The Million Dollar Homepage

A home page that sells advertising space for $1 per pixel

The Million Dollar Homepage

The Million Dollar Homepage is an internet phenomenon that emerged in August 2005. The website was created by Alex Tew, who was then a university student from the UK. Wanting to raise money to pay for his university education, he created this website, with the homepage containing a block of 1000x1000 pixel grid, each pixel sold for $1. Buyers can display small images with links to their websites on their purchased pixels, and when the cursor hovers over the pixels, a short slogan will be displayed.

Revenue model

The business model of The Million Dollar Homepage is simply selling advertising space. Each pixel on the homepage is sold for $1, but because a pixel is too small to be seen, buyers have to pay a minimum price of $100 for a 10x10 pixel block.

Thanks to its unique and novel nature and rapid spread on the internet, within just 5 months, the website sold all 1 million pixels and raised a total of $1M, equivalent to about $200K/month.

The Million Dollar Homepage gross revenue

Marketing strategy

The Million Dollar Homepage was initially known only through word of mouth. The first customers were also family and friends of Alex. But after earning the first $1,000, the website received attention from news websites, including famous sites such as BBC, The Register and ranked top 3 on the "Movers and Shakers" list of Alexa Internet. The website then quickly became an internet phenomenon, attracting millions of visitors every day and the number of pixels sold increased rapidly.

Other information

  • The website's total revenue after tax, expenses, and other costs reached $650K - $700K.
  • The last 1000 pixels were auctioned by Alex on eBay and raised $38,100.
  • The website was DDoS attacked in January 2006, causing the website to be inaccessible for a week and later intervened by the FBI.
  • To this day, the website's homepage is still accessible and reaches over 100K visits per month according to SimilarWeb.