10 thoughts on “For HotOrNot, betting on free is paying off”

  1. I think switching to a free model is an excellent idea. HotOrNot actually invented an entirely new class of sites, and its their constant adaptation and innovation that has helped them survive so far.

  2. cheers to james for taking on more risk & super-[re]charging the business.

    he’s a great entrepreneur, and a great person, and he deserves all the praise in the world for disrupting & reinventing himself & HotOrNot.

    you go girl!

    • dmc
  3. Revenues tanked and now dependent exclusively on Google Ads. How is this a step in the right direction?

  4. I’m glad to see that free sites like hotornot and plentyoffish are getting the respect they deserve, though neither one is revolutionary. I am trying to change the way singles interact online… though until I start posting a million dollar adsense check you will have to take my word for it. “No respect I tell ya, no respect”

  5. tim,

    good question.

    the revenues could have vanished, and the whole move would have a massive disaster.

    but they are slowly making up lost revenues with ads, and it is still keeping them profitable. as they grow their sales force, hong thinks that ad revenues will ramp.

  6. James is right a good ad sales force may be able to make him a bunch of extra money.

    Google adsense is pathetic these days, if I hired a decent ad sales staff I figure I could make $30 million off ads pretty easilly with Plentyoffish.com. But turning a hobby site into a actual business is going to be hard for me.

  7. Jim and James are free to do whatever they want but clearly the better call is to let a $5m/year cash cow run itself. 98% of the US workforce works for dollars, not equity. How hard could it possibly be to find an employee or two to answer emails and reboot servers?

  8. The revenue will definitely drop but it is a way to get more visitors and members. I assume profit is not that important for James now…

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