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Drowned In Sound calls for donations to cover running costs

By | Published on Wednesday 9 April 2014

Drowned In Sound

Drowned In Sound has launched a donations drive, asking users to help to fund running costs of the website. This follows a previous smaller campaign to raise money from users of its message boards.

Last month, regular users raised just over £1000 to fund the fixing of a number of bugs. Spreading the campaign further, founder Sean Adams wrote: “Last year, despite racking up 28.5 million total page views from 3.5 million music fans (‘unique users’), we had one of the worst years for advertising income in our history. Combine that with the costs involved with renovating the site (most of which was done to allow new-fangled ad formats) and you’ll not be surprised to learn that we can’t afford to finish fixing the website, and can only just keep up with the £1100 a month server costs to ensure the site stays online”.

He continued: “We have considered various other ‘revenue streams’ (although ironically most of them are costly to implement) and we will continue to investigate alternatives to lower our reliance on advertising, but for now we would be very grateful for whatever donation you can afford to give”.

Making online journalism and writing pay has been up for much debate in recent years, as incomes fall (or more often fail to reach the potential expected). Some larger newspaper websites, most notably The Times and The Sun, have put their content behind paywalls, after the free-to-all, advertising options fell short. Meanwhile, other sites, Wikipedia most famously, rely of user donations.

Though while voluntary donations have become more prevalent in some areas, particularly podcasting, it is less common for editorial websites, music-focussed or otherwise. It will be interesting to see how well DiS’s campaign goes, and if other websites follow suit.

Read more about Drowned In Sound’s donations drive here.