Important: VGMO will close this year unless it receives your support

Since its formation last year, VGMO -Video Game Music Online- has gone from strength-to-strength. We’ve been able to offer daily news coverage, balanced reviews, and incredible interviews from East and West thanks to the work of its incredible team of volunteers. However, one thing we have not been good at is raising revenue. And it is for these reasons that, today, I regretfully pledge for your help.

The Problem

The combined hosting and translation fees for the site have come directly from my pocket, costing several thousand dollars a year. Our pledge for donations earlier this year was completely ignored, with the exception of one kind individual. We have now started including advertisements on the site to help raise revenue, but this won’t cut it; as game music is quite a niche area, it isn’t possible to generate enough revenue on ads alone to be anywhere near self-sustainable. Unless of course you’re one of those illegal download sites…

It is my desire to keep VGMO going in the long-term. However, I am only prepared to do this if people are prepared to show they support it. If they can’t, then I will permanently close VGMO at the end of the year.

Why We Want Your Help

VGMO is more than a pet project for me. While I enjoy running it, I to so knowing it is a great service to fans, musicians, and the industry as a whole. This is what has kept me willing to spend thousands of dollars on something non-sustainable. But I am fully prepared to close VGMO if nobody wants to ever give back.

I believe that game music will greatly lose out if VGMO closes. Fans will lose a lot if there’s no longer a resource providing them with regular coverage of current and historical game music. Who else is prepared to track down 80s and 90s legends to create definitive interviews with?

What’s more, game composers, labels, and concerts will lose out if there’s no site dedicated to publicising their work. We have covered countless soundtracks and original albums most weren’t even aware of. We have helped turn fringe concert series into mainstream ones. We have given a voice to countless musicians, producers, and performers. We have always done this because we are passionate about great music and have never asked for anything back. But we would love it if some of those people who have benefited from our continued help would consider returning the favour in this time of need.

A Possible Solution

In order to continue going in 2016, I want to raise enough money by the end of the year to cover our basic running costs (i.e. hosting, translations). I want to raise at least half of the money needed to sustain our costs for six months, i.e. 750 USD. The rest will continue to come from my pocket; this is something I’m happy to do as long as fans and musicians are able to give a bit back. This revenue will be sourced through three ways: donations, advertisements, and affiliate links.

If we are able to cover a portion of the basic running costs, then I will additionally set up a low-target crowdfunding campaign at the end of the year specifically designed to fund our interviews with 25 more Japanese composers. If this does not happen, then such interviews will be a thing of the past as it’s clearly not something visitors aren’t sufficiently interested in.

For Musicians:

We want to replace the generic AdSense ads currently infesting the site with fixed ads publicising what visitors of VGMO want to see: great game music. To do this, we’re offering hyper-discounted rates to individuals and companies wishing to advertise their game music through us.

Whether you have an album, game, or concert to advertise, we would love to hear from you (chris [at] vgmonline [dot] net). We are offering banner ads starting at just 15 USD per month. While our visitor base (around 2000 unique per day) isn’t as large as some sites, it’s a high-quality, specialised audience so you’ll notice an immediate benefit. There’s no better way to promote game music.

For Fans:

If you want to help, there are three ways you can do it:

1) Donate to us through our PayPal (chris [at] vgmonline [dot] net, button on right-hand nav).
2) Buy albums through our CDJapan and Play-Asia affiliate links so we get a small referral bonus.
3) Publicise our site as much as possible through social media and friends so we get more visitors.
4) Unblock our ads so we get impressions from them.

I’d really appreciate any gesture of appreciation. Any form of support, whether raising funds or awareness, whether large or small, is massively helpful. I will be delighted if we are able to make the goal, as it will not only relieve my already overstretched pockets but show me that people care for VGMO and its goals. If we haven’t reached our goal, VGMO will continue to be operating for the next three months and will then cease to be updated. Whether this happens is now in your hands. Thank you.

Posted on August 21, 2015 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 22, 2015.

About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

4 Responses to Important: VGMO will close this year unless it receives your support

  1. Markus says:

    Hi Chris,

    I think it is absolutely fair to ask for help to keep this awesome site going. No other site surprises me on a daily basis with such an amount of great news and thorough coverage. I would love to help you and I am thinking about ways to do it. I was not aware of the fact that you apparently finance this whole project out of your own pocket. You (and your team) do a great job and I hope that enough people realize the urgency of the situation to help you out.

    Thanks, Markus

    PS: Since translation seems to be a problem: I can offer to translate English from and to German and I am willing to offer some of my time for free.

  2. Thanks so much for your kind message. It means a great deal to me that you care so much for the site. We’re not generally in need of German translations, as most German-speaking people in the industry are bilingual, but I’ll let you know if there’s ever that instance if you flick me an email.

  3. Daniel says:

    Since you’re looking to cover running costs of about 250 USD per month I’d like to suggest you have a look at patreon, I know that there are some people that manage to raise enough per month to quit their dayjob and only care about their website/music/whatever now. It takes a while to get there, though.

    • Thanks Daniel. I few others have suggested that, including OCRemix, and I think it would be a great idea to keep VGMO sustainable in the long-term. Will explore how to do it best and put one up soon.

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