Pajamas Media Puts Blog Ad Network to Bed

Conservative political blogging site Pajamas Media firm has shuttered its non-profitable blog ad network. The firm blames plummeting ad revenues and insufficient ad click-through rates.

“Traffic was up; it’s not traffic. Advertising revenue is down,” Roger Simon, CEO and co-founder of Pajamas Media told ClickZ in an interview. “It’s the whole click thing. Advertisers discovered people don’t click on the ads.”

Pajamas Media entered the blog space as an Open Source Media company in 2005 and launched with 70 blogs worldwide. The network grew to encompass 100 blogs, then settling with about 90 blogs by the time it closed. Participating blogs were notified that the network would close in a letter posted on the company’s blog written by Simon.

While it was an initial part of the firm’s business, the network was never profitable. Bloggers in the network were given two-months warning that it would be closed so they could find other means of generating revenue.

Other blog ad networks have experienced revenue-related woes. Federated Media recently hit a rough patch when it laid off seven of its employees. As a result of lower ad prices and reduced spending, the blog network said it would shift its focus from display advertising to more custom advertising deals.

Henry Copeland, CEO of blog ad network Blogads, suggests the Pajamas network shutdown isn’t a bad sign for blogs or ad networks. However, he noted, “Ad spends are on hold or declining, and agencies and the advertisers behind them are slower to pay.”

Pajamas Media isn’t shutting down its entire business. The blog network was only a portion of its business; it also sells advertising on its main portal page, and other media properties including PajamasXpress bloggers and Instapundit. Much of its focus now is on its subscription-based video content network PajamasTV, which features content filmed in high definition in a studio in Los Angeles and also on location. Samuel Joe Wurzelbacher, who gained fame as Joe the Plumber through John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, is a PJTV correspondent in Washington D.C.

There is currently no advertising on PajamasTV. “We’re looking into it,” said Simon. “Right now we’re concentrating on trying to program it.”

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