Darko.Audio covers news and reviews of interesting and affordable hi-fi equipment; it is aimed at anyone striving for better sound quality from modern music, at home or on the go. It is especially aimed at readers who like to think. As of 2018, YouTube videos are a large part of what we do. Podcasts too.

Do you take payments from manufacturers to conduct reviews of their products?
No. Absolutely not. Darko.Audio is not pay-to-play and we don’t do sponsored content. Not on this website and not on YouTube. If we deem it sufficiently interesting and we have the time, we’ll cover it. And whilst we are here: we do not charge hi-fi show exhibitors for coverage.

How is Darko.Audio funded then?
This website is, as it has always been, funded by the banner advertising you see around you. For interested parties, those ads also serve as a public statement of Darko.Audio’s financial interests.

Advertising revenue pays for the time taken to conduct reviews by advertisers and non-advertisers. For anyone keeping score, at least 75% of products featured in these pages are made by companies who have never advertised with us.

So any company stumping up the cash gets an ad?
Actually, no. Not all companies looking to buy advertising space get to do so. Advertising on Darko.Audio is an invite-only situation. 90% of cold callers are turned away. Only those whose products we really like get the nod. As a result, this site’s banner ads come from manufacturers whose products we dig immensely.

Darko.Audio website traffic – November 2020.

Are banner ads really that effective?
You bet they are! With 400,000 unique viewers hitting up this website each month (as many our YouTube channel – see below), banner ad click-through is stronger than ever. That the ads are immune to client-side ad-blocking software helps with that. And even if they’re not clicked, they can’t be unseen.

What about your YouTube videos and podcasts?
The Darko.Audio Podcast and YouTube channel are extensions of this website. The financial structure needed to fund their production preceded them by six years: the banner ads featured on this website. Additional YouTube income comes from the occasional pre-roll advertiser and Google’s Adsense network.

But surely if you don’t say nice things about an advertiser’s product, you’ll lose them as an advertiser?
We do not announce the departure of advertising clients disappointed that they cannot index their financial support to editorial content — but it does happen.

Remember how I said advertisers are invited? And the number of advertisers is capped. If an advertiser drops off for whatever reason, there is always another waiting to be invited.

You have a Patreon now too, right?
Yes, we do — and that income funds the occasional review unit, which are given back to Patrons via competitions, as well as video content made exclusively for the Patreon community.

Do you engage with affiliate link programs?
Nope. Nope and three times nope. Why not? Because affiliate links effectively index income to positivity of opinion. They blur the line between a reviewer and a salesman being paid on commission.

Are there any other payments from manufacturers we should know about?
Nope. None. This publication’s income sources are all out in the open.

What about other pecuniary interests?
Writers published in these pages are guaranteed to have no direct (or indirect) financial affiliation with any hi-fi or audio equipment manufacturer/distributor/retailer. That means no writer has a (secret or otherwise) side gig as a PR representative, show organiser, manufacturer’s consultant, product photographer or hifi store sales clerk.

Darko.Audio YouTube channel traffic – December 2020.