Re: What would you pay??
First of all, I love DrummerWorld and have been a user for years, and a forum lurker for a long time as well. I love this site and think it's great that Bernhard has worked so hard in providing us with quality exclusive information on our favorite drummers.
That said, I know that this is a business for Bernhard. If there was no money to be made, he wouldn't be doing it. If the site was costing him more money than what was coming in every month then he wouldn't keep it running, or he would find other ways to monetize it.
The business model of Drummerworld is to create a high quality site that gets loads of targeted traffic, then sell advertising to profit. The users of Drummerworld are actually the customers, since without users, no one would want to buy any advertising.
I read a lot of posts from members saying that Bernhard is just doing this on his own time, out of the kindness of his heart. I don't know the exact reasons why he is doing this, but just looking and analyzing the site, I think it is to make money. Just count the ads on every page and you can clearly see that he is pushing to get clicks.
There are also members pushing other members to donate to the site to 'help out'. I think it's great if you would like to help Drummerworld out by donating, but your donation isn't necessarily needed to keep the site running.
I have been doing internet marketing for some time now, and I know what a site like this costs, and what it would bring in on a monthly basis in ad revenue. Without knowing exact numbers I can only guess. I would guess that this site brings in $10,000 - $15,000 per month in advertising revenue. To run the site would cost at the most $5000. If Bernhard is paying more than that then he should look for a different server company or alternative video hosting solutions.
There is also the option of streaming all his videos on Youtube channel for viewers to watch as that is 100% free, plus he would get new users who browse Youtube, find his videos, and come to his site.
Right now Drummerworld is an amazing site which would lose most of its members if the content was limited to a monthly/annually payment or a login. I myself wouldn't pay anything to use this site, just like I won't pay to use Facebook, Myspace, or Youtube. Those sites started as free resources with the business model to sell advertising to make a profit, which they are doing.
Like I said earlier, I have been a user for some time now and enjoy the site. None of my comments were made to offend anyone. I just wanted to finally join in on the discussion. Thanks.