SAN FRANCISCO – Bleacher Report, an online sports media network known for generating tremendous amounts of original content via unpaid contributors, reported record traffic numbers Tuesday after posting a slideshow titled, “1,969 NFL Players Who Exist.”
The slideshow, which is interrupted every tenth slide to display an advertisement, includes a photograph and a pithy descriptive paragraph for all 1,696 active players currently employed by NFL teams. The slides, listed in no particular order, have generated nearly 10 million original views since going live Tuesday morning.
“Bleacher Report prides itself on its ability to deliver sports fans exactly what they’re looking for in digital content,” said company CEO Brian Grey. “In most instances, that just means a pointless series of vaguely informative slides about athletes that aren’t really that interesting but are still more entertaining than doing real work.”
While football fans could more efficiently learn players’ names by going straight to the team rosters or Wikipedia, research has shown that a page with more than 50 words on it is frustrating to the average reader’s attention span. Accordingly, the “1,696 NFL Players Who Exist” slideshow allows readers to focus on brief bursts of information without being overwhelmed.
The constant page loading also affords them the chance to view many different advertisements, meaning that while a traditional article might only expose a reader to a single product, the slideshow familiarizes them with more than 1,000 new opportunities for spending money.
“I really liked reading the ‘1,696 NFL Players Who Exist’ slideshow because football is fun,” said Ben Crimshaw, one of Bleacher Report’s most devoted readers. “I can also have my bags fly free on Southwest and I can eat Snickers and Twix and Jack Links beef jerky.”
In light of the slideshow’s success, Bleacher Report has already posted several other slideshows in the same vein, including “5,273 Athletes Who Aren’t Women,” “The 600 Least Injured Players in Baseball,” and “10,864 Sports Figures Who Will Eventually Die.”