TheWeedTube team has gone back and forth on trying to decide how to convey the severity of this current situation to our community. The truth is, it is bad. Really bad.
Before you read any further, on behalf of the co-founders and the entire WeedTube team, we are so grateful for each and every one of you who has supported us since our launch in March of 2018. None of us knew what we were getting into back then, not the co-founders, the users, nor the creators. Through all the challenges and uphill battles, we are so incredibly proud of how much progress we have made as a community. So whether you are a viewer or a content creator, please know that your presence from the beginning, and at this very moment, is very appreciated. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support. Our team has been hard at work developing TheWeedTube 2.0 for just over a month now, and we can’t wait for all of you to see it. We have a new design in the works. This update will improve so much of the platform for so many users. We’re excited to move forward with the website and app.
That’s the good news, now for the not so great news...
2020 has really done a number on all of us. Something that hasn’t been discussed too often is the pandemic’s effect on the cannabis industry. Over the last 9 months, we have watched half of the brands we had the honor of working with close their doors. Is it hard to lose half of your advertisers? Sure. But the financial part isn’t what hurt the most. Watching people that we really knew and cared about have to give up on their dreams because of circumstances outside their control was devastating. Our deepest sympathies go out to those brands who have had to close their doors, and our best hopes and wishes go out to those brands who are scraping by to make it through this. The truth is, TheWeedTube is one of those brands that hangs in the balance.
In addition to a loss of advertisers due to the pandemic, we’ve also experienced a huge amount of new users making our platform a global cause. Before we say anything else, it’s important to note that our team could not be more thrilled to have these international communities joining us. They are more than welcome, and we are doing everything that we can to ensure their success as well. Of course we hope to see the support of these communities as well! This increase in traffic internationally, however, has resulted in a huge amount of new costs for hosting content, which would be okay if there were any international cannabis advertisers with which for us to work. Unfortunately, there are not.
Additionally, we have had a lot of requests for better accessibility to TheWeedTube through use of Closed Captions. We need TheWeedTube to be accessible for everyone, and we definitely want to add those features in for everyone who needs them. That being said, Intelligent Closed Captioning is quite an expensive service that would cost TheWeedTube (at current volume) approximately $10,000 per year.
The owners of TheWeedTube have already been injecting cash every single month to keep the platform thriving and growing. Since 2019, the owners of TheWeedTube have put over $200k of their own money to keep it going. These new circumstances surrounding the pandemic have radically increased the amount of cash the owners have had to put in, to an amount that is no longer sustainable. Which is why we need your help.
If TheWeedTube is going to remain open as a free resource for the cannabis community, we will need that community's help. Many sites across the internet that deal with “non-mainstream” content and media require the support of their users to stay afloat. We tried for two years to do this without assistance from our community. Unfortunately, it is no longer feasible to do so. We are asking any of our users and supporters who are able or willing to donate at least $5 per month to TheWeedTube.
Additionally, by supporting TheWeedTube financially you will help us continue to share our ad revenue with our creators. We believe the ability to compensate our creators is one of the cornerstones of our platform. Even though we haven’t made a “profit” from advertising since February of this year, the owners have contributed money each month to continue to pay our content creators. We are more than happy to be transparent with our use of finances, as we have in the past, and we promise that going forward with the support of the community, we will continue to be entirely transparent with the allocation of your funds.
Our pledge to you as TheWeedTube team is to do the very best we can to deliver the platform all of you deserve if the community comes together. If we don’t get help, there is a real chance TheWeedTube will not survive.
We are doing everything in our power to make sure it does.
It is important for us to note that we are only asking for donations from those that find themselves in a position in which they are able. The events of this year have been singularly challenging and devastating for countless people worldwide, and we are in no way asking for donations from those that cannot afford to do so. If you cannot make a donation at this time, we ask that you share the donations page and continue to watch videos on TheWeedTube. That's the best way you can support us in this time other than donating.
Where will the money go?
Monthly reports would be delivered to all contributors, showing where their funds are going. Any and all donations made to TheWeedTube will go towards the following issues:
1. Basic Infrastructure
a. These are costs associated with keeping the site running. Our video player, one of the best in the world, is quite expensive. Although our Creative Director was able to negotiate the price down by 50% this year, it is still our most overwhelming cost. Once the goal of $5,000 per month in contributions is reached, the video player will be taken care of entirely.
2. Team Success
a. Our team members are crucial to the success of TheWeedTube. The next goal of donated funds would be able to ensure all current job positions at TheWeedTube are safe. Positions like: Community Manager, Social Media Manager, Blog Writers, and our Newsletter Editor.
3. Basic Development
a. The owners of TheWeedTube have agreed to an additional $40,000 investment for version 2.0 of TheWeedTube app and site which is currently under construction. However, if we are able to raise above $7,500 in donations, we will be able to contribute even more to that development.
4. Additional Infrastructure
a. At the point of raising over $10,000 per month in contributions, TheWeedTube would then increase our infrastructure spending through those donations. Currently our infrastructure averages a cost of $7500 per month.
5. Additional Team Members
a. Reaching a milestone of over $15,000 per month would allow us to bring on additional teammates to continue to grow TheWeedTube.
6. Management Paid
a. At the level of $20,000 per month raised, we would be able to finally pay our management, and consider TheWeedTube on track to make ‘profit’.
Will creators still be paid?
Of course! The entire idea of bringing on community support stems from our desire to continue to pay our content creators for their hard work. How the current system works, content creators are paid from a split of our ad revenue, which will continue. However, if we are unable to raise enough funds to keep TheWeedTube going, we will be unable to split the revenue. The owners have already personally added money to the creator fund every month since March of 2020 to continue to pay our amazing content creators. Additionally, we are currently working on “TheWeedTube Premium” which would be an ad free version of the site, and once that’s finished we will have an additional revenue stream for our creators.
What do you get for donating?
Aside from our sincere eternal gratitude for your contribution, you will gain access to a couple of awesome experiences. First, we will be sending out an exclusive monthly newsletter detailing the advances of TheWeedTube to our supporters. These email updates will contain the latest news in and around TheWeedTube, development, upcoming projects, and additional insights from TheWeedTeam themselves. These newsletters will also have polls in which you can share your input and opinions regarding TheWeedTube operations and developments. We value your feedback and we cannot wait to hear from you.
Finally (and the most exciting to some)- we have just released a new feature that will allow any contributors to have a small weed leaf badge* next to their username. Get “verified” as a CannaContributor. We are calling this badge the “Dank Donor” badge, and we think it’s pretty lit! We hope you love it! Because we sure can’t wait to have ours!
Check out the example!
*Please allow up to 72 hours for the badge to appear on your profile after donating.
So… How can you donate?
Although we tried to work with many different providers to accept donations, PayPal is currently the only company who has agreed to work with us. All donations have to be made through PayPal at: donate.theweedtube.com
What will happen if TheWeedTube doesn’t receive user support?
We will always do our best to ensure TheWeedTube’s continued existence for the cannabis community. If we are unable to garner enough support, unfortunately we will be forced to furlough our team. TheWeedTube will remain available for use for creators, viewers, and advertisers, however all systems will be automated. The personality will be removed from the platform. We will no longer have a social media manager, a community manager, and creator payments will have to be stopped. The owners would try to keep the site up and running for as long as possible with this transition. However, we would much prefer to continue blazing a trail forward with our incredible team. You may not realize this, but the team is what makes TheWeedTube.
Eventually, it is possible that TheWeedTube would have to shut down entirely.
Finally, we love you.
Whether you’re able to contribute by donating or whether your contribution is sharing TheWeedTube with everyone you know-- we appreciate you. We value your support and we’re thankful for all the dope things we have accomplished so far.
Join the movement. Help us win this fight.