The (Not So) Annual State of Logo

I have a reoccurring reminder to reflect on the state of Chorus at least once a year. The idea is to pull all the numbers together, get an idea of how things are going, and make plans for the future of the website. I realized today that I hadn’t done this since 2021.

So, it was a morning of looking at spreadsheets. And I see a few obvious trends. The first is that the cost of running the website has increased. The most significant cost increase comes from our hosting provider unilaterally hiking prices 20% in April after being bought by another company. Cool. Second, the online advertising industry (already tenuous at best) has yet to recover to pre-pandemic levels. I charted the last two years, and we’re continuing to trend downward.

And this is after a very rough 2020 that saw ad revenue sliced roughly in half. If you’re wondering why so many online businesses, websites, creators, and podcasts have been turning to supporter revenue over the last few years, this is one big reason.

On the flip side, our supporter program has continued to see growth:

However, this has yet to make up for the 20% hosting cost increase. This puts the website in an interesting situation where net revenue is decreasing. (Supporter revenue is slowly growing, costs have increased, and ad revenue is declining.)1

That’s the fully transparent current economic reality of where Chorus is today. What does that mean for the future? It means I need to continue to evaluate where we go from here. I don’t have a good answer that I think is fair. I don’t love being more aggressive around ad-blockers, even though I’ve heard it’s worked very well for other music websites. I’ve never really liked the idea of putting the entire thing behind a paywall and removing the ads entirely. I have a handful of imperfect options, none of which feel right to me. So, at the moment, I’m asking anyone who reads this website regularly, enjoys it, or likes hanging out in our community to please consider becoming a supporting member. It allows me to keep running it and dedicating part of my time to adding new features, publishing daily news, and writing the weekly newsletter. I’ll continue to look at the trends and see where things are going as I plan for the next few years, and maybe I won’t go two years between “state of the website” updates next time.

Thank you to everyone that already does support this website; you are the reason I still write about music daily. And a huge thank you to everyone who continues to read this website regularly.

I’ve been throwing words onto a screen for over two decades, and while the good ‘ol blog may be out of favor these days, it’s still where I feel at home. At peace. A place to share the music that moves me with people I’ve long come to consider friends. Thank you for reading.

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  1. I suppose I could rename it, start rate limiting everyone that hasn’t become a supporter, and engage in the most obvious and annoying engagement bait of all time while touting made-up metrics like “un-regretted user seconds” while the website runs rampant in hate speech. I hear that’s what all the smart business people are doing.