Review of TTZ Media
Updated - 24/05/2008
Go to www.ttzmedia.com
Although TTZ Media ads may look like affiliate links to various online stores, the advertising network is actually CPC (cost per click) based. This means that every time a site visitor clicks on one of the ads, the publisher makes a set amount of money.
The model may appear to be similar to Google AdSense, but unlike AdSense, there is no “bid” system in TTZ Media. Every click is worth exactly the same amount. Google ads, by contrast, pay everything from a penny per click to several dollars per click.
Best suited for technology and shopping-minded websites, TTZ Media offers two primary advantages over competitors like Google AdSense and Yahoo Publisher Network. The first is the known payout rate for each click. The second is a greater level of control over which ads are displayed on a publisher’s website.
TTZ Media ads are not contextual. Instead, a publisher can define exactly which products are displayed in each ad. This can be done by providing a specific shopping.com product ID. If the publisher wishes to display an ad for the pink 8GB Apple iPod nano, they can select this specific item and provide the product ID. Alternatively, the publisher can provide a set of keywords and then ads will be displayed based on these keywords. If no product IDs and no keywords are provided, the TTZ Media engine selects products at random.
The vast majority of ads displayed through the TTZ Media are technology related. These include such items as digital cameras, MP3 players, computer components, and video games. The provided links direct site visitors to online stores like Amazon, Overstock, Dell, and the eBay Marketplace.
The payout rate for each click generated by a publisher is dependent on the total number of clicks generated within a single month. For publishers who generate less than 1000 clicks a month, the payout level is $0.15 per click. For 1000 to 2000 clicks, the payout is $0.18 per click. For 2000 to 4000 clicks, the payout is $0.22 per click. For more than 4000 clicks, the payout is $0.25 cents. These PPC rates are subject to change at any time, but they still offer a much higher level of consistency than bid-based CPC ad networks.
The TTZ Media control panel is decidedly basic and not as well developed as more established advertising networks. The control panel is comprised of six sections and these are accessed through a series of links near the top of page.
- Dashboard: This is the first page that publishers see upon logging in to their accounts. Near the top is the publisher’s affiliate membership code and email address. Below this are stats for the current day, the previous day, the last 7 days, the current month, and the previous month. The stats displayed include number of views, number of (unaudited) clicks, and click-thru rate (CTR). These are broken down based on ad channel, just like Google AdSense.
- Ad Code Generator: The ad creatives are fully customizable, including each and every color component like the border color, link color, and the color of font for the prices. Publishers can choose whether or not to show the TTZ logo in the corner of their ads, save preconfigured ad templates, and add/select ad channels. Along the right side of the ad code generator are three tabs. These are Show Code, Preview Ad, and Refresh Preview. The different ad types and customization options are discussed further in the Available Ad Formats section below.
- Detailed Stats: The stats shown on this page are nearly identical to the ones shown in the dashboard. The additional functionality of the Detailed Stats page comes from the option to view stats based on a custom date range and the ability to see which products are generating the most clicks. The latter is based on an eight or nine digit code, but clicking on them does not always yield any additional information. It is also unfortunate that a daily breakdown is not available to publishers, forcing them to input a series of custom date ranges.
- Payment History: Money earned and paid is shown with one month per line. This information is further broken down by commissions earned via ad clicks and via referrals. It is also on this page that a publisher can see how much money has been paid in the last 12 months and how much is still accrued within the account. The payment status is shown for each month as well.
- Account Management: Publishers can edit their user profile here. The registered email, full name, website, and website category cannot be edited. The data that is available for editing are the payment method, PayPal email address, mailing address, and account password.
- FAQ: A collection of commonly asked questions about TTZ Media, including information on how the list of products is retrieved, how to integrate the ads into a Wordpress blog, and the meaning of an “unaudited” click. Near the bottom of this page is a short contact form for additional support.
The TTZ Media control panel is remarkably simple and it looks like it could use some “polishing” to improve the user experience. The stat tracking is adequate, but having a daily breakdown available would go a long way. The buggy “top performing products” section in the Detailed Stats doesn’t help either. Finally, an obvious link to a contact form would be infinitely useful.
Publishers can select whether to have the TTZ Media ads display single products or multiple products. The former is excellent for product reviews, for example, while the latter may be more appropriate for product comparison. Both types of ads will show multiple prices and multiple online stores for each individual product. For site visitors, it’s like the “shopping around” process has already been done on their behalf.
TTZ Media offers many of the most popular ad sizes. These include the 728x90 leaderboard ad, 300x250 square ad, and 160x600 wide skyscraper ad. Most of these formats are designed to show multiple stores and prices for each product. There are also four less conventional ad sizes – 500x265, 450x225, 500x200, and 450x175 – that have been designed to show the average “rating” of the product being displayed.
For multiple product ads, publishers can provide up to four specific product IDs. These eight-digit codes (PIDs) can be found through the shopping.com catalog. Not all product ID codes appear to work, especially when it comes to cell phones and items that are only sold by a single store.
All TTZ Media ads come with an image of the highlighted product, assuming that an image is available from the shopping.com catalog. Certain formats also come with a very brief description of the product.
To sign up with TTZ Media, applicants must fill out a short form on the ad network’s homepage. This form asks for an email address, full name, PayPal address, mailing address, primary website, monthly pageviews, and website category. There do not appear to be any minimum traffic levels for approval, but there are four key requirements that a publisher’s website must meet: own domain name (no Blogger.com or Typepad.com accounts), English-only, high quality content, and updated frequently. The approval process can take several days.
The payment cycle is monthly with a 30 day delay. This means that March earnings, for example, are not issued until early May. The minimum payment threshold is $25 and payment can be accepted either by check in the mail or via PayPal.
The referral program at TTZ Media is not as clearly defined as most other ad networks. In fact, no information or mention of a referral program can be found within the TTZ Media control panel, with the exception of the data shown within the Detailed Stats and Payment History.
An inquiry with the support team yielded the following information: Publishers earn 10% of what their referrals earn within the referral’s first 12 months. This payment is above and beyond the regular payment made to the publisher and does not detract from the earnings of the person referred to the program.
Referrals are tracked by a unique referral ID provided to each publisher, but the actual referral URL is not actually stated anywhere. Instead, it is automatically linked on the bottom right of each ad within the text "Powered by TTZ Media" in the form of http://www.ttzmedia.com/refer.php?referid=55555 where 55555 is the publishers account number.
Publisher support is seriously lacking with TTZ Media. The main homepage does not have any contact information whatsoever and finding the contact form within the control panel is not obvious at all. The contract form is buried at the top of the FAQ page and is not available to people who are not already in the TTZ Media network. This would prevent many potential publishers from applying in the first place.
Best suited for shopping and technology-based websites, TTZ Media offers a great deal of customization and the ability to highly target the ads to a site’s visitors. When writing a review of a very specific product, the best ad is one with that exact product. TTZ Media allows publishers to do this. For many site visitors, they may not even consider it an ad at all, because it provides an essential service: a real-time price comparison.
The concept behind TTZ Media appears to be a good one, but the actual implementation could use some work. Some publishers have complained of downtime and error codes generated by the ad code, and the serious lack of publisher support does not provide for a good user experience. The stat tracking could easily be more comprehensive as well.
As it stands, TTZ Media has a consistent payment model, a huge library of products to advertise, and a good deal of customization with the different ad types. For publishers who have considerable content related to consumer electronics and a digital lifestyle, TTZ Media may be an appropriate choice.