The Tuna Platform: what am I missing here?

The owners of the site Musictoob have launched the “Tuna Platform,” which is claimed to be a way for some aggregators to get around accusations of stealing content.

“Everybody who comes to the party gets rewarded,” Musictoob’s Michael Rovner told a gushing Paid Content. “It’s actually loading—it’s not us stealing page views.”

If you still don’t know what I’m describing, that’s intentional, because here’s the punch: the “Tuna Platform” is a Digg style page frame, a feature that’s not only as old as the net, but available with one click via the WordTwit WordPress plugin as well. The company claims that by presenting other pages in a frame, everyone wins.

But there’s something very strange about this story, like how the hell it ended up on Paid Content to begin with, because there’s no critical consideration given to what the product is; indeed, the post reads like an ad.

The claims in the post also don’t add up. Musictoob runs on a template that is a straight rip of the Gawker Media blogs, and yet is claimed to have an investor. The article notes that Musictoob is profitable, but publicly available stats suggest that they only way they could be making money from the site is by clicking on their own ads; Alexa puts them at a rank of 458,108, Compete says they get 8,500 visitors a month, and Quantcast believes their traffic is 201 people a month (obviously not accurate.) Ultimately those stats may not reflect the actual traffic on the site, but likewise I’ve got blogs I haven’t updated in a year with a higher Alexa rank than this site; if it was thriving it would be at the very least top 100,000 on Alexa. Paid Content claims they also do events, and maybe that’s where the money is coming from, but likewise they must be doing some serious offline marketing because few would see the details on the site.