theCHIVE office is long closed, only the corner light from my brother’s office is on. Leo is currently the lone steward of the shoppe for now. He put a gong and a mallet at the receptionist desk so any deliveries can gong their way in. Classic rock plays over the office Sonos. Aerosmith’s “ Livin’ on the Edge” echoes through the office. Is the Get a Grip album really classic rock now?
Our lives have been disrupted. For some, it’s far worse than just inconvenient. This Coronavirus itself can absolutely grind you. Please be safe. If you don’t have to leave your house, don’t.
How’s theCHIVE doing? Simultaneously really good and really bad.
To understand the situation publishers are in look no farther than the Gannett. Gannett owns 566 publishers, all of which are seeing record traffic, and their collective revenue is in free fall.
Gannet’s CEO, Paul Bascobert, summed it up well, “While traffic has soared in recent weeks, direct advertising has slowed as many marketers and advertisers have halted campaigns, revenue will decline considerably during this period.”
By “decline considerably” Bascobert means ad revenue is going to near-zero. Even worse, advertising partners who owe publishers money for campaigns already served in-full likely won’t pay. Double jeopardy.
We’re seeing the same trends. We’re an ad-supported website and we must continue serving ads. Will our advertisers be able to pay? Throw a dart at the wall.
The social platforms, on the other hand, are licking their chops. Queue Aerosmith’s ‘ Living on the Edge’
The publishing industry was already in crisis before the pandemic because tech giants like Google and Facebook had decimated its business model.
Big tech’s dominance over the digital advertising market and their unrivaled capacity to monetize its platforms will use this pandemic to suck the life out of the ENTIRE industry in the next few weeks, finally creating an entirely platform-based ecosystem. Publishers will still exist but largely only on Facebook.
As thousands of publishers disappear into the mist, it is possible theCHIVE could be the lone survivor. Nobody has fought harder for our independence. If we do make it, it will be our community that gets us through, as Google and Facebook have now taken full control of all ad dollars. (Subscribe here)
There’s reason to believe we’ll make it. Here’s a snapshot of theCHIVE’ traffic. I made this graph myself so kindly withhold your judgment (Leo made me add the ostrich). theCHIVE is now bigger than it was at its height in 2015. Our employees have never been more committed to this beautiful thing we’ve created. Are we monetizing any of this traffic? Nope.
People aren’t just flocking to theCHIVE to catch their breath, Americans want the sense of community only theCHIVE can provide.
We are poised to slingshot out of this –
To go from suck to blow. If we can make it through the next two months, we will come out the other side stronger and more united than ever.
But do we have to convert to a subscription model? Yes, Chivers, yes we do. And we’re going to make that a lot easier starting now.
We are offering big discounts on our subscription options. Right now our
1 year ads-free is discounted from $48 to $39.
Best of all, our 3-year ads-free is discounted from $138 to $99. On top of never having to see an ad on theCHIVE again and getting 20% off theCHIVERY,
all 3 year subscribers will receive the BFM Gold Coin. You will gain entrance to theCHIVE HQ for life.
That breaks down $2.75/month. Heck, the BFM Gold alone costs about $14 to mint and ship.
You can subscribe and get the BFM Gold guaranteed
! RIGHT HERE
Having BFM Gold matters more than ever and I’ll be transparent with you about why:
Because we’re going to tear the roof off theCHIVE HQ when this is over. I’m going to have to structurally reinforce theCHIVE HQ to handle the amount of damage we’re going to do on Fridays. Happy Hours will be extended from 4pm-8pm to begin with. Everybody knows that extra hour is the difference between civility and total debauchery at the HQ. I choose debauchery.
Having the coin means you’ll have helped theCHIVE get through this time. Believe me I know it’s not an easy ask right now, Chivers. I refuse to paywall theCHIVE, despite the obvious pressures to do so. I’ll look back at this moment with nothing but respect for theCHIVE community right now no matter how the points break for us.
Hopefully in two months we will all be raising a glass at the Copper Bar, having all earned a cold beer.
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John n’ Leo
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