December 29, 2005 2:11 AM PST

For a buck a pixel, Brit kid nets nearly $1 million

Selling a mishmash of mini ad spaces on a single Web page for $1 per pixel earns one student nearly $1 million in four months.

The story "For a buck a pixel, Brit kid nets nearly $1 million" published December 29, 2005 at 2:11 AM is no longer available on CNET News.

Content from Reuters expires after 30 days.


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Very smart, but already a copy
Anyone who has heard of "" is trying to do the same thing by selling pixel spaces on their site to support their scheme. They are copy cats of this Brit's original idea.

It doesnt look like Smashmyviper is going to be successful at all, they are trying to raise $1 million to start a new business.

I wonder if will sue Smashmyviper for stealing his idea? lol
Posted by exrob (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
First of it's kind
At least <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a> is putting a different spin on
the concept.
Posted by buckabyte (8 comments )
Link Flag
Lots of copies...
Well, there are already over 500 similar sites, almost of all of which will do very little business. This just goes to show you that creativity can be rewarded. Just like on eBay when someone is the first to auction off something novel or unusual it may garner a lot of attention and a lot of money. But, once it is done, the tons of copycats don't make out very well.
Posted by jbisko (1 comment )
Link Flag
Let me guess
You run right?
Posted by deepakjones (2 comments )
Link Flag
Not another copy, but a twist
Check out what they have done with

Instead of selling pixels they sell full 468x60 ad space for a very low price so it can really cater to anyone's budget. Purchased ads are forever ads and can be either graphics or text oriented, also the ads are targetted, compare that to pixel ads!
Posted by Latinneo (1 comment )
Link Flag
Already a copycat
Anyone who has heard of "" is trying to do the same thing by selling pixel spaces on their site to support their scheme. They are copy cats of this Brit's original idea.

It doesnt look like Smashmyviper is going to be successful at all, they are trying to raise $1 million to start a new business.

I wonder if will sue Smashmyviper for stealing his idea? lol
Posted by exrob (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There are a loads of copy cats.
I've been watching this thing since it went up.

There are probably more than a thousand copy cats. Just do any search on Google for 'pixel advertising and you'll find them.
Posted by oohkumar (7 comments )
Link Flag
Copycats need 'news media' to be successful
If only cNet would publish an article on the copycats, maybe then they would become success. Same way the original gained success, through an assist from the supposed 'news media.'
Posted by ThreadSurfer (12 comments )
Link Flag
Press Release "news" Isn't News
This is one of the problems with 'news' services these days:

"When he had made $1,000, he issued a press release that was picked up by the news media and spread around the Internet."

This is a case of 'news media' creating a story, for it never would've happened had the 'news media' not perpetuated the story. It must've been a slow news days, back then. But. this is typical of cNet as well. Lazy, incompetent writers who call themselves journalists. I wouldn't be surprised if the very article I just read at cNet was in-fact, triggered by another press release from website owner.

Which one of your 'journalists' is crafting the next "Woman has casino ad tattooed to her ___" feature from a casino's press release?

I understand though, this is part of the modern 'news' biz, but can't you at least separate your enterprised stories from 'stories' that were dropped onto your desks by any business or individual that intends to benefit from the publicity of their story? You're nothing more than a free publicity stream for them.
Posted by ThreadSurfer (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good for him!
I'm glad his idea took off for him. I wish I could be creative. My site selling goat feces tanked.
Posted by stmon99 (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I tried that - failed too.
Back to the lab I guess.
Posted by oohkumar (7 comments )
Link Flag
Goat caca?
I'm sorry it tanked,but who buys that and why?
Is it good for flowers?
Posted by Freedomfighter29 (3 comments )
Link Flag
Tom Corven
The story here is not the advertising page itself but the inspiration taken from what one person can do with a little thought and the balls to try it out. I advertise my podcast novel here (Tom Corven) because way back when the page was virtually empty, I sensed that the feelings I had of admiration were likely to be replicated around the world by others in the coming months. If this was true then it would bring media and more people and then more advertisers who would boost the whole cycle to greater and greater levels.

This whole process makes the page very valuable in the short term. The fact that it is likely to have an extremely thin long tail doesn't detract from that value and I for one am so glad that I took that risk way back when. Good luck to him.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Seems like people are getting jealous
of a kid who earn a million out of an idea off his bed. Even if it is a copycat, who cares? It is about the execution of an idea not the thinking behind of an idea. How many pioonner really lasts the pace?
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I have an idea, too... sue!
Try to buy blocks in the range of (1,-6) to (100,0) since the hovering tooltip says they're available, and if he doesn't sell, sue! False advertisement or deception; should be something like that.
Posted by jeolmeun (49 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Get a real idea
Y.D , do u possibly work for NTP ? There are other ways to make money than trying to sue everyone..
Posted by CE2504 (1 comment )
Link Flag
Why sue ?
whether or not the person copied someone else or not is not the point. he decided to try and possibly did something a bit different from the others, he was successful and for that he should be applauded not criticized. I only wish I thought of something that simple and brought it to the attention of the media to make it really take off.
Posted by searcher625 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Message has been deleted.
Posted by buckabyte (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
nice spam for your own site.
Posted by regan2 (29 comments )
Link Flag
Dumb Idea
I am surprised that anyone sent him money. Ads are based on volumns of hits a site gets and when he started, he did not have any high volumns, so why would anyone buy? I think that it will be revealed that this is a shame, a hoax.
Posted by BattleAce7101 (51 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not dumb at all...
It worked for him, how could that be dumb?

It even worked for some of the advertisers so they must not have wasted their money either.

However it's a novelty, the copycats won't succeed because they're nothing new.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
Novelty is rewarded on the net
You are right in the beginning there was no traffic so why would people buy space. Reading some of the articles on early advertisers it seems that they were attracted to the novelty/inventiveness of the idea. The hits on their sites have since been enormous further promoting both the MDHP and their own sites but the ad traffic was of secondary importance in the beginning.

Of course it makes no sense to create a hoax, Why would you do that? For what purpose?
Posted by oohkumar (7 comments )
Link Flag
I am happy for Mr Tew.
Anyway I think pixels suck. Take a look here and you will agree:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by ragnarok_decay (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Viruses on some of these links
Be warned that some of the sites linked to from this page contain malicious code that will infect your PC. The computer in question was using Internet Explorer, possibly not patched to the highest level.
Posted by kiwicmc (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Message has been deleted.
Posted by animalcameras (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Or: kid tells a tall tale to gullible journalist
As far as I know, nobody has verified that he is telling the truth. Unless he is willing to show bank statements, I am going to assume that it is all just hype to increase traffic to his website.

Not that it isn't working, but it's sad that "journalists" can't even be bothered to try look closer into his "pixels to riches" story.
Posted by ronniecray (3 comments )
Link Flag
It's funny he he fooled almost everybody, Not Me!
More than 40% percent of those banners are not even client of
his, they are just affiliate programs that he added there to make
the site look a little more busy. Most take up a lot of pixels. He
made everybody think that he had the big people like 2CO,
Paypal, GoldenPlace Casino, Yahoo,, ect... to
buy from him and many people believed it, ha. Anybody who
does the same with Affiliate programs knows what I'm talking
about, you can easily notice it in the banner's URL. I do believe
he made good amount of money, but not $1,000,000 . He
probably made about $300,000 on that website believe it or not.
In order to tell if the banner is from an affiliate you would see a
URL that looks like this: <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
index20100.htm?wm=2653752 notice the affiliate number at
the end. Put your mouse over some banners and count how
much affiliate program he has.
Posted by MoneyMaker666 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
What's your point?
I don't know why you would say that. Affiliates pay, too, and I don't see why you wouldn't use an affiliate number for a site like that. So I don't know what it proves that they have affiliate numbers. It's just a different payment method (one-time, rather than per-click).
Posted by fredmenace (159 comments )
Link Flag
Maybe so I don't care
If the affiliates are his you can't be sure and even if he did add them to get the ball rolling, well Bravo to him. My life hasn't been affected by his actions.

My little site at <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a> which is a legitimate site for freelancers and after all the money I spent and all the time I spent on promoting it, I sure feel like a dummy when I should have sold pixels and added many affiliate programs and if he only made $300,000.00 How unfortunate???????????
Posted by Freedomfighter29 (3 comments )
Link Flag
you were right
I actually do find that pretty funny. But I just laugh on the
way he says that he just checked his stats and said on
his blog that there's 25,000 people that logged into his
site every hour. Like if we can see that. Duh! But he
probably has 1,000 hits every hour from the same users
LOL. Wow I didn't know it was that easy, In that case....
People, I have a advertising website that is bringing
625,000,000 unique people every half hour ;) I'm
serious and Bill gates was my first customer.

The website is :

if that link did not work try this one:
Posted by stacyr31278 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
... but nothing new
Why are people so unimaginative? One penny a pixel does not count as something new - nowhere near. As cyberland gets flooded with static pages the new imaginative among us will be generating continuously refreshed content.

Posted by Ben_Clay (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sorry, this was supposed to be a reply to the comment "Lots of copies..." by Jeff Bisko.

Posted by Ben_Clay (2 comments )
Link Flag
Message has been deleted.
Posted by buckabyte (8 comments )
Link Flag
He had a huge marketing budget! Imal Wagner is the real guy behind it!
Alex spent around 400.000 USD to market his website. He did this with Imal Wagner.
Around 15% of the so called sold pixels are his own from affiliation programs. Another 15% are from fake websites that are part of the marketing. Then around 20% of ther other sites are from other pixel selling sites who lost a lot of money in this scam.

Yes Alex is a smart guy who made like 100.000 USD in a few months, but he did not make 1.000.000. Just Google Imal Wagner and you will find more info.

Also in the Blog on the million dollar page you can read that it was not possible with the help of Imal Wagner (they have a picture together).

I do support sites like <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a> who are doing something for the world and are using the money to help people in Pakistan.
Posted by Johnburk (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not entirely correct
You're right, he did use Imal Wagner... just look at her site <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://" target="_newWindow">http://</a> and check her client list. But the photo on
Alex Tew's blog is of Niel Cavuto... Imal Wagner is a she, not a he.
Posted by buckabyte (8 comments )
Link Flag
Does it really matters?
He had a marketing budget, so what?!
What you're saying is "Hey, this guy was not successful, the other guy did the work for him."

This is a very weak argument. See the site as a team work. The site was successful. Your angle of to whom-the-success-belongs-to is not the right angle to view this success story.

He had a budget for marketing? That's good. This means he made the right decisions to make his project successful.

Btw, i tried to copy his idea and was very successful too. check out my angle on the pixel-selling issue: <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by HotGod (1 comment )
Link Flag
You are a smart guy John Burk
John I'm sure you do very charitable work. But if you are going to have a go at some who still came up with a fantastic concept. At least make sure your facts are accurate. If you look on the Imal Wagner site it clearer states that Imal Wagner is infact Du DUhhhh female and not male. Why don't you focuse on your site and less on other peoples. Let him have his moment.
Posted by mojo140880 (1 comment )
Link Flag
It's true
Alex is a client, he is listed as one of her clients on her website, however, it would not make sence if he spent $400,000.00 to end up with $100,000.00
but it does explain how his site gainned so much PR so damn fast.
Posted by Freedomfighter29 (3 comments )
Link Flag
For all of you that are doubting alex, he is for real. We purchased $6,500.00 in advertising for <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a> and gained huge amounts of leads, sales etc... You can check our Alexa ranking to verify it; look at his spike and look at ours, it matches well.

I am glad he hit the 1 Million Dollar Mark!!!!!

Chris Magras
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by EngineSeeker (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Better Idea

These two brothers have a better idea...Its a lot less destructive and although based on the same viral marketing ideas as the pixel websites, It has a lot more originality to it.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

Posted by streamline1 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
He deserves every dollar!
For those Doubters out there perhaps you should have heeded the Reuters warning...'if you have an envious steak...'! And for those who claim to have had the idea before you obviously didn't manage to market yourselves as successfully as Alex. That the idea is original and the site legitimate seems under no doubt by the advertisers, the press and the 600,000 visitors he's drawing this week alone! So to Alex - well done - you deserve every dollar!
Posted by Lizzy Robey (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
The Real Potential of the Idea
What a great idea Alex Tex brought to life. Bravo that he made
his million dollars!!!

Good for him, but let's forget the money, and forget the "it's a
hoax" thing for a moment - and look at the real potental of the
idea. Who really likes being on page 296 of a Google search - no
one! Who will ever find the little guy? Alex's idea has basically
given us 500 pages of search results (10,000 potential listings)
on one page - albeit not targeted - and that's where there's
room for improvement to his idea.

Take for instance the creative arts industry of illustrators,
photographers, graphic designers, etc... Most are individuals,
and there are thousands (no millions) of them out there - but
only 20 can come up on the 1st page of any given Google
search. We've taken (and credited) Alex's idea, targeted it to this
specific industry and created the <a href="#">Million Pixel Image</a>.

Like any good business person knows - you must have a target
market to really succeed. It will be interesting to see if other
industries will take Alex's idea and run with it as well.
Posted by Latitude 34 Studios (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
999.000 sold! Yeah righ
It is kinda strange that he sold exactly 999.000 pixels. I smell another PR stunt this week.

Happy new year
Posted by Johnburk (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
eBay stunt too much
I was all for Alex. Great idea, dispite probably stretching the truth about the PR guy from the start and all that, but hey he had a good idea. This last bit about auctioning the final 1,000 pixels turned me though. He's being a little bit of an attention wh*re now. He wanted to raise $1 million for his education and the first things he's bought are socks and a car. Why not pay your entire college bill and then see what's left?

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

Posted by mjhrpgiv (2 comments )
Link Flag
So how much do YOU think...
How much do you think will Alex fetch for those 'last 1000 pixels' on eBay? As I write this, his auction is already at $21,400, and there's still almost 9 days to go! Amazing, and -as this whole 'pixel sites adventure' SO inspiring!
Posted by (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I don't think most of those bids are real. Many first time bidders.
Posted by mjhrpgiv (2 comments )
Link Flag
OKKKKK!!! Seems like he planned this well
I rather spend that amount of money on or and get some real traffic on ad or keyword search to
my site. 5 years guaranteed??? I think people will start to get
tired of those sites in 3 months. I just can't believe that brit stills
says that he sold 999,000 pixels when he didn't. That's the
reason he put those 1,000 pixels on ebay,lol . Most of those
sites are affiliates programs and friends of his that he added,
same thing with most pixel sites. Many are aware of that.
Anybody who works with affiliate programs knows that. Even if
he did get a million unique visitors like "he says" it doesn't mean
anything, what makes you think all of them will click on all that
mess, but don't get me wrong, you might get someone that is
interested in your service or product..."Might". But to answer the
question to some, I do believe the price will go high on the bids
as-long his relatives or himself keeps bidding higher so that
someone else finds it worth it (another quick trick on Ebay) To
start bidding on the first day and reach $21,000 for a little space
like that really tells a lot. And why so desperate on the first day,
bidders usually wait till the last day or two. That much money
can get you over 500,000 visitors or more doing it through or any major sites. This is definitely something to
laugh at. And trust me nobody is jealous of this kid, 1 million
dollar is really nothing today. I own a business that gross that
amount every 3 months and I still don't think it's much.
Posted by stacyr31278 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Pixel Advertising Forum
Hi all,

Im Andy, moderator at Together with my team I have created a forum specialized in Pixel Advertising  <a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>

We have already 138 members and growing fast!
You are all invited and welcomed to join and participate to the discussions and we hope that you will have a very enjoyable experience on our forum.
Any suggestions or opinions you might have are most welcome.

Best whishes,

<a class="jive-link-external" href="" target="_newWindow"></a>
Posted by pixeladstalk (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The Million Index Homepage aims to become a new reference tool
I recently release the Million Index Homepage, a website which aims to revolutionize the idea of Alex Tew with his Million Dollar Homepage. My website develops a concept which uses the Internet rules of indexing to create a new reference tool to access information on the Internet.

Recently, Alex Tew shows with his Million Dollar Homepage that it was possible to reinvent the way we grasp information (and money) on the Internet. And the numerous Million Homepage websites which multiply on the Internet point out how this phenomenon goes far. But through all those copy-cat sites, it is still possible to create something new.

If Tew innovates with the form, I innovate with the content. In a design similar to Google, the Million Index Homepage promotes tools which give the best access to information on the Internet, as search engine, directories, SEO websites and other websites related to the Internet, as virtual Medias. The Million Index Homepage uses a powerful mean of promotion that derives profit directly from the Internet indexing rules. With his concept, I endeavour to create a new and very effective way to give access to the information foundation of the Internet. Literally, his website puts the power of Internet indexing rules at the service of promotion.

If this project works, it will provide the best of Internet resources on one single page. It will be a new kind of information gatherer. If we look farther, the Million Index Homepage could become one of the first gate people and companies use to get the best access of information in the Internet. It could even become a new kind of reference tool, a kind of meta-information provider. For more information, visit, especially the Concepts page.
Posted by cenovis (1 comment )
Link Flag

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