When Newgrounds first hit the web in 1995, I was just goofing off after school. As a kid who spent countless hours toiling on cartoons and games no one would see, it was a breath of fresh air to share my work with the world.
Four years later, NG was a top 600 website with a growing section called The Portal, where I manually showcased Flash games and movies emailed to me by creators looking for exposure.
I hired my friend Ross and we launched an automated version of the Portal in 2000. It was the first ever place on the web that let you upload and showcase your games and movies instantly. Needless to say, it was a hit.
The dot com crash soon followed and like everyone, NG struggled through a period where ad revenue was hard to come by and expenses loomed ominously.
Having survived, NG began an upward trajectory that brought us to 2005, when we got an office, expanded the staff and got to work delivering NG to its maximum potential.
In the time since, NG has faced a sort of "death by a thousand cuts" scenario, with numerous competitors in the movie, gaming and music space. These sites have been backed by millions in venture capital and later bought for millions more by even bigger companies... you know the drill.
Throughout all this, NG has remained independent and has kept the bills paid.
Which brings us to our current reality: expenses have grown while our traffic has stayed the same and ad revenue has gone down.
One of our solutions to this is to stop leaning so heavily on advertisers and start leaning more on YOU, the people who enjoy NG.
Introducing the Supporter Upgrade. For $25, you will be branded a "Supporter" and will browse NG ad-free for one year. This includes the banner ads, 300x250 ads and site skins. It doesn't include the pre-roll ads contributors include in their games and movies.
Pages will load faster and run better. Everything looks REALLY NICE. You could run ad-block, but this works even better AND you are helping Newgrounds instead of contributing to its decline. I personally want to spend next year GROWING Newgrounds instead of agonizing over what to cut next.
There is a lot we hope to accomplish. Newgrounds was never intended to be a secondary dump on the information superhighway - it is a catalyst for creativity, a place where you meet the people you will create with for life.
We will accomplish great things with your support.