After nearly six months of research and development, U.K.-based AskWinner.com last week rolled out a patent-pending pay-per-visitor advertising solution for the I-gaming industry.
The system is continually being tweaked, and the company behind the service, AW Inc., is planning achieve a critical mass in usage by summer's end. The next step would be have a companion system usable across multiple verticals in full use by the end of the year.
"This is perfect for webmasters who don't have the resources to drive big traffic."
- Franz Winner>
The model is based on the traditional "pay-per-click" system used by search engines and portal sites minus the drawbacks of pay-per-click.
"The PPC model has advertisers bidding against each other for that top spot on a list," AW Inc. President Franz Winner explained. "There is usually a top five list that an advertiser can get in and then a second group of five. The problem is the top three spots are usually dominated by major players."
New competitors, or ones that don’t have deep pockets for marketing and advertising typically find themselves at the bottom of the lists and suffering low click-thru rates.
With the new system, Winner said, companies pay to be in either group of five, but they all pay the same rate because the lists are randomly rotated each time a page is accessed.
Unlike traditional lists, often labeled as sponsor's links on search engines, list of links using the AskWinner.com system rotate automatically. For every visitor generated, one credit is subtracted for visitors coming from the first five positions and a half credit for the ones coming from the second cluster.
"By switching the links up, visitors will be able to find new content that they might not have been exposed to using the old system," Winner said. "This is perfect for webmasters who don't have the resources to drive big traffic."
Sites using the system also get more out of their marketing spend, he added, because they don't have to spend as much to get visitors. And if they could only afford to be at the bottom of a sponsored list in the past, they likely got little traffic to the site. Now, by spending only a little bit more, traffic should increase enormously, he said.
Winner predicts the network will grow enormously in coming months, especially with the likes of Yahoo and Google dropping I-gaming ads.
"[The sites that stopped accepting advertisements from the interactive gaming industry] should have fought for their freedom of speech," Winner said. "It should help us in the long run, and we have targeted September for getting some of the major sites onboard with our system. We couldn't have targeted them a year ago, but now we can."
Winner said the new system is an alternative to revenue sharing, and won't kill the traditional advertising model. But he is hopeful that it can be adapted enough within the interactive gaming industry to have an impact.
AskWinner.com announced the new service as part of an entire upgrade to the site. New content and a new user interface was added last month, and a community area will go live in June.
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