Several years ago, a process which started shortly after the 2016 presidential election which was lost by the left-leaning mainstream media's preferred candidate, and culminated with our January 2020 story about the controversial origin of covid virus which was frowned upon by the same China-leaning mainstream media (a story which we later learned made its way all the way to Anthony Fauci's email inbox the day of our unexpected suspension on twitter for six months due to an "error"), Zero Hedge started facing mounting demonetization pressure from the biggest ad companies - those who keep sites such as this one alive - which culminated with our temporary suspension by advertising supergiant Google. It then became clear to us that our traditional model of funding - selling ad space - was in jeopardy.
To be sure, we were not alone: countless independent, free-thinking and non-conformist websites have faced a similar demonetization squeeze by the mainstream media, by Silicon Valley ad giants and by their various proxies, intermediaries, and cronies, who contrary to their virtue-signaling and hollow platitudes, detest a world where free speech still exists and where they don't have full control over the narrative.
So it was about a year ago that we decided to respond to this creeping suffocation, and begin a process of disintermediating ourselves from the legacy media loop where small, enterprising media companies are never truly independent as long as they have to cater to the increasingly activist whims of their advertising agents and if they dare to cover certain taboo topics, they risk losing most if not all revenue.
We did this by offering a premium product offering, one which removed all ads for paying subscribers, which offered exclusive access to content from our fantastic partners and Wall Street veterans, The Market Ear (their content is a boon to all time-pressed finance professionals who need some visual inspiration across any and all markets), which gave subs an audio feed to all market-breaking news thanks to Newsquawk's trading desk squawk, and which offered a moderation-free comment section, a rarity in this day where every online utterance is scrubbed and filtered.
Of course, we know too well - as do our readers - that the rollout of this premium offering which coincided with a major overhaul of the website was anything but glitch-free to put it mildly, and we apologize for that. As regular readers know we are a small, self-funded group with no outside capital or funding, and without an army of tech support wizards even simple tasks can be challenging.
And so, as a small token of appreciation to all our readers over the years, we are giving everyone access to our premium section for the next few days so you can evaluate at your leisure if becoming a subscriber is right for you.
Meanwhile, as a quick update on where our existing efforts to become fully independent stand, we have been overjoyed with the response as thousands of users have signed up in the past year to our premium service (as well as professional service, which in addition to all the premium offerings also gives access to all the latest hedge fund letters and select market-moving Wall Street research, as well as a vast archive of historical reports). That said, in the past year we have also seen continued pressure from more ad companies, as several large names decided to blacklist us for the simple reason that they do not believe we should enjoy the benefits of Constitutionally protected free speech.
As such, with legacy revenues being frozen, we appeal to those readers who are on the fence about contributing financially to this website to give us a chance and to sign up: we are confident that it will provide enough value to make it worth the price, and if it isn't, let us know what you'd like fixed, changed or added - like everything else, this is a learning process. We do, however, know one thing - without your help, this website will not survive over the long run, especially with huge financial and political events looming in 2022 and certainly 2024, where all independent voices will be censored and snuffed.
So with all that said, please go to the premium website, read The Market Ear blog, listen to the real-time market news and analysis, observe the Spot Gamma widget showing how market gamma changes in real time, have free access to all premium articles and much more. If you like it, we hope you subscribe - if this website is to survive and thrive, it will only be thanks to your help.
If you like what you see, you can subscribe here.
It has been a crazy year, and we wish all of our readers happy and relaxing holidays - recharge ahead of the coming year because 2022 will be insane.