They spelled it all out, said that all the buzz New Line was getting from bloggers was basically free, and came because they embraced how bloggers were promoting the film. They added that if SoaP is a big hit, that it could definitely change how movies are marketed from now on.
BTW the report mentioned that there were 12 million Google references to SoaP. They were wrong, it's actually 16 million now.
Bonus: Brian has an excellent explanation for how bloggers were able to create buzz for SoaP:
There were two things that made Snakes on a Plane (and specifically this website) a success. The first was its ‘viral’ nature. Everything having to do with SoaP was catchy, and people were interested in sharing it. Every reporter asks me if this is something that can be reproduced in the future by new movies, and I always tell them that it can’t be. Something is ‘viral’ when it’s organically entertaining. That cannot be manufactured, it can only be found. A few people have asked to hire me to create another “Snakes on a Plane” wave of attention for their project, and I’ve given them the same basic answer: what they want to recreate cannot be recreated....This concept is something that’s new for Hollywood. Even New Line, I’ve heard, was initially conflicted over how to approach the creation of quasi-original content by fans. Studios in the past have threatened Harry Potter fans, Star Wars fans and Transformers fans with lawsuits over fan-generated content. But this is, perhaps, the wave of the future and it’s something they’re going to have to learn how to deal with. It would be interesting to try to grab onto this concept as it’s cresting.
Zactly. What works for this movie may or may not work for the next one. But what WILL work for EVERY movie is embracing, empowering, and joining the community of fans for that film.
THAT is the big take-away for studios from the phenomenon that has become SoaP. Let's hope they figure it out.