How much money websites make from “paid content” below news articles

Many online publishers run “paid content” or “recommended stories” below their news articles, which typically feature sensational headlines and photos to encourage clicks.

Content discovery and marketing platforms offer “sponsored website links” services to publishers, including the likes of Taboola and Outbrain.

These platforms partner with publishers to show their ads on news websites, with a revenue share agreement between the two parties.

While the exact revenue split is not disclosed, Outbrain’s managing director in Europe said in 2014 that they share “about half” of the revenue generated with partner sites.

This raises the question: How much money do online publishers make through these content discovery services?

Total income

The total income depends on various factors, including the number of impressions and the revenue-share agreement between the publishers and the platform.

The best way to see how much these ads earn is to look at the revenue generated per thousand views (RPM).

The table below shows the typical income of a small South African website over a two-week period, using a popular content discovery platform.

The total income from displaying the “paid content” links under articles over the 14 days was R236 – around R17 per day.

For a website which produces around 100,000 article page impressions per month, the income will be around R500 over that period.

Income from Paid Content
Page Views CTR Ad Clicks Ad CPC Ad RPM Revenue
2787 2.01% 56 R0.19 R3.70 R10.41
2945 2.58% 76 R0.30 R7.67 R22.74
3771 2.02% 76 R0.25 R4.80 R18.22
3524 2.50% 88 R0.27 R6.99 R24.66
3605 1.53% 55 R0.22 R3.29 R12.06
4216 2.06% 87 R0.29 R5.89 R25.07
3698 2.11% 78 R0.26 R5.48 R20.28
2676 1.20% 32 R0.16 R2.06 R5.48
2817 2.09% 59 R0.21 R4.25 R11.78
3557 1.60% 57 R0.32 R5.21 R18.36
3754 1.73% 65 R0.36 R6.17 R22.88
4184 1.79% 75 R0.22 R3.97 R16.44
3854 1.92% 74 R0.23 R4.52 R17.40
3408 1.58% 54 R0.18 R2.88 R9.86
Total Revenue R236.00

CPC = Cost Per Click; RPM = Revenue Per Thousand

Now read: You now need at least 10,000 channel views to make money on YouTube

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How much money websites make from “paid content” below news articles