Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
28 March 2006
GameSpot syndication on Target: closing the feedback loop
I just want to raise another potential issue with GameSpot selling unmarked ad space right beside editorial space: GameSpot syndicates its content directly to Target, among others. Here, see for yourself at Get Into The Game.

My question: Does GameSpot tell syndication partners which are paid ads and which are editorial?

If it doesn't, then that could be a problem, I think.

I noticed this back over Christmas 2005, and a quick googling turned up Kyle's post from August, which I'd managed to forget. You can read the details there.

If those "gumball" ads that GameSpot is selling get syndicated on Target's Get Into The Game site, is Target privy to that? If not, then that's precisely where the feedback loop I mentioned earlier would close.

Imagine that a Publisher A buys a gumball ad with GameSpot and the ad gets syndicated on Target's site. Target, not knowing that it's a plant, sees people showing interest in Publisher A's game, and reports this back to GameSpot. Or, perhaps, GameSpot sees increased traffic to Publisher A's trailer through the Target referrals. Regardless, GameSpot may choose to dedicate more attention on Publisher A's game. More editorial attention means more syndicated content on Target's site, and the loop continues.

So: Does GameSpot tell syndication partners which are paid ads and which are editorial?
--Matt Matthews at 19:16
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