I'm not privy to all the details of MW's finances - it's none of my business - but over the years I think I have gleaned sufficient insight to be able to say with a fair degree of confidence that MW doesn't make money. It's true that we receive some income, mainly from the limited amount of advertising on the site, but I think that the revenue raised just about covers the costs of running MW.
Fortunately, as we're a web-based publication the costs are probably limited - certainly by comparison with a printed magazine. Since we don't pay our contributors I guess the greatest expense is the cost of shipping a large number of CDs and DVDs to reviewers each month. As Brian Reinhart has pointed out elsewhere, the postage costs to reviewers outside the UK will be particularly significant but I think it's also quite costly to post material out to UK-based reviewers such as myself.
If it were the intention that MW should make money then the most obvious thing to do would be to charge our readers for access to the site. However, I know - because this has been debated once or twice among the reviewers - that this is something that Len and the editorial team have consistently resisted, not wishing to restrict access.
The unfortunate truth is that I doubt that many people in the classical music industry, including those who write about the recordings, are ever going to make money out of it. Only this year we have seen the much-regretted closure of two highly respected magazines, International Record Review and Classical Recordings Quarterly.
There's not much scope for profit, I suspect, in the business of reviewing classical recordings, whether in print or on the web.
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