Wowio Deathwatch

By | Tuesday, October 14, 2008 5 comments
I reported on Wowio's traffic numbers according to Alexia a month ago, citing they had dropped to levels seen when they were closed for the month of July. I just checked this morning, after reading D.J. Coffman's recent update about his continuing problems with Platinum, and Wowio's traffic is now down to its lowest ever...

Since Alexa's numbers are not going to be 100% accurate, I thought I'd try to check some other measures. According to Google's trend analysis, web searches for the term "wowio" are at their lowest level since mid-2007...


(Point B in the graph above corresponds to July 31, when the site re-opened after being closed for a month.)

I also noticed for Google, Yahoo and MSN that there are NO sponsors at all for the search term "wowio." I can't compare this against past history, but it can't be a good sign, as it suggests (but by no means confirms) that no one is willing to pay a single penny to be advertised on a search page associated with Wowio.

Additionally, blog posts discussing Wowio have been trending downwards since the summer, according to Technorati...


Now, none of these measures is definitive, certainly, nor do they point to any concrete conclusions, they cumulatively suggest that Plantinum buying Wowio was a bad move all around. The original Wowio owners must be fraught at seeing their company go down the tubes so quickly* and the folks at Plantinum have picked a decent chunk of debt with no appreciable increase in revenue and no saleable licenses. I was really hopeful Wowio would do well when I first heard about them in 2006, but once Plantinum became involved, I think anyone with any realistic expectations knew this wasn't going to end well. From my perspective, this looks to me like Wowio's about ready to hang up the "Going Out Of Business" signs and try to close up shop before the end of the year to avoid a bunch of tax issues for 2009. Even if somebody could come up with a game-changing plan for them, I think the site and the name have too much baggage at this point and they'd be better off starting from ground zero.

* Unless, of course, they were exclusively shooting for a dot-com-bubble approach, and were hoping it had been long enough since that bubble burst that someone would be gullible enough to fall for it again. Which, apparently, Plantinum was. If that's the case, those original Wowio owners must be falling out of their chairs laughing.
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5 comments:

Dave said...

Also, the number of new comics (for example) over the past month can be used as some sort of indicator as to Wowio's troubles.

Before the switch to Platinum, Wowio had placed around 150 new comics in a month's time. Now it is down to 30 comics over the past month.

Ozoneocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ozoneocean said...

Actually Wowio whad been doing badly for about a year or so before Platinum came along. This is why Platinum were able to acquire them. Wowio was courting Platinum, not the other way around.

Dave said...

You're right. Wowio was courting Platinum, but look at where that has gotten them.

In the last few months they have fallen faster and farther than they ever did before Platinum aquired them.

Peter said...

"Unless, of course, they were exclusively shooting for a dot-com-bubble approach, and were hoping it had been long enough since that bubble burst that someone would be gullible enough to fall for it again. Which, apparently, Plantinum was. If that's the case, those original Wowio owners must be falling out of their chairs laughing."

As I remember it, the Wowio principals received no cash in the deal, only overvalued Platinum stock (overvalued at the time; since then Platinum's stock has fallen significantly, making the deal even worse). In fact, the demand for Platinum stock is probably low enough that even if the wowio principals had certificates worth, say, $50k each, it's pretty unlikely they'd be able to unload them on the market. The trade volume on that stock has been near zero for a while.

Platinum took Wowio on because they had the opportunity to get it for nothing; the Wowio principals were probably hoping that Platinum would put some money into revitalizing Wowio. The principals also had a clause, as I recall, giving them cash bonuses if Wowio's revenues hit certain pretty obviously unattainable tiers within a few months. So I'd guess they saw that Wowio was going down the tubes, figured there was a ghost of a chance that Platinum could turn it around and they might get a paychek (perhaps they weren't all that familiar with Platinum's track record as a publisher... or perhaps they were just looking for any opportunity to unload Wowio). At any rate, I'm pretty sure they didn't actually get anything at all (of value) when they sold Wowio to Platinum.