It’s been a fun (if occasionally bumpy) ride, but after nearly fourteen years the time has come for EC to fade to black.
Why is this happening?
There are two key reasons:
(1) For some time now the site has been sorely in need of upgrading to keep in step with the social media-driven conventions of “Web 2.0”. All-new webmastering software would be required, and I have neither the time or inclination to embark on such a massive project. (We’re talking 1100+ pages here!) With monthly visitors having declined from a high of 39,000 in 2009 to less than a third of that nowadays, the writing is clearly on the wall.
(2) The “golden age” of physical media (DVD & Blu-ray) is undeniably over. This has been reflected in the diminishing Amazon commissions earned by Eccentric Cinema over the past couple of years. From 2003 to 2012 these sales commissions sufficiently covered the site’s hosting bills (one year EC even turned a profit of $300), but since then they have declined significantly. Although the movies themselves have always been the main focus of EC, the site is nonetheless primarily seen as a vehicle for DVD reviews. And streaming is now king. I have nothing against streaming per se, apart from the fact that it remains for many of us a distinctly inferior means of watching the movies we love and want to see. (Bandwidth issues, the ever-changing availability of titles, etc.) It’s fine for binge-watching TV shows, sure, but until there are major improvements in delivery to the average consumer I will staunchly remain a physical media chauvinist.
And so it is time for Eccentric Cinema to ride off into the sunset — hat pulled low against the cold, steady rain, smoldering cigarillo stub clenched firmly in gritted teeth. Just some brief words before departure…