Lindsay Lohan worth $2.50 CPM

Most Valuable News Topics - Perfect Market Vault Index

According to this new study that’s been making the rounds.

To arrive at topic RPMs [Revenue per thousand page views], the Vault Index aggregates online RPMs from specific news articles about those topics. Representative RPMs by topic include: Mortgage Rates, $93; Immigration Reform, $26; Egg Recall, $20. (For comparison, articles on the Lindsay Lohan sentencing averaged RPMs of $2.50.)

The study was done by Perfect Market, a company in the US that’s focused on helping publishers maximise their online revenue via content monetisation.

It’s an interesting piece of research to say the least (well, for us anyway)… especially since it is somewhat reflective of our own internal data showing how much real news outweighs celebrity news in terms of interest and traffic .

The standard measure of a story’s interest has always been how popular it is in terms of traffic and how long someone engaged with the content for. Now, more and more, we can actually value each type of story based on ad dollars as well… and just as traffic and audience behaviour will show when you interrogate the numbers, the stuff that drives clicks don’t necessarily always drive the dollars too.

Understanding these dynamics for us, as a news outlet, is vital.

Our news reporting and content production capability in New Zealand is massive, with 720 journalists covering the nation. With such a huge content pipeline, we have got people on the ground covering everything from an earthquake to a fashion show or from parliament to the NZ music awards.

We’ve got people telling you how to bake cookies, how to eat well, what shows you should watch, which places you should visit, what gigs are rocking town each week, how the All Blacks did (as they’re doing it, even), or how your favourite Super 15 or provincial team are doing. We’ve got people giving financial advice, parental advice, pet advice, dieting advice, music advice… well I think you get the picture.

Given the amount of content we put in front of our audience, it’s imperative that we know how each and every different type of content performs… and as I mentioned before, we do.  In fact, we spent countless hours interrogating, analysing and interpreting such data.

Very soon, we’ll be adding yet another dimension to the valuation of online news and entertainment content; that of dollars. And what more, this can be measured more directly (well, at least when a similar study is done in NZ) with specific pieces of content rather than just broad swaths of similar content.

This is a welcomed inclusion and we certainly hope to see more and more of this kind of data and analysis being done. It will certainly be invaluable information for all parts of the content creation value chain


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