The Hand That Feeds HQ is a website focused on reviewing male seiyuu (voice actor) music releases. We were founded in 2010 but only started working actively as THTFHQ in 2011. Since then, our website has grown to be an important spot for most male seiyuu fans across the globe (we've got readers from the Philippines, Italy, Argentina, Japan, USA, UK, Singapore, Thailand and many other countries). 7 years later, and half a million views later, The Hand That Feeds HQ continues to improve everyday.
Before we start talking about why we're on Patreon, get to know our team:
Vanessa Silva has DJ/music composition background. Music under her name as well as Mugen Naraku (side project) was produced from 2006 to 2012 (on soundcloud - both pages were closed in 2014). Was once Portugal's #1 DJ on Reverbnation's charts. When she enrolled in Law college, she decided to distance herself from music composition. She never thought that stumbling upon a random tumblr post about Durarara (damn you Shizuo!) would make her fall in love with seiyuu and seiyuu music. Since then, she started reviewing releases from OLDCODEX and Mamoru Miyano on a personal blog, hoping people outside of Japan would come across her posts and find that music interesting, in result, ending up supporting the artists. Without knowing, THTFHQ was born. She's the founder of THTFHQ, as well as lead reviewer and social media expert. Goes by the name "midorin" in all matters related to the website. Has a degree in Law, worked previously as a K-Pop concert promoter, loves rock music and sweet, rich vocals. Favorite seiyuu include: Hikaru Midorikawa, Soma Saito and Daisuke Ono.
Nadine Silva has been part of the team since 2012. With studies in music composition and translation, she's THTFHQ's secret weapon, as well as the resident reviewer for any releases by Kensho Ono, Mamoru Miyano, OLDCODEX, Daisuke Namikawa and more. Loves dark compositions, solemn piano pieces, slap bass and deep vocals. Would love to dedicate more time to THTFHQ but unfortunately, translation takes a lot of her free time.
Soon to have a degree in Translation, hardrocker to the core, the gazettE and OLDCODEX's fan. Favorite seiyuu include: Mamoru Miyano, Takuya Sato and Yoshiki Nakajima.
Both are co-workers, associates and sisters.
Our background and situation
For 7 years our website has been hard at work covering the latest news about male seiyuu music and 2.5D units, something that, outside of Japan, wasn't that much talked about, with only a small portion of fans knowing about their favorite seiyuu's endeavors. Of course, that was in 2011 - when it wasn't common for seiyuu to endeavor to the music business and 2.5D units weren't that common.
In the past 7 years, the number of seiyuu with careers as solo singers has more than doubled and the number of 2.5D units has increased by almost 10 times. We initially covered a bit over 20 seiyuu/2.5D or seiyuu units/bands on our website, today, in 2018, we cover 317 seiyuu/2.5D projects with the same two-cell team we did when we kicked off this website.
With the increase of projects we're covering, it's hard to support our website ourselves. What was back in the day a simple 40€/month bill for three, sometimes four CDs to review, today is an over 80€/month bill in digital downloads and physical copies (and that's because we're lucky to have people helping us with some releases, easing the weight on our wallets).
While we want to review as many releases as most people ask us to, we can't due to the fact that our reviews aren't made based on pirated music, we have to spend a lot of money just to acquire each release + pay for any customs fees.
Our expenses in euros and dollars:
- Wordpress premium plan: 99€/$119 per year (includes custom domain, ads, 13 gb of available space + other perks)
- Average monthly spending on music: 10 releases with final cost being between 50€ to 70€ / basically $60 to $84 (I.e: If those 10 releases are albums: 1 album = 3000yen (23.09€)/ 10 x 23.09 = 230,09€ / If those 10 releases are mini-albums: 1 mini-album = 1400yen (10.78€)/ 10 x 10.78 = 107,80€ / If those 10 releases are singles: 1 single = 1200yen (9.24€)/ 10 x 9.24 = 92,40 €)
- Customs fees in Portugal: 15€ to 36€ ($18 to $43) per package / over 36€/$43 if the package has over 2 kg.
We purchase 60% of the releases we review, the other 40% correspond to releases that are lent/sponsored to us by some of the website's readers or close friends.
Our earnings (average):
- Wordpress ads (wordads) on website: 8€/$9 per month (money unavailable to us until hitting the threshold - 100 USD) - Last year's earnings - 1st year using this plan - $100.03
- CDJAPAN 5% commission for each purchase through affiliated links: 7€/$8 per month (money unavailable to us until hitting the threshold - 5000 yen) - Yearly around 70€/$84
- Donation button on our website (through Paypal) - $0
What we'll use our money for:
Our initial goal is $50/month. This is more than enough to review a month's worth of CDs and the surplus can be saved to pay for next year's Wordpress plan.
We have several goals after that but our objective is to be self-sufficient, meaning that we can totally dedicate our lives to this website to deliver more and better content to everyone.
If we reach all those goals, we aim for the ambitious $1000/month goal.
On Patreon, each of our readers can donate whatever they want per month, with that donation being recurring each month after that. Any donation you can spare is going to be used to:
- Purchase new singles/albums [PRIORITY!]
- Pay for our Wordpress yearly plan
- Further improve our website
Stretch goal ($1000/month)
Forget being a lawyer or a full-time translator. Starting from here, The Hand That Feeds HQ is going to be a full-time job for us. If we reach this goal, we'll be paying our team what they deserve for their hard work. As much as everyone likes doing pro-bono work, at the end of the day, each one of us has bills to pay monthly and if we're investing all our time on this website - a passion of ours -, it's only fair that we receive some kind of reward for our work. While the money wouldn't be enough to cover our individual bills, it would be a start. From there we might add a new goal of $2000 but right now it seems like an impossible feat.
Objectives in addition to the ones mentioned above:
- Create a weekly podcast for all seiyuu fans - covering news, music and anime.
- Hosting outside of Wordpress + redo the website
With all this in mind, we decided to open and revamp our Patreon page, a place in which our readers can lend us a hand in order for us to keep this website alive. We want to keep working on THTFHQ, providing you with updated, free of click-bait news articles, and deliver high quality Seiyuu Digests and reviews.
Please consider being our Patron, helping this small piece of heaven for seiyuu fans around the world stay alive for years to come.
Vanessa Silva (midorin)
The Hand That Feeds HQ founder/editor-in-chief/reviewer
Find me on Twitter if you have any questions.