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Reader funding drive – progress report

By , 13 January 2020



At the end of last year, we were gratified when you, the readers of this site, insisted that we retain our hybrid model of both blind and sighted tastings. However, sighted tastings have historically been a loss-leading activity and we are only able to continue with these because you said you would pay for it.

We suggested an amount of R600 a year or R50 a month per individual with a view to achieving a total audience contribution of R300 000 per annum. This amounts to just 10% of our overall cost to run our business but, more importantly, it covers the cost of delivering the sighted tastings to you on a regular basis. The other 90% of expenses are covered by alternative revenue streams.

To date, we’ve had some 120 people pledge their support. We are most appreciative, but we still have a long way to go to reach our above-mentioned target by the end of 2020.

To contribute, click here.


11 comment(s)

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    spoegbak | 15 January 2020

    why struggle so much to make a profit ? sell wine. and to hell with being independent . i read your ratings then go to other websites to buy the wine. other websites even use your ratings to sell wine. i will buy wine from u but i wont contribute to read this site. take the intellego syrah 2018 – i want 2 cases – not available online – surely u can negotiate a few cases from producers .

      Kwispedoor | 16 January 2020

      Hi there, Spoegbak. Do I understand correctly that you don’t want to pay for the reviews, but you want two cases of the Intellego specifically because you saw Christian’s review where he gave it 96 points?

        spoegbak | 16 January 2020

        yes kwas , and i buy wine on recommendation of platter , wine.co.za , newspapers , friends , atkin etc etc … all for free ( yes free , top platter ratings splattered free all over , atkin , etc ) . and no wont contribute as the other 20 000 readers . wine has a following , find a way to make cash , block readers and its dead in a week – they know it . so kwas go suck on some bottle.

          Kwispedoor | 16 January 2020

          Ah, behold the diversion – a political career awaits. I wasn’t asking a general question (Intellego is not even rated in Platter’s, etc.), but a specific one. But it’s okay that you don’t answer the question. It was mostly rhetorical anyways, since I know the answer in this case.

            spoegbak | 17 January 2020

            kwas why dont u save them ? seems they need 300k a year – thats price of a good holiday. so offer them 300k a year for 10 years plus inflation and take a percentage of business – this is your passion your whole life so pull a branson and just do it – they can even give u space to tell all what u sucked on , u do it anyway. so come stand up

              Kwispedoor | 18 January 2020

              What a great little case study about missing the point this is. Added extras: how not to grammar or be nice. A useful thread after all!

      Christian Eedes | 16 January 2020

      Hi Spoegbak, We are not averse to the idea of entering the field of e-commerce in principle but there’s not much evidence that this is immensely profitable, either…

    Keith Prothero | 14 January 2020

    You also need to recognise those who have already donated rather than keep sending reminders to contribute every time we log in. Have mentioned this a few times but still the same .
    Think a paywall is definitely the answer as at least those who have donated don’t feel mugs for doing so.
    Your content is worth R1000 a year at least and I cannot believe the industry would not support this .

      Christian Eedes | 15 January 2020

      Hi Keith, Donors are recognised in most cases and you appear to be an exception. We have alerted our website team and they are working on resolving your issue. Thanks for your patience.

    Kwispedoor | 13 January 2020

    Perhaps you will get much more funding once the paywall is up? Most people won’t pay for something that they can get for free.

      Christian Eedes | 13 January 2020

      Hi Kwispedoor, A paywall remains our final gambit – it’s fraught in that if we erect it and don’t get a critical mass of subscribers then we don’t have too many options left after that. In the meantime, it’s worth noting that voluntary reader contributions have played a significant role in getting major news title The Guardian profitable as you can read here: https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/aug/07/guardian-broke-even-last-year-parent-company-confirms It is also a model that Daily Maverick is pursuing, for instance.

      I’m very much hoping that voluntary reader contributions will become standard practice – while the rise of new media has led to content being given away for free for the last while, I don’t think any serious-minded consumer believes that this is either fair or sustainable. Part of the issue is surely inertia – winemag.co.za has an average readership of 22 500 per month and I’d like to think that it is only a matter of time until we reach our target.

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