AOL's Platform A said Monday that it will offer Bebo and Facebook application developers "a guaranteed CPM" for U.S. traffic and says the ad rate is one of the highest in the industry.
However, there are a few caveats: CPM rates on social networking sites are notoriously low--think pennies--and even Google is having trouble monetizing social inventory. Applications, however, may fetch a few more pennies. Just in case Platform A is paying out more pennies than usual the company said in a statement that "guaranteed CPM rates will apply to the first three impressions for each unique U.S. visitor who visits an approved developer’s application."
Platform A doesn't disclose what this CPM--cost per 1,000 impressions--actually is, but Anna Maria Virzi recently called social network CPMs a penny arcade where run of site ads go for 5 cents per CPM and those associated with a social app command 70 cents to 80 cents per CPM. Given that Platform A is talking widgets it's safe to say that it's guaranteed rate is in that 70 cent or so range.
In a nutshell, Platform A is trying to drum up interest in the WIDGNET publisher network, which puts ads on widgets and other social applications. The company said that there are more than 30,000 applications across the Bebo and Facebook directories.