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The Graveyard

This page archives the final reviews associated with major affiliate programs and ad networks that have been claimed by the sector's vicious shake-out. While in some cases the casualties were well-deserved, failing due to swiss-cheese business plans and poor management, others were claimed prematurely as a result of the prolonged market downturn. In any case, here lie are the missing links in the Darwinian evolution of online advertising.


AdFlight has matured greatly as an ad network during the past year. They no longer base their payment structure upon guaranteed flat CPM rates, but offer publishers a 45-50% commission on the various CPC and CPM ads that they serve. In addition to the standard 468x60 above-the-fold banners, AdFlight supports three button sizes (120x60, 120x90, 88x31) to present their publishers with additional revenue streams. They now only accept publishers who are based in the USA, and require that sites deliver at least 300,000 pageviews in order to be eligible for participation.
UPDATE (9th April, 2001): AdFlight's banner ad network has been grounded for good. Word is that publishers will all be paid for campaigns served prior to this date, and the company will restructure to better serve its other businesses, whatever they may be.

BigStar is an online video retailer offering 8% (or more, though there are no details present on the site to suggest the magnitude of such bonuses) commission on the sale of videos made through a referrer's link. Affiliates are paid quarterly on account balances exceeding $90.
UPDATE (4th July, 2001): This popular affiliate program was terminated via email on this day, with no advance notice given. read more.

CDWorld offers an impressive 10%-20% commission range on the sale of music, movies, software, comics and related products. Their commission scale is based on the number of sales your site generates.
UPDATE (9th March, 2001): This promising e-commerce pioneer announced today that they, and their affiliate program, are going the way of the dodo. For more information, read this.

Clear Blue Media (formerly Image Networks) showed promise during the first few months of operation, but were ravaged by the ad market downfall of January 2001. At the end of January, they ejected 100s of members, with 12 hours notice, to cut down their inventory. They now represent only a few select sites with CPM/CPC hybrid banners, while providing CPM-based "gobehind" popunder ads to others.
UPDATE (5th May, 2001): It seems that ClearBlueMedia has experienced a rebirth. Having dramatically reduced their inventory, the company now represents only a few 100 branded properties. These days, your site must manage and report ads in-house, have audited figures available, support beyond-the-banner campaigns and deliver in excess of 10 million monthly impressions to be considered for representation.
UPDATE (24th May, 2001): Unfortunately, the 'rebirth' mentioned above seems to have been a desperate attempt made by CBM to snare brand-name partners with whom to align. The company's founder, Phil Pennington, confirmed today that Clear Blue Media will be serving its last banner this May 31st. For more information, please read this article.

Click2Net is an established banner agency whose payment rates vary according to advertiser demand. The network reportedly allows webmasters to place up to three Click2Net banners on one page, while also permitting other advertising on the same page. Banners are targeted to maximise your potential click-through ratio, and you are given the freedom to exclude unwanted ads from the rotation. Detailed real-time statistics are provided to all host sites, detailing how long it took each surfer to click on the banner, which interest areas produce the best click-through ratios etc - all designed to help you make the most of your unsold advertising inventory. Payments for balances above $30 go out 10 days following the month in which they were earned.
UPDATE (Jan 30th): This network used to pay 6-8 cents/click. On the 30th January, 2001, though, a representative from Click2Net informed me that "The Click2Net Network pays member websites between $0.10 and $0.20 per click depending on content, visual appeal and traffic as well as other demographic data." The company also appears to be making the transition towards a more flexible model, that also supports CPM and sponsorship deals. Recommended.
UPDATE (June 22nd, 2001): Click2Net suddenly, and surprisingly, announced its closure today.

Cyber Loft now pays 5 cents per click-thru made on their 120x60 pixel "hot buttons". Up to four of these buttons may be placed on each page of your site to supplement your existing banner sales. If your website receives between 1000 and 5000 visitors each day, email mostafa@cyberloft.com for more information.
UPDATE: Emails not returned, site unedited since 1999. Seems to be dead.

Digital Music Network pays music-related websites 70% of impression-based revenue generated on their pages. They represent sites such as CDUniverse and other 'big players' in the music industry. In order to participate, your site must be music-related and must receive at least 100,000 impressions per month. If you are lucky enough to have such a popular music site, this is a fantastic advertising broker that promises big revenues.
UPDATE (15th January, 2001): DMN's ad representation service is no more.

Electronic Advertising (eAds) pays host a between 5 and 20 cents per click-thru, scaled according to traffic volume. Hosts are able to select which banners appear on their pages. In theory, this means that you can choose banners that are specifically targeted towards your audience's demographics, thus increasing the click-through ratio. Some reports that I have received from webmasters state that eAds fail to respond to email requests, and cancel sites accounts without due cause. Still, the company has been established for a number of years now and many webmasters are admittedly pleased with the service that they receive. Requires 100,000 minimum monthly impressions.
UPDATE: eAds was proclaimed dead late 2000.

HostIndex pays between 15 and 25 cents per clickthrough generated to their web hosting database through one of their buttons or banners. In order to participate in their program, your site must be webmaster-related and must attract in excess of 300 visitors per day. Program managed through Commission Junction.
UPDATE: This program, which started as an in-house offering, before moving to CJ, will be discontinued as CJ drops its support for CPC affiliate programs.

Mach 1 has developed a sponsorship model that traverses the distinction between click-thru and affiliate programs. They offer sites a scaled click-thru rate that varies between 2.5 cents and 15 cents per visitor, depending on the ratio of sales (of aviation, military and motivational photos and products) generated through the link. In essence, this is an affiliate program of sorts, though you receive some compensation for each visitor refered, even if an individual visitor doesn't make a purchase.
UPDATE: Vanished off the face of the earth, without notice, somewhere between March and June of 2001.

Music Boulevard offers some of the highest commission rates of any store in its class. Paying between 7% and 15% commissions on the sale of CDs and books, based on a slidescale payment system (ie, the more you sell, the higher your commission rate). Their program has been around for a while and seems reputable by all accounts. Reports are sent via email each month, and payment can be used as store credit or, once it has exceeded $100, can be claimed in cash.
UPDATE: It appears that Music Boulevard has been acquired by CDNow, since their domain now resolves to this former-competitor's site. You are the weakest link...goodbye!

Narrowcast Media offers members a flat-rate payment of 8 cents per click-through on all banners. If Narrowcast find that the advertisements on your page are performing particularly well, they may invite you to join the purchase program, which is a more lucrative CPM (impression-based) agreement. Note that Narrowcast has changed its method of payment on many occassions, and is often slow to keep up with trends as they develop within the industry.
UPDATE: Domain no longer resolves. Nurse, call the time of death!

NetBanner Network, a Webclients company, has established a pay-per-click model similar to ValueClick's. It pays 15 cents and above per banner click-through, depending on the number of clicks generated each month.
UPDATE: While WebClients' Websponsors.com remains strong, the company has made the decision to shutter its CPC banner network.

OneMediaPlace (formerly AdAuction) is the most popular online media marketplace, and is subsequently very selective about the publisher accounts that it accepts. In order to offer your ad space for sale, you will need to serve several hundred thousand pageviews/month, with desirable demographics. Effectively, OneMediaPlace supplements your pre-sold inventory by offering you the chance to match your available impressions with advertisers looking to fill such space. They offer their own ad rotation software, while also allowing you the option of carrying sold ads through your existing ad-serving system. Due to the fact that OMP has established strong relationships with many traditional advertisers through their marketplace for offline media exchanges (such as TV, magazines and periodicals), they could potentially attract several large names to your site. Definitely worth exploring. UPDATE (7th March, 2001): Following its merger with Mediapassage, it seems that the newly formed company, which continues to operate under the Mediapassage name, no longer specializes in (or even offers?) a mediating marketplace for buyers and sellers of online ad inventory. While the company is continuing to use its website as a tool through which media buyers may make traditional media buys, the service is considered defunct as far as we are concerned.

PulseTV.com offers affiliate sites a whopping 20% commission on the gross shipped product price for any videos sold through a referrer's link. Perhaps the best aspect of this agreement is that affiliates are paid for all of that customer's future purchases also, so the revenue generated should, mathematically speaking, snowball exponentially, allowing you to reap the rewards long-term.
UPDATE: Program ended, without notice.

Reel.com will pay affiliate sites 5% commission on revenues (sales or rentals) generated through their links. Reel.com are one of the Web's biggest and most reputable video stores.
UPDATE (13th April): After failing as an e-commerce outlet, Reel.com's affiliate program made a transition to a CPC program managed through Be Free. Upon failing there (claiming that fraud decimated the viability of the program), Reel.com today announced the closure of their affiliate program.

Sonar Network is DoubleClick's service for medium-sized sites. Ad serving is obviously managed through DoubleClick's Dart software, ensuring speed and reliability. In order to be eligible, your site must serve at least 100K monthly impressions, and must not be related to gaming, children, chat or illegal activities. I've heard mized reviews about Sonar, but the overall sense is that they are one of the best CPM networks for medium-sized sites, and may provide an avenue into DoubleClick for sites that perform well. Definitely worth exploring.
UPDATE (10th May, 2001): While not defunct as such, Sonar has been absorbed by its parent, with existing publishers becoming a part of the DoubleClick broad Audience Network. This move will, however, raise the barriers to entry for any other medium-sized sites who aim to join DoubleClick's posse.

Sponsorships.net, an iBoost company, supports several pay-per-lead and clickthrough-based programs. Your earnings from individual programs are accumulated in a single pool of funds, to be issued as a single check once/month. Detailed online stats are available, as are some interesting features that can't be found elsewhere (ie sponsorship panels that rotate text links automatically). Sponsorships.net's founder, Paul Grossman, recently announced his departure from the network (just as Chet Brzezinski left the iBoost-owned WebsiteSponsors), and the firm followed by changing its payment terms whereby they now don't issue payments until they've received the entire balance owed by their advertisers. This move, in conjunction with a sudden lack of support, has lead to the expression of several aggressive public outbursts from their members, whose payments are growing increasingly overdue. Be wary.
UPDATE (7th July, 2001): Finally, the ill-fated company has made the decision to throw in the towel and shut down operations. Hopefully, existing and past members will eventually receive their outstanding payments before iBoost's cash reserve dries up.

StickyCash , a service from the Safe-Audit team, offers relatively non-intrusive popunders that pay between $1-$5CPM, depending upon the responsiveness of your visitors. Presently, the average rate is said to be close to $1.8CPM. Payments are made monthly.
UPDATE 22nd May: StickyCash has shut down for an indefinite period of time. The message from their admin was as follows:

We regret that the operation of Sticky Cash has not proved cost-effective.
As a result we have decided to close that operation. Thank you for trying to work with us and we are truly sorry that it is not possible to continue.
We recommend you remove our code at your earliest convenience.
All sums owed that are in excess of the minimum payout have been paid.

WebsiteSponsors offers its publishing partners an impressive 12-25 cents/click. The company was founded by a veteran web developer, Chet Brzezinski, before being acquired by iBoost on October 9th, 2000. Recommended.
UPDATE (30th April, 2001): Well, it seems that big company syndrome drowned the indie ethos that once made WebsiteSponsors arguably the best CPC banner network available to small-medium sized publishers. The network shut down today. iBoost will turn their focus instead to Sponsorships.net, while Chet has moved on to bigger and better things as the founder of FineClicks.

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