How To Get 20 Million Views for Only $5,000

Yesterday, technology blog Gizmodo posted a story that they got their hands on the next Apple iPhone. It seems the phone was lost by an Apple engineer while getting drunk at a bar. The phone was found by someone and eventually ended up in the hands of Gizmodo after a $5,000 payment.

Now, I don’t want to debate the ethics of how this all went down. What I do want to show is the power of a world wide exclusive story.

Gizmodo managed to obtain an Apple iPhone that won’t be shown for another two months. For a company as secretive as Apple, this leak breaks all records and I really feel sorry for the guy who lost the phone. I can just imagine him facing the wrath of Steve.

The Giz pay $5,000 for the next iPhone. Was that a good investment? You damn right it was!

Gizmodo traffic

Say what you want about “checkbook journalism,” you can’t argue with that kind of traffic numbers! Gizmodo gets around $30 CPM on their ad sales. Assuming they sold out all the inventory (which I highly doubt), the 20 million views would be worth $600,000. Not a bad return on $5,000.

Here’s a video of the new iPhone. I like it a lot and I’m definitely getting one when it comes out.

37 thoughts on “How To Get 20 Million Views for Only $5,000”

  1. That idiot should have shopped the phone out to WSJ or something!

  2. Liane says:

    The wrath of Steve Jobs… lol… I really pity the guy.

  3. Gary says:

    Gawker’s ad rep commented about their revenue based on impressions here:

    Ad demand only matches ad supply that way if using remnant networks/exchanges. We’re not, so no real rev gain in news spikes.

    So that number sounds big, but I don’t think they made that much. They lost their relationship with Apple, which surely is going to cost more than $600K in the long run!

    1. John Chow says:

      Oh give me a break! LOL Apple needs the media more than the media needs Apple. There’s no way Apple will block a blog the size of Gizmodo from any of their events. Remember what Giz did at CES 2009? Everyone said they should be banned from future show. Guess what? They were at CES 2010.

      Apple sent a C&D to Giz when they offer to pay $100K to anyone who can get them an iPad to play with before the release. Yet, the Giz was still invited to the iPad unveil and they’ll be invited to the iPhone unveil in June.

      As for the extra traffic, no they won’t make $600K on it. But their rampart and 3rd party ads pay $2 to $3 CPM. That’s an extra $40K to $60K and that’s only for the first two days.

      1. Joana says:

        I absolutely agree with you that Apple needs the media . I even suspect that the whole thing was a setup by Apple. Great way to build buzz without outwardly compromising your holier-than-thou social media attitude.

        1. I also suspect this was planned by Apple. There’s been so much buzz for the iPad, people are pretty much Apple-saturated at the moment, so they needed something big to keep the buzz going for the next iPhone.

          Who knows.

      2. If anything…this brought Gizmodo tons of attention and that alone was probably worth the $5K…there is no such thing as bad publicity…it’s just publicity!

      3. Yup, ultimately this is good publicity in a backward kinda way, so the possibility even exists for Apple to have deliberately engineered the “leak”. The traffic stats shows just how strong a brand Apple’s iPhone is. Definitely worth the $5000 Gizmodo spent!!!

  4. Samuel says:

    Interesting, quick lend me $5,000 bucks.

  5. Steven says:

    It’s unfortunate that Gizmodo receives a flat rate and is paid not on impressions.

    1. John Chow says:

      Where did you get that from? Gizmodo charges on CPM. Always had. The 3rd party networks they use for excess inventory pays them on CPM as well.

      1. I think he stated it on his website, check it out 😛

  6. Joey says:

    It was actually $10,000

    1. John Chow says:

      No, it was $5,000, The $10K figure was from another blog who pull the figure out of thin air. Giz stated they paid $5,000 for the phone in this blog post:

  7. d3so says:

    yup, i actually stumbled on the article while reading something else last night. I can’t wait till it gets released. Hopefully, it’ll work on the T-Mobile network.
    John, of course you’re going to get one; you really don’t have to say that you are lol 😉

  8. Model Allure says:

    The moral is Don’t drink and get laid off

  9. Insane. Big WIN for Gizmodo right there!

  10. So what is all this hype about the iPhone?
    I have a phone implanted into the right ear and dial by thinking the numbers. Only problem is the long cord when I leave the house 🙂

    The 5k$ was well invested, even when they don’t get the big revenue from ad networks calculated above. They improved on their reputation. They are ‘The site which reviews gizmos first’.
    Well done!

  11. 12 million pageviews!… Sweet… My server would crash!… :]

  12. this story is like fiction somehow

  13. Lovely story, I would like to know what happened to the poor guy that lost the iPhone and if he survived the “wrath of Steve”. But why did he took a prototype like this out of the company building? Did he wanted to impress somebody? SY

  14. Free Picks says:

    $5000 is not an “only” amount its a big amount for those who are earning not enough

    1. Maybe start charging for your picks? 😉

  15. That guy would have gotten a Donald Trump wrath. Whats that line again

    “You’re Fired”.



  16. Edgar says:

    The poor guy can actually turn his fortunes around by building a blog himslef and tell his part of the story and maybe even get $600K in CPM ads.

  17. Andrew says:

    Dang, I signed up for a 2-year contract with my iPhone 3GS, so it is going to be obsolete soon?

    1. My plan is to buy a new one every year and give the old one to my wife to use. =)

  18. Haha, that was a good investment indeed. So quick wins and results SEO do exist in SEO 😉

  19. that was a good investment indeed. -))

  20. Not many people would argue that the 5K was not worth it…that exposure was great for them…and Apple will still bring them back!

  21. fas says:

    I appreciate Giz for what they did. Time to sell my iphone.

  22. wat is your myspace page

  23. Eric says:

    I appreciate Giz for what they did. Time to sell my iphone.

Comments are closed.