Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, July 04, 2021

It’s no mean feat to overtake gossip websites that have a television show and a print magazine to supplement them. But that’s what Yahoo’s omg! has done, beating out TMZ.com and People.com combined with 20.6 million unique visitors in May.

The comparison is a bit apples-to-oranges. The chief differentiator is that TMZ and People do primary reporting and break news, while omg! basically aggregates. And of course, there’s the argument that the Yahoo! portal traffic (primarily email, I’d guess) is driving the bulk of omg!’s clickthrus. Of course, that ignores TMZ’s and People’s linkage to AOL.com, all of which are under the Time Warner umbrella anyway; basically, Yahoo! plays the portal game better than TW does.

This also tells me that people still tend to compartmentalize their media intake. The TV and print exposure would, you’d think, help steer more eyeballs to the online versions. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, whereas Yahoo!’s all-online approach generates tons of clickthrus. Might be time to finally abandon the cross-media strategy, because the audience doesn’t seem to want to jump from one medium to the other — they want it all on the one screen (counting paper as a “screen”) they’re currently intaking.

Beyond that, omg!’s photocentric navigation seems to be key in encouraging clickthrus, as I suspected it would be when it launched two years ago:

TMZ’s boob-tube edge could be why omg! is laid out with such heavy emphasis on photos and Flash applets right on the opening home page, with a bare minimum of text. The audience looking for the latest on Lindsay, Paris, Britney, etc. will engage with a site that quickly loads up easily-playable visual content, versus presenting a bunch of reading material.

Visuals click, as it were. Another lesson in how to encourage site drill-down.

And since we can’t get enough celebrity gossip juice, there’ll be no shortage of outlets filling the void, even with only modest economics:

Although the page view count at omg, [Microsoft/MSN's] Wonderwall and other entertainment sites is staggering, revenue is likely to be fairly small (Yahoo doesn’t break out figures for omg).

Companies pay roughly $10 or more for every 1,000 people who look at a Web page with their advertisement displayed. With 321 million pages viewed in May, that’s an estimated $3.2 million in ad revenue — more than enough to cover [omg staff's] five salaries, but peanuts for Yahoo, which averaged about $600 million in monthly revenue last year.

Online entertainment news is also getting more crowded with well-financed players. Along with Wonderwall, February saw the launch of DailyFill from News Corp., though there are no plans so far to link it to the company’s traffic behemoth, MySpace.

Overall, not a bad performance for Yahoo!, which was predicted to flop as a Johnny-come-lately to the online snark game.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 07/04/2021 01:50:40 PM
Category: Business, Celebrity, Internet, Media, Society
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  1. AN EDGIER OMG…

    While dissecting yesterday’s news about how Yahoo’s omg! is now the leading gossip site based on Web traffic, I pretty well rejected the premise that this success was due to a less-snarky “positive” tone in its coverage.
    But, fo…

    Trackback by Population Statistic — 07/05/2021 @ 11:56:42 AM

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