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Summary of site status for 2015
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• Posted by: Christian Clemmensen   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Saturday, January 16, 2016, at 6:13 p.m.
• IP Address: seahawks.filmtracks.com

2015 Summary of the Reviews:
--------------------------------------------------------

After two years of diminished coverage, Filmtracks offered more reviews in 2015 that it had in a year since 2012, much of the emphasis placed on all-new coverage of the year's major new scores. While there was reduced coverage in the middle of the year due to the site's redesign and move to the Seattle area, solid streaks of writing in the remainder of the year more than compensated for these expected periods of inactivity. By the time of this summary, most of 2015's notable scores had been covered, and the rest were in the planning stages.

New reviews of 2015 and late 2014 scores totaled 38, a much healthier total than the 27 of the previous year and blowing past the goal of 30 for 2015. No all-new reviews of older scores debuted during that time. As with 2014, all re-writes during the year involved adding newly-released albums to existing reviews, and 24 of these were done during 2015, about as much as expected. Together, 62 reviews were written or re-written in the year, up from from 52 in 2014 and higher than the goal of 55.

Historically, the site has published at least 100 "touched" reviews in any calendar year, so the total of 62 new and revised reviews is still low compared to long-term averages. While it's unlikely that the writing will be able to recapture that 100-review norm from yesteryear anytime soon, look for increased coverage in 2016 now that the site's major move to the West Coast and its redesign of 2015 are finished. The goal of 65 "touched" reviews may be a bit conservative and should be attainable. That said, no optional reviews of older scores will likely be attempted.

By the numbers:

2015 Goals:
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New Reviews of New Albums: 30
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 25

2015 Final Stats:
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New Reviews of New Albums: 38
New Reviews of Old Albums: 0
Re-Writes: 24

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


2015 Summary of the Overall Site:
--------------------------------------------------------

Despite the break in coverage experienced at Filmtracks in April and May and again in September, the site eventually caught up on all major new theatrical releases of 2015. The Scoreboard Forum continues to attract new regular participants, and traffic to the site increased significantly in the final months of the year, a surge largely due to Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The absence of new reviews in those three months was for good cause: first, the redesign of the site and then its move to the West Coast.

Both of these overdue, major events at Filmtracks in 2015 were anticipated in the goals set for the year at its outset, and there are fortunately no such major disruptions anticipated for 2016. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the year was that the site's redesign, meant to modernize the interface and better monetize the content, did not yield any substantial increase in revenue. In fact, as traffic flourished in the final two months and remained strong into the start of 2016, the site's revenue actually declined during that time. With a disastrous November and December, the site, which was set to break even financially in 2015, as it had in 2014, ultimately lost money as bandwidth costs increased with the traffic.

Without the CD sale early in 2015, the site's loss would have been even more substantial. That sale only netted half of its goal, with all big-ticket CDs remaining unsold. It is my intent to take these items to eBay and/or Amazon and sell them there should the site continue to lose money at its current rate. Apart from the CD sale, donations to the site continued at the previous year's level, resulting in about $500 in revenue after processing costs. These donations remain vital as the eBay and iTunes affiliate programs continue to prove themselves mostly useless for this readership. Fewer readers are purchasing through Amazon as well.

Despite the fiscal disappointment in 2015, Filmtracks did accomplish its most important upgrade in its design in a decade, bringing the site into the mobile era and addressing many long-term requests from the readership. Please continue to provide feedback about the site's functionality; some accessibility issues are still being optimized in 2016. I am still encouraged that the site's readership remains very much intact and appreciative of the site's legacy, even if the reviews make tempers flare on occasion and revenue continues to slide. Filmtracks will turn 20 years old this year (actually, it already has reached that milestone if you consider that the reviews existed throughout 1996 prior to the site's official naming), and I again thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes to all in 2016,

Christian






Copyright © 1998-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast,
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.