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Summary of site status for 2016

Christian Clemmensen
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(publicnudity.filmtracks.com)
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Summary of site status for 2016   Sunday, January 29, 2017 (3:09 p.m.) 

2016 Summary of the Reviews:
--------------------------------------------------------

Following up on a relatively strong year for writing in 2015, Filmtracks beat that pace in 2016, once again offering more coverage than it had in a year since 2012. Production at the site debuted in four of five bursts throughout the seasons, with longer than desired breaks in coverage due to real-life circumstances that will extend through 2017. By the time of this summary, most of 2016's notable scores had been covered, with a few more reviews in the planning stages.

New reviews of 2016 and late 2015 scores totaled 36, meeting the goal of 35 all-new reviews for the year. No all-new reviews of older scores debuted during that time. As with prior years, all re-writes during the year involved adding newly-released albums to existing reviews, and 38 of these were done during 2016, higher than 50% more than projected due to the mass quantity of such re-releases. Together, 74 reviews were written or re-written in the year, up from 62 in 2015 and exceeding the goal of 65.

In the long-term, the goal of the site has always been to publish 100 "touched" reviews in any calendar year, so these totals continue to be lower than the site's historical averages. The quantity of reviews is likely to remain at 2016 levels throughout 2017 as the site builds a new, permanent office in Port Orchard, Washington. It's difficult to predict just how much time will be available for writing in 2017, though it's safe to say that no optional reviews of older scores will be attempted.

By the numbers:

2016 Goals:
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New Reviews of New Albums: 35
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 30

2016 Final Stats:
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New Reviews of New Albums: 36
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 38

2017 Goals:
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New Reviews of New Albums: 35
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 30


2016 Summary of the Overall Site:
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With the site's major redesign finished in 2015, there was no change of significance in store for Filmtracks in 2016, and the year proved to be as uneventful as expected. The only exception was constant disruption caused at the site's forum and comment areas due to Donald J. Trump the 2016 presidential election in America, though these troll-fests have become largely predictable and, on occasion, rather amusing. Participation at the Scoreboard Forum continues to be solid.

Monetizing Filmtracks has been a struggle shared by all content providers in the 2010's. Despite a modernized, mobile-friendlier interface (albeit adaptive instead of responsive) and traffic consistent with 2015 levels, the site lost even more money in the year than it had in the previous one. Donations were up 50% in 2016 but total revenue declined 30%, causing a loss of thousands of dollars that is difficult to sustain. The CD sale of 2015 managed to float the site through its move out of Wyoming, but no such singular revenue event assisted the bottom line in 2016.

As traditional monetization methods continue to prove themselves largely useless in today's era of web publishing, the site will need to explore drastically different ways of supporting its server and other costs. With the breaks in Filmtracks' coverage, several record labels have decided to cease supplying products to the site for review consideration, straining an already limited purchasing budget beyond the point at which the site can continue to be comprehensive in its coverage, especially on re-releases of scores already reviewed at the site.

The long-term goal of Filmtracks is to survive monetarily until a subscription (pay wall) model can be developed. The downside of that arrangement is that the coverage must be consistent and timely enough to justify requiring users to pay to read the reviews, and such time simply isn't there to devote to Filmtracks, at least not in 2017. The site turned 20 years old this past year, and if it can hobble through the next few years, I am still optimistic that it can thrive once again. Until that day, I thank the longtime readers for their continued support and encouragement during these tumultuous times.

Best wishes to all in 2017,

Christian



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rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. Scoreboard created 7/24/98 and last updated 4/25/15.