This article provides some confirmation of my bubble speculation below;
Jan. 16, 2015, ABC News: VC Firms Rain Down Cash on Tech Startups, Is Bubble Brewing?
Of course it’s not a perfect fit. (btw, do bubbles “brew”; I thought trouble brewed, and you blew bubbles, and trouble and bubble rhyme but… no matter, I’ll have to look that up sometime.) I predicted that advertisers will clue into the overvaluation of clickbait news sites. You know the type; they regurgitate the news by quickly rewriting stories from other sources while also providing links to cute videos; some of them go the extra mile and have an editor contribute one or two columns a week babbling on about “the issues of the day” with a particular slant, “Wow, those Democrats/Republicans really are clueless…”
The article above talks about investors and start-ups, not clickbait. At least it does demonstrate that more and more money is being thrown at the online sector. And then the bubble bursts and everyone retreats to safe investments with hard assets like real estate which creates a bubble and on and on and on we go.
At this point I will borrow a paragraph from Tyler Durden’s latest at Zero Hedge regarding the reset going on in other markets;
We’re getting back to normal, and though normal’s going to hurt – and far more than you realize yet-, it’s hugely preferable to upside down; you hang uprise down long enough, it makes your brain explode. The price of oil was the first thing to go, central banks are the next. And then the whole edifice follows suit.
In my view, part of that edifice is the overvaluing of clickbait news sites and their ability to generate a quality audience, properly quantified, which justifies their ad rates.
(Here I interject my best mock-imitation of a corporate boardroom presenter):
“The good news is our web traffic is up 37% this year. And your brand recognition is up 85%! The only downside is that most of that is from western India… and from what we can tell, in the evening hours, mostly from eleven computers inside an elementary school. But we can repurpose that—and still maintain the hit count—by simply advising our ad department to make a few payments to Facebook and get them to re-jig their algorithm to display our articles with your ad! Perhaps this will bring more exposure in places like Peru and Malaysia. You may not sell any more pizzas, but you can imagine yourselves to be very popular which will, in the fullness of time, be a tremendous boost your corporate self-esteem! And as long as we’re charging you more than we’re paying to Facebook, everyone’s happy.”