Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Million dollar homepage: why didn’t I think of that!

The Wall Street Journal is running an article on Alex Tew, the British student behind the million dollar homepage. If you are unfamiliar with the concept: he divided a webpage into 1 million pixels, and sells them for $1 each. Through clever PR and marketing, he has so far sold $716,900 worth of pixels since August. Advertisers range from online casinos, online communities, discount CDs, domain name hosting and even the Times.

There are now hundreds of copycat websites, some of them with interesting twists on the concepts, other just simple rip-offs. Someone is even selling a script to “create your own million dollar homepage”…

Hats-off to Alex. It is a one-off but will definitely be part of Internet advertising history. On a personal level, AdRants summarises my feeling well in true “Onion” style: “Million dollar homepage causes entrepreneurial depression".

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Entrepreneurial depression is right. We've been doing internet for 10 years and while we've made our fair share, never so much in so little time.

We couldn't help ourselves though and had to relaunch our MP3Board.com site in a similar vein with pixel advertising. Our "twist" on the idea is that we are only accepting ads for online music related products and services to build a music website directory and ensure long term viability for the advertisers AND our users.

Michael Frans said...

My hat goes off to Alex Tew, he certainly found a unique idea to sell ad space. I actually took his idea one step further... selling ad space by the BYTE! There are so many "pixel pushers" out there now that I needed to put a spin on the pixel advertising concept. Check out www.buckabyte.com

Spider said...

News from www.millionairepixels.co.uk

‘a Devon business with global ambition’



Date: Monday 16 January 2006



Australia asks Devon Designer for Help



Devon internet businessman and web designer Alan Wheeler has launched an innovative web advertising service which has already attracted an international company to sign up.



Bovey Tracey based Mr Wheeler has also been asked by Australian charity ‘Hope for Children’ to help them design and set up a similar web-based advertising service.



His web-service www.millionairepixels.co.uk enables businesses to buy a square of pixels, on the web page. Customers click on the coloured pixels and are immediately transported to the advertiser’s web site.



With each block of 100 pixels costing just £60 (60p per unit) it is, believes Mr Wheeler, one of the best value advertising and promotion options for businesses of all sizes and a potentially valuable boost to tourism related services.



And, in the longer term, advertisers could end up bidding for space on what is being described as internet ‘real estate’.



Mr Wheeler, aged 42, said “It’s a quick and easy way for people to find a service or firm and it also gives competitive advantage to the businesses because, with the millions of web sites available, this will draw potential customers to them much more easily.”



“Without a doubt there are people globally willing to pay for quite gimmicky advertising solutions. The internet is a fast moving place with over eight million web pages added on a daily basis. For a website to stand out and generate sales it needs to stand out from the rest,” he added



Last autumn university student Alex Tew set up the Million Dollar site and since then has been overwhelmed by the success of a venture intended to raise enough money to pay for his way through university.



Alan Wheeler’s www.millionairepixels.co.uk is, he says, the next big step in the concept because, in effect, businesses are ‘leasing’ virtual real estate on the web to promote their businesses.



Launched just two weeks ago, www.millionairepixels.co.uk has already won the backing of international business Optis Europe Ltd, an operations management company, which is using the site to promote its business.



With more customers advertising it is, says Mr Wheeler, inevitable that like real property, some of the pixels on his site will become increasingly valuable for their ‘owners’ as more business is generated.



However, the last 1200 pixels, or advertising blocks, will eventually be auctioned off in support of the Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, said Mr Wheeler.



Ends…

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Anonymous said...

What happens when you merge the milliondollarhomepage idea with sex (or is it art)? You get http://www.isellbody.com/

Anonymous said...

ISellBody.com wow ! Good Idea and Smart Babe!

medvegonok said...

I believe that Alex's site still generates some indirect value for advertisers at least by improving their visibility in search engines. It has a PageRank of 7 and many still continue to add links to it (by the way, this article has just added one link). So, getting the link from website with such a high PageRank for as low as 1$ it is clearly a reasonable investment. Good luck to all the copycats :)
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