First, let me say the buck stops here and we apologize for the very annoying ads that have been running on some parts of the site over the last 4-5 days. The pages load and then a minute or two later you are blasted with audio that can't be muted. Very annoying. We've taken all of the steps we can to get them taken down short of foregoing all ad revenue. If you want to understand why this happens, please continue reading.
About 75% of our revenue comes from display (i.e. graphical banner) ads. We don't sell any ads ourselves and contract with USAT Sports Media who sells ads that we run and also handles the relationships with remnant ad sellers.
When you come to a page we ping an ad server that first looks for an ad sold by USAT Sports Media and if none has been sold, then moves through progressive layers of potential remnant ads looking for the highest grossing ad for us. This might involve 5 or more different ad providers all of whom are serving ads in an automated way.
What happened last week is that one of the vendors either through incompetence or malice did not properly have the sound settings set properly for some of their flash ads, so it would have a video running for a bit and then after a minute or two the badly designed ad would come up blaring out of your speakers.
USAT has assured me they are removing this remnant from the rotation until the issue is fixed, so I'm hoping the problem is fixed.
A note about economics, we make about one-twentieth of a penny when a user is served one of those ads, so we would never on purpose do something that caused $20 of annoyance to a user. We do, as best we are able, to keep our ads quiet and non-intrusive.
At some point, we may sell ad-free access. We've got to get some infrastructure built to handle that, but it may get done at some point. If you don't like ads I hope you'll consider supporting the site in this way.
This entry was posted on Monday, September 17th, 2012 at 2:37 pm and is filed under Announcement, Baseball-Reference.com, Basketball-Reference.com, CBB at Sports Reference, CFB at Sports Reference, expire7d, Hockey-Reference.com, Olympics at S-R, Pro-Football-Reference.com. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.