Bill Maher is a famous left-wing Jewish comedian who has a show on HBO. The political bias of HBO is also far-left. However, even Bill Maher can no longer stomach the cringeworthy rants and fake news featured on many of the biggest left-wing internet media outlets. Maher specifically called out HuffPo, Salon, and Buzzfeed as “sowing division for profit.”
HuffPo was originally founded by Arianna Huffington. Today it is owned by Oath Inc, a Verison subsidiary that has also purchased AOL, and Yahoo. HuffPo is ranked as the 78th most popular website in the USA and 285th most popular in the world by Alexa. However, they peaked in early 2017, and their scores have been dropping for the past year.
In 2010, the Huffington Post took in $31 million, but only made a profit of less than $1 million. Ariana Huffington quickly sold the company. It is speculated that 2012 was Huffington Post’s last profitable year. In 2015, they reported “breaking even.” A lot of analysts believe they are losing millions and going into deep debt. Virtually all of Huffington Post’s revenue is from online ads.
HuffPo has been steadily laying off paid staffers and resorting to unpaid amateur bloggers who submit content for free. This has led to a steady decline in the quality of the content and dramatic rise in wild click-bait headlines and articles containing hysterical left-wing rants. HuffPo is now notorious for publishing an article that explicitly endorsed Antifa violence to suppress free speech.
Verizon’s Oath Inc seems to be a place where former Internet giants go to die.
Salon was founded in San Fransisco by far-left journalist David Talbot. It openly bills itself as a left-wing media outlet. It is ranked as the 1,1001st biggest website in America by Alexa.
Because Salon is a publicly traded company, we know that they are in deep financial trouble. For the fiscal year ending on March 31st, 2017, their revenue was down 34%, but operating costs were only down 4%.
Salon is now blocking users who have Adblock installed. Then when you disable Adblock, the page has so many ads that everything loads in slow motion. Like HuffPo, they appear to be resorting to unpaid volunteer bloggers for a lot of their content. This has led to increasingly hysterical click-bait style rants.
Salon is notorious for headlines like “Why I can’t stand white belly dancers.” This article was written by an extremely fair-skinned, blue-eyed overweight Lebanese woman, who claimed white belly dancers are engaging in “brown face.”
This website was originally started to track viral content on the internet. It is ranked as the 65th most popular website in the USA by Alexa.
In 2015, NBCUniversal invested $200 million in Buzzfeed and turned it into a major media website. In 2016, NBCUniversal pumped another $200 million into Buzzfeed.
This massive amount of investment by NBCUniversal is a colossal failure so far. 2017 was such a dismal year that Buzzfeed canceled plans to become a publicly traded company. They also laid off 100 employees, or 6% of its workforce right before Christmas. Revenue fell by over 15% that year.
Buzzfeed is now most notorious for a video where four of their male employees take a testosterone test and all four score shockingly low.
To understand why these mega-online news outlets are losing revenue so fast, you must understand that syndicated ad revenue is rapidly declining for everyone. Google has held a virtual monopoly on syndicated online ads for over 15 years now. If you look at what companies paid Google for online syndicated ads 15-12 years ago, it was absolutely insane. There were epic bidding wars among companies for the top slots. The most famous was Mesothelioma lawsuits bidding war. It was common for companies to pay $3, $4, $5, or more for one individual click. In those days, Google gave 78% of the actual ad revenue to the publisher. So if you had a blog, and ten people clicked an ad from a company paying $3 per click, you get $23.40. It was that easy. Back in the early days, there were bloggers making hundreds of thousands per year off of the ad revenue. People became millionaires off of Google Adsense.
Major corporations thought internet ads were going to work like magic. There was a misconception that clicks alone would equal sales. To capitalize on this, there was a mad rush on new internet media outlets. They would share their Adsense revenue with the writers based on the number of views they got. Then the ad revenue bubble burst. Companies finally realized they were flushing millions down the toilet by paying such outrageous prices for clicks. Sometime around 2007, the payout from Adsense peaked. It has declined every year. From 2008 to 2012, Google even disclosed that the average price paid for ads declined every single quarter. As the amount of money companies would pay for ads declined, the percentage that Google shared with the publisher also declined. In 2010, Google dropped the payout percentage to 68%. Recently Google dropped the rate down to only 51%. That means the publisher gets half the revenue for doing almost all of the actual work.
Then came AdBlocking software. If you are trying to get ad revenue from syndicated ads, you now have to deal with the fact that a large percentage of web surfers are blocking the ads and do not even see them at all! I personally fully support Adblocking software because Google has been banning conservative websites from their Adsense network for years. In fact, Google publicly bragged about a colossal crackdown in 2017. They said they removed 100,000 websites from their network and canceled ads to 300 million Youtube videos. Google listed “hate speech,” a meaningless propaganda term, as the single biggest reason for “demonetizing” all of these sites and videos.
You help accelerate the decline of Google and Youtube by installing AdBlock Plus right now.
Then came mobile phones. For some reason, millions of people prefer to look at the internet on tiny cellphone screen than a giant computer monitor. These users are seeing fewer ads and therefore have fewer opportunities to click on an ad.
By 2012, bloggers were making a small fraction of the money they were making off of the same amount of traffic in 2007. By 2017, they were making a small fraction of what they were making in 2012. Major internet media companies that shared revenue with writers have gone belly up. They have been replaced by scores of new companies that use unpaid volunteer writers exclusively. These sites keep all the revenue themselves and the actual writers get nothing. The biggest example is Patch.com.
For a long time, the average ad price declined each year, but total ad revenue continued to rise due to an expanding client base. According to Motley Fool, this came to a halt in 2015. Google actually had a decline in the total number of paid clicks as well as a decline in the average price paid for a click. There was also a dramatic rise in the proliferation of cellphone Adblocking software in 2015 as well.
Currently, Google expects ad revenue to continue to decline and is working on creating new streams of revenue for the future.