Dread Central has always been a family endeavor. We’re a mom and pop shop to the greatest extent. We’ve made it 10 years with absolutely no help from anyone. No parent company. Nobody watching our backs.
It’s with a great deal of humility that we say we think we’ve become a cornerstone within the genre. And that’s because of you guys. It’s you, the talented creators out there, the readers, and the close friends who have lifted us up when we were down, who have allowed us to do what we do for this long; and words cannot describe how grateful we are to each and every one of you. We will never forget this time… these past few years.
Even though our site is doing great traffic-wise, advertising dollars are shrinking more and more every month. These changes are largely beyond our control and have hit the entire online publishing industry hard. Quietly many sites have been absorbed into parent companies, filed for bankruptcy, or have closed for good. Even sites that get 10x our traffic have felt the squeeze, laying off writers or in some cases turning to crowdsourced content and paying far below industry standards for articles.
That being said… This is the tipping point. Ad-supported websites are on the way out. We have staved this off for as long as possible. We are tired of running click-bait stories, of making multi-page galleries, of having to put revenue concerns ahead of the user experience.
So, we are turning to you and a reader-supported model similar to PBS and its sustaining members.
We know this news that Dread Central needs your patronage may be a shock to you. Hell, it’s a shock to us. Unfortunately, after dealing with a perfect storm of sorts this year where everything has either changed abruptly or just not gone our way, we find ourselves still standing, but on our last legs.
We are hoping that moving to a reader-supported model will allow us to bring fans and filmmakers the kind of site they deserve. And allow us to continue to grow the site and create original content that celebrates the genre we all have come to love.
It’s a scary prospect. People may not be ready for this. Everyone is used to things being free on the internet, but few realize how much time and money goes into running a website. With mounting costs and an ever-increasing demand for original, in-depth content, being shackled to an ad-supported model that is offering publishers less and less is not a sustainable plan anymore.
We’ve launched a Patreon initiative, which will let our patrons get Dread Central ad-free with no click-bait for just $1 a month / $12 a year. We don’t want to sell out to a company, but rather to the fans and the industry itself. If you cannot afford it, Dread Central will still be here as-is but with the same ads that drive us all mad. We just don’t know for how long.
Patreon will allow us to reward our friends and readers who support our site. Those who choose to support Dread Central on a monthly basis can contribute as little as $1 a month and be rewarded and recognized for their contribution right here on the website.
We all use the same internet and are well aware of what’s annoying (i.e., pop-up ads we cannot figure out how to close and multi-page galleries and stories). We don’t want to do any of that crap anymore. We want this to be YOUR site. YOUR way! We want YOU to be a part of design choices and editorial choices.
Our patrons WILL have the opportunity to be the guiding voice of Dread Central, and that excites us to no end. Also, if you cannot chip in, please just spread the word on your social media. You never know whom it might get to, and maybe they can help out.
At the end of the day we remain hopeful that we can actually come together and make this work. We don’t know where our future lies, but we do know what we’d like to be doing now, and that’s bringing you all the content you want – THE WAY THAT YOU WANT IT.
We love you guys, and we mean that. It’s been a hell of a ride, and we hope it continues. This is new territory for us and everyone. But that’s what we do… we get back up and we keep fighting. One way or another.
The official press release is below, but I wanted you to hear it first from me.
Thank you so much, so very much for your time and consideration.
Dread Central, the premier website for breaking news and in-depth original content in the world of horror, has announced that after a decade of independently serving fans, independent filmmakers, and studios, it will shift its operations to the publicly-funded service Patreon by March 2017.
“Due to sweeping shifts in studio advertising dollar allocation and the ever-shifting landscape of horror, if we are to survive, we need to make this change,” said Dread Central Editor-in-Chief and horror pillar Steve Barton. “Over the past ten years, we’ve supported filmmakers and their projects by sharing their films with our extensive readership free of charge. We don’t want to sell out to a conglomerate or shut down the site so we are joining with crowdfunding platform Patreon to keep our independent voice. We need everyone’s support.”
Through a monthly subscription of just $1.00 a month, or $12.00 a year, via www.patreon.com/dreadcentral, Dread Central will be able to provide a new, ad-free experience with cutting-edge and exclusive content to horror enthusiasts and subscribers. This move will ultimately allow the site to continue to support the unique voices of genre filmmakers worldwide.
“In order to survive, Dread Central must now become a publicly-funded service, and WE absolutely NEED to subscribe,” said Halloween director John Carpenter. “$12.00 a year. $1.00 a month. That’s it, and Dread Central will remain able to continue to support the filmmaking community and horror audiences alike, with the love, care, and voice that they historically have.”
“Patreon is all about making it easy for websites like Dread Central to connect with patrons and share exclusive content,” said Jordan Cope, Patreon Creator Talent Lead. “We’re excited to partner with such a renowned horror website and can’t wait to be a part of the next decade of incredible work.”
Founded in 2006 by Barton and long-time collaborator Jon Condit and staffed with such notable horror journalists as Staci Layne Wilson, Sean Decker, Andrew Kasch, Debi Moore, Buz Wallick, and countless other contributors (many of whom have gone on to filmmaking careers of their own), Dread Central has strived tirelessly to provide objective and all-inclusive coverage of horror cinema and culture in all its forms: from on-set visits to red carpet premieres and everything in between – all with an historic and keen eye on independent cinema.
To subscribe to Dread Central, visit www.patreon.com/dreadcentral.