Here’s what (s)he had to say.
Last November, UGO negotiated for more venture capital. They had announced that they had recieved $10 million. This was true. The problem was, they had asked for – and needed – $23 million to stay afloat. The remainder was contingent on stopping UGO’s burn-through NOW – and a large part of that was UGO’s affiliate program – the ad banners. You might remember that that is when UGO cut affiliate payments from an average of $2.00 CPM (or per thousand page views) to 50 cents CPM. Others were simply told that they would get a percentage of what ad inventory UGO was able to sell. Which has been, for quite some time now, zero.
The first payment under those new contracts was in November of last year. Since then, no affiliate has been paid anything. Well, that’s not entirely true – several have actually threatened to sue UGO, but quickly recieved out-of-court settlements. But no contract commitment made has been kept by UGO to its affiliates. NONE.
UGO then recieved another $10 million dollars of the initial $23 million requested – which was contingent upon the layoff of a good portion of UGO’s workforce. This happened Friday. (The remaining $3 million is scheduled to be paid out later this year.) UGO promptly issued press releases announcing the $10 million payout as if it were newly negotiated capital, in order to offset the public perception of the layoff announcement.
UGO’s affiliate managers (those that are left – the layoffs cut particularly deep there) would love to pay their affiliates. They can’t. They have been forbidden to pay anyone – since if they paid one, they would have to pay them all. And they are left watching their content disappear and their debts soar.
Is UGO making any income at all outside of their venture capital? Probably not – UGO hasn’t sold any ad inventory in approximately forever. They sold gamedealer to Electronics Boutique. Gary Coleman can only do so many celebrity appearances.
What amazes me is that the UGO affiliates have managed to keep silent until today. Pop-up ads can be dangerous, apparently.