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Letters to the editor: Reader donations

  • A reader writes:

    “Hi, John,

    …Patreon. I’ve just pledged a couple of dollars to Steve Guttenberg for his daily Youtube videos and to The Majority Report – another youtube channel in the US. Seems like a great idea and a no-brainer to me as I get to directly support who I’m learning from, and $2 a month or $6 a month or whatever is so little, but if 500 people do that then, you’ve very quickly and easily got yourself a sizable and regular chunk of change.

    I looked for a Patreon link on your site but couldn’t find one.

    Cheers John and thanks for your work,


    A second reader writes:

    “Hi, John,

    I am just a listener who wanted to say just how awesome the podcast series has been, (especially) the downloads episode…

    …oh, and let me add my voice to everyone else who (probably) have already said this to you: “You need a Patreon account!”

    Well wishes,


    Readership calls for Patreon donations are becoming more frequent. It’s wonderful that readers value Darko.Audio enough to want to donate to its running costs. However, YouTubers like Steve Guttenberg and website publishers like yours truly operate under different publishing and funding models.

    A videographer publishing content to a third party website like YouTube isn’t given visual real estate by the video publishing service for the addition of banner ads. S/he must embed ads in the video itself or tap YouTube’s own monetisation scheme or, as favoured by Steve Guttenberg and Hans Beekhuyzen, seek donations from viewers via (websites like) Patreon.

    Darko.Audio is a website where the publishing platform can be controlled down to every last pixel. I use Vimeo and YouTube for their video hosting and streaming facilities. This site’s videos are hosted on YouTube and Vimeo but sucked into website posts via embed codes. That allows me to surround Darko.Audio’s website posts with banner ads to cover the site’s running costs and serve as a full statement of financial interests.

    After eight years covering hifi, I’m now in the (fortunate) position that I can take on new advertisers on an invite-only basis. I won’t take just anyone’s money. And that includes readers.

    Anyone wanting to donate to this website is advised to keep their money or, better still, give it to someone less fortunate.

    The way I see it, a banner-ad-funded website seeking donations from satisfied readers constitutes an unethical double-dip.

    The cost of entry to Darko.Audio remains the same for every reader: to be served banner ads. No more, no less.

    Further information: Patreon

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

    Playback Pioneers 2018: Bob Stuart / MQA

    Musicality: talks loud, says nothing