By definition, yes, PayPerPlay is a scam-
American Heritage Dictionary
n. A fraudulent business scheme; a swindle.
On their website for publishers (GetAudioAds.com) they promise that “Publishers (website owners) will earn revenue on 100% of their traffic…“. This is simply not true. Many publishers are reporting tens of thousands of hits without a single penny earned. Personally, I’ve only earned on less than .001% of my traffic. Their “official” blog (I’ll get to why official is in quotes shortly) actually came out yesterday and admitted that they have no way to live up to that promise-
NetAudioAds can only serve approximately 220 million paid ads per month based on current advertisers. This means that at full throttle only 1 out of every 5 hits (shown in the stats system) will trigger a paid audio ad.
Now we can’t say that website owners will get paid on 100% of their web traffic because we don’t have enough paid ads to cover it all.
And yet, all of their recruiting pages still say that “website owners will get paid on 100% of their web traffic“. In fact, they hired hundreds of bloggers (myself included – twice) to advertise that claim despite knowing that it was false. The first advertising commission I received from them in cluded the following line-
Our advertisers will buy ad plays on websites for 100% of visitors. You’ll have 100% conversion rate. 108 million sites have joined thus far.
and the second said –
Publishers (website owners) will earn revenue on 100% of their traffic… no clicks necessary!
I could accept this as a mistake except for two things: 1) they’re still spreading this false advertising, and 2) the second offer arrived on February 4th, three days after their official launch and at a time when they were already not living up to that promise.
They also continually state that they are “backed by one of the BIG 5 search engines” though they refuse to state which one, citing contractual obligations that were set to expire 11 days ago. Can you even name the “Big 5 search engines”? I canonly think of 4 I’d call “big”.
About that “official” blog. I assume it’s their official blog because its linked to directly from all of their webpages. But the blog’s author, Charles Heflin, keeps changing his story about whether or not he works for the company. Some days he swears he’s “just like everyone else” and at other times he talks about the inside info of the company as if he’s an employee (using “we”, etc). He also refuses to answer any questions on the “official” blog, instead referring people to the “official” forums (which also aren’t registered to the company. In other words, the company doesn’t communicate with anyone except its “insiders” and counts on them to spread the word. This gives them a perfect cloak of deniability should legal issues ever arrive.
Charles also seems to make up numbers at will. Yesterday he wrote that “at full throttle only 1 out of every 5 hits (shown in the stats system) will trigger a paid audio ad” but the day before he claimed “[t]he NetAudioAds servers are clocking 9,000 hits per second triggered from audio ad code in our distribution network” which works out to 32,400,000 ads being served every hour or 23,328,000,000 or more than 10 times their available ads if we’re to believe Charles.
You’re probably wondering what NetAudioAds and PayPerPlay are doing to even attempt to meet their promise. I certainly was. Well, it turns out they’re a re doing nothing, zero, zilch. Instead, they sent out their pet shill once again-
After discussions with NetAudioAds over the weekend, I have created a plan to fill the void. This plan includes you. You have the opportunity to create your own advertising agency through which to sell audio ads.
In other words, they now expect you to go sell the ads for them. So, let’s see. the publishers are getting the advertisers and serving the ads. What, exactly, is the service that NetAudioAds is providing again? Oh, they’re also going to stop accepting new publishers into the program… on Friday. Why not shut down right away?
All of the above smells like scam in addition to meeting the actual definition of the word. The most common retort to the accusation of NetAudioAds being a scam provided by Charles’ supporters (since he refuses to defend himself) is that it hasn’t cost anyone any money so it can’t be a scam. But these people are overlooking the fact that NetAudioAds (or maybe it’s Charles – the lines are so blurry it’s hard to tell) is charging people $70 to build a “SEO optimized” website to promote the program. This makes the scam smell even worse.
If you’re still reading this, you’re probably wondering why I’m still using NetAudioAds, given the points I raise above. Well, I do believe it’s an innovative concept. And I do believe that it has the potential to be bigger than Adsense… eventually. I have not paid any money into the system and I’ve only included the code on a few pages that get relatively few visitors (less than 1,000 per day combined). If it takes off, I’ll be all set to be part of the next big thing. If it doesn’t I’m out a few weeks of effort. I’ve invested much more and received nothing in return in the past, so it’s worth it to me.
If it’s worth it to you as well, be sure to sign-up before this Friday because that’s when the doors close (assuming Charles and PayPerPlay are telling the truth on that).