Forbes contributors were told Tuesday that their pay will be cut for visits to content that’s more than 90 days old, because “advertisers are increasingly buying premium ads for new content, not old.”
Assistant managing editor Kerry Dolan writes in a memo [with my boldface]:
“We [currently] pay the same for every view, whether it comes from new content, or content that’s 90 days old, or a year old, or 3 years old. Starting April 1, we’ll pay the same rate we now pay per visitor to content that’s within 90 days of publication. We’ll pay 25% of that amount for visitors to content more than 90 days old.”
The full memo:
As you’re probably aware, the digital advertising marketplace is changing, radically and suddenly.
In the past few months there’s been a drastic move toward ad viewability — in other words, advertisers only paying for the ads we can prove that people see.
In addition, advertisers are increasingly buying premium ads for new content, not old.
To keep pace with these changes we need a reset on the way we’ve paid our contributors.
And that’s going to impact the way your earnings are calculated./CONTINUES
Right now, we pay people on a variety of plans, and we pay the same for every view, whether it comes from new content, or content that’s 90 days old, or a year old, or 3 years old.
Starting April 1, we’ll pay the same rate we now pay per visitor to content that’s within 90 days of publication. We’ll pay 25% of that amount for visitors to content more than 90 days old.
In addition, we’re switching everyone to the same rate for repeat visitors: A nickel per repeat visitor for anyone now getting 10 cents. This change only applies to a handful of our contributors.
There’s no soft sell on this — it is very likely that this will result in a reduction of pay for contributors who make a lot from so-called “long tail” traffic to older posts. But we have to put a premium on payment for fresh posts because that’s the way the advertising market is moving.
Our hope is that we can, over time, mitigate the changes by continuing to grow your overall readership to fresh posts. We’re in the process of hiring new support staff to get your stuff additional play, and support your efforts to bring eyeballs to your work.
With your contribution and commitment, Forbes is the industry leader and recognized innovator in developing a new business model for independent, ad-supported quality journalism. Unlike others, we don’t have a big corporate parents or paying online subscribers or tote bags to sell. So when the ad market changes, we have to adapt.
As I said, making this work is really, really important to us – as is insuring that the whole system stays healthy and can weather the changes in the ad market. Working together, we’ll figure it out.