Check out FreeRice.com — it’s a neat (and strangely addictive) little idea. I noticed that there are ads on the bottom of each page, and their FAQ states that they use ad revenue to buy the rice. Out of curiosity, I decided to do the math to see if it’s a money-maker:
For every question you answer, they donate 10 grains of rice
Every question equals a page view
I did a little research and at bulk prices, I estimate that 10 grains of rice costs about 0.025 cents
So they need to get an effective CPM on the ads of $0.25 to pay for the rice. If they get a higher eCPM, they make money.
According to data on their site, users earned 77 million grains of ride yesterday, which equates to 770,000 page views. And they are growing at a really fast clip.
Assuming they could get an eCPM of $0.50, the site would generate about $200/day in gross profit based on current traffic, and this number would grow in proportion to traffic. This wouldn’t be a bad little side-business for someone.
I think this would really take off as a Facebook app.