. On the whole, $10 per thousand new visitors is a good benchmark.
That means for example that a $200 video would be expected to bring in at least 20,000 new visitors.
A $5,000 bounty would be worth paying if the scoop was worth 500,000 new visitors.
Related: Meet ex-Jets employee Jenn Sterger
Gawker is the high-brow gossip sheet covering media, entertainment, politics and technology.
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