As you scroll through the pages of HomeTheaterReview.com, you may be noticing a few new additions to our tried-and-true article templates. Over the past few weeks, we've begun experimenting with Amazon Affiliate links, peppered here and there throughout reviews and the occasional news story.
Some of you might have objections to this, and we can empathize with that. Affiliate revenue is something we've been mulling over for the past few years. We tested one system, but ultimately didn't like the way it junked up the site, so we pulled it last summer, resulting in thousands of dollars in lost revenue. The fact is, other top publications in mainstream media like The New York Times and many other consumer electronics sites are making this new model work for them. It might be small in terms of overall revenue, but it helps diversify where the money comes from, versus an "ad-only" business model.
There are other options out there, but we think affiliate links are the best for the reader. Some readers have emailed us about worries that we would put up a paywall like many of today's newspapers, sport sites, and other premium content providers do. We aren't planning on any kind of paywall right now, especially if this affiliate program works out. We also won't drop obnoxious, full-screen forced advertising on you either. In fact, during our HTML 5 "mobile friendly" site update in 2017, we worked hard to reduce onscreen clutter. And as begging for donations, NPR-style, that just isn't our scene. Plus, we don't have any stylish totes or pithy coffee mugs to give away. Just Jerry's homemade spaghetti sauce, and that's in short supply these days unless you sign a big ad deal.
We ask you to help us so that we can continue to thrive in a way that doesn't cost you a penny. If you are in the market for AV gear, software, or really anything (we get a few pennies on literally anything purchased from Amazon as a result of a click from our site) perhaps you will click on our "buy it now" buttons and/or links for software, videos, games, electronics, and more embedded within reviews. If you aren't in the market for anything, no worries. But if you are, we ask for your support.
One thing we want to be completely clear about is that this program will in no way affect what we review or how we review it. Nor will it affect our selection of demo material. Links are simply added during the publication process, where applicable, in such a way that's hopefully tasteful.
If a reviewer references, say, Black Panther in a receiver or UHD Blu-ray player review, we'll link to the disc thusly, and maybe stick a "Buy It Now" image on the right side of the page, like so, just to remind you that you can help us out by buying it via our link. Click on either of those links and purchase the disc, and we get a few extra cents at the end of the month. It's as simple as that.
Of course, we'll still be relying on the sponsorship of our amazing advertising partners, who will always provide the bulk of our income. And we hope you continue to enthusiastically support them, because they are the sole reason why we can give away professional, specialty AV reviews to enthusiasts for free.
Thank you for your years of enthusiasm and passion for our hobby, and thank you for continuing to support HomeTheaterReview.com.
Jerry, Dennis, and the entire HomeTheaterReview.com team.