I’ve written in the past about the fact that our industry charges much higher CPMs than you’d see elsewhere. I feel comfortable that this is justified by high-quality editorial written by experts that attracts a very specific niche audience. Despite this, the publications that do invest in great editors aren’t making a fortune. In fact we risk losing a lot of great content from our industry because the current business models can’t support all the great editors that work in electronics.

Current CPMs vary considerably. Let’s say that they run from €20 to €100. At this level advertisers can struggle to justify the investment, whilst publishers can only just pay the bills. Things are just about in balance, with publishers only able to cut prices if there is a huge increase in page views.

Then Opencores.org send me their media pack. OK, I completely accept that the Open Cores website has a very specific audience. Visitors to the site include include a higher proportion of students than magazine sites as well as engineers who are attractive to a relatively small group of advertisers (including the notoriously stingy EDA sector). But the rates for the site are crazy! Prices drop to €0.46 per thousand (you have to buy a sponsorship for a month, and the CPM is calculated based on the average impressions per month). About one hundredth of the rates you might get from a typical magazine site!

In reality I don’t expect Open Cores to change the pricing of “mainstream” sites. But if other user-generated content sites enter the market with very low rates, then publishers are going to find their CPMs under extreme pressure.