The End of Pajamas Media’s Ad-Network Model

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the right side of the blogosphere (or even left, in some cases) you’ve probably seen the Pajamas Media ads and “Network Blogger” badges. They adorn the pages of Hot Air, Michelle Malkin, Protein Wisdom, Instapundit, and many other prominent blogs. “Network Blogger(s)” would get paid per impression on their website. It proved to be a reliable source of income for many of the conservative blogosphere’s favorite, er, voices.

And the model for payment was pretty transparent and intuitive — paid per impression. One could figure out one’s quarterly payment just by eyeballing one’s Sitemeter.

But now Pajamas Media, founded by Roger L. Simon and Charles Johnson, has ended its ad network. Glenn Reynolds confirmed the news on his famous blog late last evening.

YEAH, the PJM ad-network model isn’t working. I don’t have much to do with the PJM business side, but online ads just aren’t producing revenue like they were a few years ago, and the blog-network thing was apparently a tough sell. Hence the emphasis on PJTV. How will that work out? Stay tuned.

PJTV being the new subscription-based video website launched by Pajamas Media last year. Members pay $37 per year to gain access to interviews, news reports, special events, and general discussions. The “network” covered the Republican National Convention and more recently gained publicity for sending “Joe the Plumber” to cover the Israeli-Hamas conflict.

News of the shut-down has, understandably, upset bloggers who relied on the ads for a source of income. Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom titles his post:

What getting kicked to the curb in the age of new media looks like

And sums up the news:

What this means is that as of April 1, I am officially out of work. So save going to a pay model, this site will likely have to shut down.

Small price to pay for helping PJM pick up an audience and credibility during its “formative years.”

Ace posts:

Ads will stay up until April 1st. And then it’s back to BlogAds, I guess.

Damn. I was finally starting to make an amount of money I wasn’t utterly embarrassed by, too.

Via Jeff Goldstein, here’s the text of the email that supposedly went out to bloggers in Pajamas Media’s network:

Dear [Blogger],

As you know, last September Pajamas Media began a new initiative in Internet television called Pajamas TV. When we started with our RNC coverage from Minneapolis, we noted that we would be in a Beta Phase through the first quarter of 2009. In the last few months we have strengthened the PJTV lineup with shows covering Media Bias, Education Bias, Middle East Update, Sharia and Jihad, Powerline Report, Ask Dr. Helen, Hugh News, Poliwood, Conservatism 2.0, Economy and Finance, National Security, and others.

As the end of the first quarter approaches and we near the production phase of Pajamas TV, we will continue to build our emphasis in this area. As a result we have decided to wind down the Pajamas Media Blogger and advertising network effective March 31, 2009. The PJM portal and the XPressBlogs will continue as is.

Since our ad relationship continues for the time being, you should note that in order to be paid for the 1st quarter of 2009, you must leave the current Pajamas ads up until 12:01AM April 1. We will be sending you information in mid-March on removing the ads. As of April 1, 2009, you will be free to arrange syndication or re-sale deals.

We thank you very much for participating during the formative years of Pajamas Media and we look forward to working with you in other ways. One of those is, of course, Pajamas TV. If you have any ideas in that regard, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our best wishes in the new year and again our deepest gratitude for your participation in Pajamas Media.

Sincerely,

Roger L. Simon

CEO, Pajamas Media

More at The Anchoress.

Though this blog has never been part of the network, the news of the network’s end is disappointing. PM seems to be restricting its “sending the mainstream media down the river…” operation to sanctioned writers on its official news website and talking heads, mostly mainstream, on its official video website.

I, for one, have never taken much interest in PJTV. The price tag, while not outrageous, has been a stumbling block. Even major newspapers have tried that model to no avail. Paying a subscription fee for online commentary seems a bit, well, outdated. Especially when quite a few of the people (Malkin, Green, Spencer, Hinderaker, Hemingway, etc.) on the website’s front page now can be read for free on their own sites.

Still, all the best to Pajamas Media. I hope it succeeds beyond its founders’ wildest imaginations.