$0.20 CPM from Tribal Fusion

September 24th, 2007 by Chris

How a good company goes bad.

Tribal Fusion used to be a great ad company with high rates for niche sites and a dedication to high quality ads. They were the Macys of Internet advertising. But apparently Macys got a little jealous of Dollar General and Tribal Fusion got a little jealous of all the general audience/low rate/high volume/crap networks out there.

So Tribal Fusion launched TF Direct, the worst idea ever by any head of any ad network. This is a program of crappy little ads that pay crappy little rates that publishers are not allowed to opt out of. We can set a pricing floor, a minimum CPM we’re willing to accept, but it can be no higher than $0.60 CPM (pre commission). Also, that is for all ad units. It is impossible to specify a different pricing floor for popunders or other intrusives, banners, leaderboards, boxes, or skyscrapers. Apparently Tribal Fusion thinks all those ad unit types should have the same rate.

So of course I set my pricing floor to the minimum $.60 CPM, but what do I see when I login, for the last 7 days it has averages $0.36 CPM. The minimum it should be is $0.60, but instead it ends up being almost half that. What is worse is after commission that means I’m only taking home an averaging of $0.20 CPM, and again that is an average that includes large & intrusive banners stuck at the top of the page. For a bottom of the page ad I might accept $0.20 CPM, but for a top of the page ad from a first tier? No way.

Tribal Fusion lists of course the advertisers in Tribal Fusion Direct, but they do not tell you which advertisers pay what or how many times the ads get displayed, only in aggregate total statistics do they tell you what TFD does. The only way for a publisher to block such advertisers is to block them all by domain. One thing Tribal Fusion does though is have advertisers with both normal campaigns and TFD direct campaigns so if a publisher wants the higher rate they need to deal with the lower rate which could be as low as $.05 CPM on a popunder for all we know. It seems very much more and more to be a bait and switch type manuever and one I am quite tired of. The other option is to block by domain, the only real way to turn off TFD ads on your account, but then you block both the higher paying ad (bribe ad) and the lower paying ad (which again, you have no idea how much it pays individually or how many impressions it is getting). It is something I do though for TFD popunders, I will not serve a popunder for less than $1 CPM, let alone less than $0.60 CPM.

Another idiotic thing Tribal Fusion does is make default campaigns expire yearly, but they give you no notification when they expire, so you have to remember and if you forget, oops, lost revenue. I have never seen any other ad network that does something like that, their whole system would give a usability guru nightmares.

For years I’ve recommended Tribal Fusion as a 1st tier provider and have used them myself, but they just keep getting worse and worse and it seems like they’re driving down that path on purpose.

8 Responses to “$0.20 CPM from Tribal Fusion”

  1. Michael  Says:

    What do you reccomend as your top tier now Chris?

  2. Chris  Says:

    When I find one I’ll let you know, but mostly my main concern is just getting my subscription system going so I don’t need to worry as much about this.

  3. Sean Spurr  Says:

    TF is still OK in CPM for me but I echo your concerns, I must have lost over a $1000 because of default expiring. I hope they take note of your concerns. Another problem is how hard their interface is to use, it takes about 6 clicks to get to the stats you want, while CS and VCM do it on the first page…

  4. vedran  Says:

    Offtopic question: Can i have three tribalfusion ads on one page(all different sizes)?
    Thank you

  5. Dan Morgan  Says:

    A timely reminder on the default expiration things – one of mine expired a few days ago!

    I can echo some of your concerns, but TF remain a decent, if not the best source of revenue for me, and my TF Direct rates are nowhere near what you are reporting.

    As we all know, the UI is long overdue a revamp, which was indicated to be just around the corner a good 6 months ago. The ad-server has been updated, but other things seem to be a little slower.

  6. Budy Sukamto  Says:

    I just searching on Google and find this article. I’m applying my website for publisher right now: galesus.com. If tribal fusion use $ 0.20 CPM, I just get $0.60 per day and for month will be $18.

    I’m waiting for tribal fusion approval. My web Just launched 2 weeks. my web have 3000-4000 visitors per day and have 4091 members right now. Hope I can get additional revenue for create new website.

  7. ShaSha  Says:

    Im going to apply soon after I have 2000 uniques a day, I think this will take more 3 months or so !!

  8. Alex  Says:

    You need 500K monthly uniques to apply now and eCPM are much much higher.

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