Support AllMusic and Go Ad-Free

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  • Announcement
  • Updated 4 years ago
  • (Edited)

The internet is a very different place now than it was in 1991 when AllMusic first came online. The methods of keeping a free website in business have changed, involving more technologically advanced advertisements that can be seen as intrusive to the browsing experience. Additionally, the methods that ad technologies use to serve up relevant ads can slow down a website by placing dozens of calls to multiple services before finally loading the page. We recognize this and would like to offer an alternative.

At AllMusic, we pride ourselves on being the in-depth music information resource for audiophiles, researchers, DJs and other industry professionals for over two decades. Consider supporting AllMusic and improving your browsing experience by becoming a subscriber.

Become an AllMusic subscriber for a mere $12 USD and we’ll remove the ads from the site for you for an entire year. Not only will the site be nearly completely ad-free, but it will run faster and pages will load more quickly.

An Ad-Free Experience
As a subscriber, we'll remove ads to streamline your AllMusic experience. (Note: Lyrics, streaming radio and music videos are provided by third parties and will still contain ads due to our contracts with these providers.)

Increased Site Speed and Faster Page Loads
AllMusic works with dozens of ad networks to get the most relevant ads for you whenever possible. By removing these additional calls per page, the site loads faster and information is displayed more quickly.

Here is an example of how much faster the page loads when the ad calls are removed:

Say Thanks
AllMusic has been offering in-depth information to industry professionals, research institutions and music fans for over 20 years. If you'd like to show your support, this is a good way to do it.

More information is available on our subscribe page and in our FAQ. Please take a look and let us know what you think by commenting below.
Photo of Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson, Official Rep

  • 3319 Posts
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Posted 4 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Zac Johnson

Zac Johnson, Official Rep

  • 3319 Posts
  • 166 Reply Likes
A user on this topic raised a lot of great points in his comments that I'd like to include in this thread.

This contributor said:
 I would gladly donate to you guys, but paying $12 for a site that was free AND ad-free 15 years ago is ludicrous. Surely you guys have more traffic now than you did in 1998 when I first started visiting, so why is a subscription necessary for your survival now? 
We do have more traffic now than 15 years ago, but the site still had ads back then too. Here's an Internet Archive screenshot from 1999 with a teensy banner ad near the top: 

The real difference is that the ability for an entirely ad-supported website to survive in 2015, sites need to allow for less subtle advertising than was the case in 2000 in order to break even.

Looking at advertising rates from 1999-2000 (as recounted in this article)
AdRelevance, a data tracking subsidiary of Jupiter Media Metrix, asserts that the average cost of a full banner ad in the fourth quarter of 2000 fell to $25 per thousand impressions (CPM), a relatively modest decline of $5 from the $30 mean banner CPM in the second half of 1999.
This means for every 1000 people who saw a specific banner ad (known as CPM), the website would get $25.00 (down from $30.00 at the end of 1999).

In 2015, the average CPM we see for banner ads (the basic, non-intrusive ads on the site) is much MUCH less than that. Some days it can be one-onehundredth of those coveted 1999/2000 prices.

So even though AllMusic has more users now than we ever have in the past, the display ads are worth a fraction of what they once were.

So we've been required to do a couple of things: 

One is to engage with advertisers that offer more intrusive pop-up ads (that pay a higher CPM, but still nowhere near the 1999/2000 rates). We understand that this negatively impacts the user experience. Believe me. We know.

You compared us to Entertainment Weekly (owned by Time/Warner, a huuuuuge company with deep pockets and about 30 billion dollars in annual revenue) and I'm not super surprised they have fewer ads than AllMusic.

We took a look at a lot of the other music information websites to see how they handle their advertising and they're in a very similar boat we are.  Here is a screenshot looking at a number of their pages from a few months back:

You can see for yourself that they are also engaging in higher-impact ads in the same way AllMusic is.

The second thing that we're offering is a way to spend a relatively small amount of money to remove the ads for you, but still support AllMusic so we can continue to pay for the editorial services of our writers and keep the servers up and running, etc.

Neither of these options are a time machine that takes us back to the heyday of internet advertising, but we hope that for users who are content with exchanging ad impressions for a valued service they will continue using AllMusic for free, and for those who want to support the site but hate hate hate the advertisements will chip in $1 a month for the year of ad-free usage.