Ads with Audio

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  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • In Progress
There are ads that have audio that play randomly. I enjoy listening to music while using this site. If this problem continues, I will stop using this site and just use wikipedia instead.
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Brian Paul Metcalf

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  • angry

Posted 6 years ago

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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Ha! Thanks Alex.

Dan I want to say that I am sorry that you are so dissatisfied with the audio ads that appear (in violation of our established terms) on AllMusic. We've been working with our ad providers and trying to get them to play by our rules but as I've said before they don't always listen. We are actively working with a different video ad provider now and we've had better luck with them (although they don't always fill and we need to fall back on our old provider from time to time). This is a SOLUTION I am really trying to implement (see what I did there)?

As for personal attacks I really don't plan to respond other than to say that AllMuisc has over four times the number of visitors it had three years ago, and I feel like we've built a lot of cool features and tools into the site that our music fans really seem to enjoy.

I do feel sorry that you felt you had to go out of your way to look up my résumé to dig up some dirt on me but if this job has taught me anything (more than how terrible ad networks really are when you look under the covers and more than how convoluted it can be to try to juggle all of the different elements that go into running a website), it's that haters will indeed hate.
(Edited)
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Dan Mitchell

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As always, if someone is complaining about "the haters," they have almost certainly done something that's worth hating. It's an attempt to write off valid criticism by characterizing critics as having some sort of agenda, or even as being in league with each other. I don't "hate" you - I, like the many, many other people who have been complaining about this for several years, simply hate when ads start autoplaying. It's natural to become curious after a while: who are the buffoons responsible for this, and just exactly how buffoonish are they? Well, I found out.

I dug up "dirt" on you? By looking at your LinkedIn page? I think you might have revealed more about yourself than you might realize with that comment.

In any case, your promises mean nothing, since you've been making them for years. I know how this stuff works -- your company chose to present ads this way. You could basically stop it right now if you really wanted to, but you don't. You are either fine with that, or your job is to pretend that you are. Or you just don't give a shit. Whatever the case ... yikes.
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Dan Mitchell

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This time, it was a house ad. That is, the ad was for Allmusic itself, produced and posted by Allmusic itself.

So, I mean, who are you kidding?
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Hi Dan, great to hear from you.
That clearly should not be happening.

Do you recall which page you were on when this happened?
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Dan Mitchell

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Incredibly, this is STILL happening. It just happened now. This is a site that offers sound samples. As I was trying to listen to one, an ad started playing. 

As I said four years ago, the first time I brought this up here, this is the ONLY site where this regularly happens. Just incredible. And now I see one of the marketing droids on another board is saying that this is the only way you can make money. Which is a lie. Just like it was a lie when you said 3 and 4 years ago that autoplay ads went against your terms, even though the site was festooned with them. 

You people are just really, really awful. 
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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Hi Dan,

We did a 15 day experiment based on the request of one of our advertisers who had promised a higher rate of return if 5% of their ads came through with sound. I was against it based on the feedback we've always gotten when these ads came through, but other voices prevailed.

My statement was the following:
Looking into this, I should let you know that our users hit the roof when there is audio playing on the page. Many of our users are listening to music when they're looking things up on AllMusic and whenever an audio ad slips in from some random ad provider we hear about it.
This is what was presented to me:
Running soft sound will have a massive improvement on your revenue -- my modeling shows $900 per day.  
In looking at the earnings for the most recent 15 days as compared to the previous 15 days the additional revenue does not come close to matching what I was led to believe could be added to AllMusic's revenue, so we'll end this experiment shortly.

I know you've expressed doubts about our business model in the past and I guess there's no good way to convince you otherwise.

We had a site called AllGame in the past but the cost of running the site was more than we could earn from advertising so we had to shut it down. We also had a mobile app called the AllMusic Roundup but the cost to license the data for the app was more than we could earn in revenue so it had to be pulled from the app store. Our sister site AllMovie is barely breaking even and is losing money some months. We're hoping to avoid closing the door on that site as well, and in order to do so, we may need to resort to different ad models and honestly whatever we can pull out of our hat in order to keep the sites going.

This link demonstrates some of the issues we've seen with ad rates over time.
https://www.clickz.com/why-are-cpm-rates-for-ads-falling/30617/

Based on our history together on this forum I don't anticipate any of this explanation will satisfy your overall complaint, but it is the current state of what we've got going on behind the scenes.
(Edited)
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Dan Mitchell

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It's astonishing to me that you apparently don't even consider how utterly craven this response is. 

Autoplay ads are awful in all circumstances. They are the lowest of the low. The entire Web-publishing community is agreed on this, and even most marginal sites avoid them -- mainly, because they send readers away in droves, but also because they're humiliating to the people who accept them. 

But, much worse, you run a site that *relies heavily on sound samples*. It's beyond my conception how you can even consider using these ads, much less how you can try to defend the decision by declaring with no sense of shame that you got taken by some scumbag huckster. 

Why don't you just go work for some marketing or advertising company, or something? Something where you're just trying to sell stuff to people, where the customer isn't actually the product, so you wouldn't have to (pretend to) try to strike a balance between the good of your users and your own revenue needs? There are people throughout media who struggle with this balance every day, with varying degrees of success. But you aren't among them: you clearly don't care about users *at all*. (Did it ever occur to you that your long-term success might depend on providing a quality service?) 

The only reason I can think of that you would continue doing what you're doing is that you're absolutely bereft of any sense of propriety. You have no pride, and you have no shame. I also believe there's a fair amount of cluelessness at work as well. 
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Dan Mitchell

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Also, you argued at length in earlier exchanges about how autoplay ads violate your "terms," even though you allowed them on the site for years. I knew you were lying when you said that, as I noted then. Now, you're admitting that you were lying, and, in Trumplike fashion, you don't even know, or care, that's what you're doing. 
(Edited)
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Zac Johnson, Official Rep

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You may find this hard to believe, but I was telling the truth before (3 years ago) when we had those discussions. Those audio-on ads violated our policy in 2014.

In September of 2017 we made a change to see if there would be a tolerance from our users toward these ads. I predicted people would continue to have negative feelings about audio ads, even if they were played only 5% of the time. If we were able to increase our revenue without having people be disrupted, we would consider these ads in our ad model. My hypothesis proved correct and we rolled back the ads with sound to be silent again. The users spoke and we listened.

We'll likely continue to experiment with different ad partners and different models. You may not recall seeing these, but we also experimented with some ad providers that do those awful grids of "1 Simple Trick Melts Belly Fat Overnight" and "27 Naughty Photos Captured at the Perfect Moment." The revenue was actually pretty good but the ads themselves were so sleazy and misleading that we pulled them down fairly quickly. 

The margins on running an ad-supported website are pretty narrow and we'll continue to both experiment with new ad models and to listen to our users, trying to balance them both (just as we did in this case).
(Edited)
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Dan Mitchell

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"Our history together" has nothing to do with anything. It's *your* history of pushing these ads on users, over at least a half-decade, and repeatedly lying to people here about it.