Chicago Sun-Times
Tuning in with Thomas Conner

Indie rock is where the money's at

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From Business Week, via the music news portal The Daily Swarm:

Business Week on 'Indie Music's Hipster Heaven': Pitchfork advertising 'pulls in at least $5 million a year'..., like the Web site, is intended to make money. These days, advertisers aplenty drool over Pitchfork’s 18-to-34-year-old demographic. Although many Pitchfork users have a hipster’s disdain for the mainstream and for big corporations, the company has no qualms about selling space to the likes of Toyota Motor™ and American Apparel (APP). Its only rule is that ads cannot distract readers with pop-ups, sound, or interactivity. Net ad consultants estimate the site pulls in at least $5 million a year. Kaskie says only that revenue has grown by an explosive 70% each of the past four years.

On Pitchfork’s 1-to-10 scale, that performance would merit a 9.5.

No wonder Vampire Weekend's old-school money shtick plays so well!

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"Schreiber knows that if readers suspected that he’d crossed the line from covering the commercial music industry to participating in it, he would lose credibility fast. Thus he is slow to discuss Pitchfork’s commercial success. In December 2004, because of a computer error, a Web page revealing the site’s ad revenue became publicly available, and many readers were surprised at how much money the site was pulling in — and outraged that reviewers still earned only a measly $20 a review. When I asked Schreiber questions about finances, he squirmed and told me he didn’t want to talk about the site’s revenue because “that’s not how we really define ourselves.” But a current rate card reveals that the site is becoming increasingly financially competitive. Ad rates range from $3.50 to $8 per thousand impressions, with minimum buys of 100,000 to 300,000 impressions, depending on the size of the ad. In order for a medium-sized ad to appear 250,000 times on Pitchfork, for example, an advertiser would spend $1,250. (Web advertising rates vary widely — and they’re often negotiable — but Pitchfork’s published rates are on the low side of average among sites that attract a young, hip demographic. They are similar, for example, to the rates of the media gossip site Gawker.)"

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on April 22, 2008 8:12 AM.

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