Just an Online Minute... Clear Blue Closes
"It doesn't look like [the ad market] is going to be recovering any time soon, so we're going to cut our losses," he said yesterday in a brief phone interview. There's been a significant decline in total dollars [spent on online ads], but also in total CPMs and that really hurt Clear Blue Media because they outsourced their ad serving, he said. And some predict prices will continue to fall.
Compared to other ad firms that recently went out of business, Clear Blue's losses are not as dramatic - they burned through $1.6 million in total venture capital, which is a relatively low amount. Sadly, Phil said, they were so close to profitability in the last few months that one or two good campaigns could have pulled them through.
"It's difficult to get traditional advertisers to buy something they haven't heard of," Phil said. "They're looking to Yahoo and Excite and AOL, and they're not looking for small publishers from Clear Blue Media."
Additionally, some of their advertisers went out of business without paying their bills, thus Clear Blue was unable to pay their publishers, who in turn refused to run any more ads.
When I asked if they've considered taking the company in a different direction like some others have done, Phil said they've thought about it, researched it, looked into different opportunities of partnering with others, but no one was really interested. It's "natural evolution," he said. "Larger companies are waiting for the smaller companies to die off so they can pick up the pieces. It's good for the players still out there."