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Monetizing Free Traffic That Refuses To Convert To Premium: SocialVibe CEO Jay Samit, Los Angeles (Part 2)

Posted on Saturday, Apr 30th 2011

Sramana: If the model only appealed to 60 million Americans then it would be a niche product. Is that the case?

Jay Samit: It was a niche, however brands got tremendous attention from people but it did not scale to the size that it should have because it was focused from the value exchange of charity and donation. When I was brought in I looked at the model explored other areas where the model would work. Where else are consumers at where they would be willing to spend a bit of time with an advertiser to get? I explored virtual goods from games, premium content access such as subscription music and news articles behind a paywall.

When you look at consumer behavior on the Internet there are so many points where they are asked to pay for something and in most cases they don’t. We put together a network that now reaches 193 million people to address those use cases.

Sramana: Can you elaborate more on the actual use cases? How would an end user use it and how would an advertiser use it?

Jay Samit: Zenga is home of several games. If you are playing Farmville you will reach a point in the game where you need farm cash to continue. You have to either take out your credit card or if you match the audience that our advertiser wants then you just have to watch an ad to receive free farm cash. It could be a movie trailer from Disney or an advertisement for Coke. With Pandora you could be out of free music for the month. In that case if you watch an ad you can get more music to listen to. Consumers always get respect for their time spent.

Now for the advertisers perspective; last year they spent money on 4 trillion display ads on the Internet of which 99.9% were ignored following their own methodologies. That is a waste of money. Advertisers in our world only pay when the consumer spends time to engage with the advertisement. The average user will spend 60 seconds engaging with the brand. They can fan the brand on Facebook and 15-20% on average share the ad with their peer group. Advertisers get their brand into conversations between friends. That works for Proctor and Gamble, Kraft, Fords and over 300 other case studies. The results are spectacular.

Sramana: You work with publishers regarding the advertising. Do you manage a platform for them?

Jay Samit: We operate the platform. You can think of it like a PayPal in that we are integrated into their user accounts. We give them the credit. True to our original model we intersect with 30 million people a month who are donating to charity. Those people get a donation to their charity.

Sramana: What publishers would those deals be with?

Jay Samit: Causes is the most famous. They are one of the top 10 apps on FaceBook. We presently power 8 of the top 10 apps on FaceBook. That is a great thing because now that brand can help a person with the brand they are passionate about. We have 93 million in the US and 100 million outside of the US. It works equally well for males, females, the young or old. It is efficient with virtually every audience in every demographic.

This segment is part 2 in the series : Monetizing Free Traffic That Refuses To Convert To Premium: SocialVibe CEO Jay Samit, Los Angeles
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