Ads on This Week in Pinball
Hello! This is Jeff, editor and creator of This Week in Pinball. First off, thank you so much for reading this site, and thank you to all of you who have sent feedback and supported TWIP. You all make this site possible.
I wanted to share with you we will be running some ads on this website. For TWIP readers, this will be an addition to the site to show you cool pinball products and companies you may be interested in. There will be no pop-up ads or obnoxious ads.
The Elephant in the Room
This Week in Pinball’s website is a one person show. Throughout each week, I listen to podcasts, read forums, watch YouTube videos and Twitch streams, and decide what to include on that week’s TWIP. How do I decide what makes it into TWIP and what doesn’t? I base that decision on two things:
- Do I find _________ interesting or entertaining? Then I’ll include it.
- Do I think _________ should be included? If yes, then I’ll include it.
Ads can be a slippery slope, as can accepting any support from companies, whether it be financial support or support through our monthly giveaways. If one company or product supports TWIP, will I write about them or cover them differently than another company or product?
For the Love of Pinball
This is where the conflict arises – not just for This Week in Pinball, but for all the pinball websites, podcasts, Twitch streamers, YouTubers, and other creative content providers.
If you accept sponsors, your content will be questioned. Your opinions and motives will be questioned – as they should be. But if you are spending time and money on your content, eventually most will try to find some support, at the least to offset the money you’re spending.
Note: There are a few exceptions to this – a few creative content providers that can produce great content for years but never take on sponsors or ask for financial support. A few notables include Pinball News, Fun With Bonus, For Amusement Only Podcast, This Flippin’ Podcast, Eclectic Gamers Podcast, Pinball Profile, etc.
When I first looked into monetizing This Week in Pinball, I reached out to many manufacturers and pinball companies to ask for support, either through giveaways or through financial contributions. I also asked a few for their thoughts – after being rejected by one for financial support, I asked what their thoughts would be if another manufacturer would support TWIP financially (at the time I did not think any would). That person told me 100% to take any support I can get.
I was overwhelmed by the support manufacturers and companies provided, and continue to provide for the monthly TWIP giveaways.
In any situation when someone works for a pinball manufacturer and supports TWIP, I do let them know that any support will not affect how I cover their company on This Week in Pinball. I have never been asked to increase, decrease, or change TWIP’s coverage in any way by those supporters.
The TWIP website is supported by the pinball community. That includes manufacturers and companies that give financial support to TWIP, companies that provide giveaways, and all the generous hobbyists that contribute monthly. To all of you, THANK YOU.
Bias in the “Pinball Media”
I don’t know when we started calling it “pinball media”. The “pinball media” is not comprised of trained professionals – at least not in the field of journalism. We are just enthusiastic about pinball and decided to express that enthusiasm through podcasting or written forms. Some like attention, we want our opinions heard, our websites read. The “pinball media” is sometimes grouped together unfortunately, so some think we can only be as good as our lowest common denominator.
For the most part, people that create pinball content care deeply about their product, their brand. Of course they care about something they spend so much time and energy on. And we’re all probably over sensitive about criticism, particularly those that are creating content for free or for very little in return.
Can the pinball media be objective and unbiased when they are sponsored by certain companies and products? I think that is up the readers or listeners to decide. Most of my writing at TWIP is objective by nature, reporting what is happening and not usually injecting my opinion – though my opinions do creep in at times.
I am not a journalist, I’m just a guy with a pinball website. I care deeply about TWIP, and I want to continue to bring you accurate weekly pinball news and information. To do that and to keep the site sustainable, sponsors and ads are going to be part of it. This is not much different than how newspapers are forced to monetize online in today’s world. The only notable difference is a newspaper has a large enough staff to segregate its writers from its advertising arm, and TWIP is a one-man show.
I’m probably over-analyzing, which I tend to do sometimes. Ah well. Thank you to all the readers and supporters of TWIP, running this site has made this hobby even more special and fun for me. For now I’m going to go play Attack From Mars and keep trying to get to Rule the Universe.