Nathan S. 's avatar

Pay for Post: Is It Worth $20 To Get Your Video Posted?

Posted by Nathan S. on 02/14/13 | Filed under Opinion, Pay for Post

I've been thinking of doing another Pay for Post column, but honestly, I just wasn't feeling particularly motivated. What was there to say that I hadn't already said? And then some motivation arrived in the form or a blast from And then they emailed me again a week later (with a lower price!). Well, now I feel like God, or at least the email gods, want me to write this:

First, I know it sounds basic, but it's crucial to keep the basics in mind. The entire reason an artist wants their video or song posted on a site is because that site had music fans that could potentially become their fans. So if you're considering how valuable a post on a site is, you need to ask yourself, "Are there music fans here? How many?" isn't listed on Quantcast, so it's hard to even throw out a rough guess on their traffic. But a good rule of thumb when trying to guess a site's popularity is to take a look at their ads. Advertisers are in the same boat as you, they want to get their product in front of people, and more people on the site the bigger the ad buys. A company like Nike or McDonald's doesn't give a fuck about hype or buzz, they only care about numbers, and if you don't have the numbers they're not buying the ads.

By contrast, if a site has no advertising, that's by a no means a guarantee they don't have much traffic (they could have a different business model, like Rap Genius' VC funding), but it's a good indication.

In fact, a site might find itself "forced" to charge for posts because they can't attract any advertising...which keeps their traffic low (not many people want to check out a post if they know it was paid for)...which means no advertising....which means they have to charge for a post...etc. etc. etc. It's a vicious cycle, a vicious cycle that they rely on artists to keep going.

Believe me, no one (or at least no one smart) would go through the hassle of trying to get $20 a shot from a rapper if Nike or McDonald's or really any other legitimate company is writing a check. And considering that Nike or McDonald's would never pay for ads on a page that was purchased, it's definitely not worth it.

Ultimately, the truth is that if they're in a position where they have to charge indie rappers to make money, that's a good sign it won't be worth your money.

This obviously isn't about, or I don't really care about any one site, and I don't know anything more about who runs it than what I can easily find out by looking at their site (professional layout, they openly charge, no ads, etc...). I only care about helping artist figure out for themselves whether they should be spending some of their hard earned money on a post. Ultimately, that's on you. You've now got the tools, you check out, or any other site trying to charge you.

Speaking of which, and as long as we're here, we might as well get in some bonus material. Now that I've done a few of these "Pay For Post"s I get forwarded emails all the time from artists - pass along any you might have.

RefinedHype has merged with The DJBooth. It's the same articles you loved on RefinedHype, new address. For more info, check out the official announcement.

See Also:  Breaking Down This Week in Pay for Post F**kery
See Also:  This Is My Rifle: Pay For Post F**kery, The Artist’s Perspective

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