It’s with a bowed head and a heavy heart that I have to announce the closing of Critics Round Up. The site never made a profit like I expected it to. Part of the reason for the site’s failure has to be because of some of the mistakes I’ve made along the way (not creating a budget for an ad campaign early, fumbling collaborative deals with bigger websites).
This announcement probably feels very sudden, especially since the Cannes Film Festival is only two days away. These past few weeks, it’s been getting much harder to stay motivated since the pageviews have been dwindling so rapidly. I couldn’t bear the thought of working several 12-hour days in a row like I did for Cannes last year knowing the site’s audience has been reaching near-historic lows. These past 12 months have taken a lot of energy out of me with no monetary reward.
Where can you go to read roundups now that this site will retire? First, I’ll continue to keep the archive alive for as long as I can, since I still think a lot of useful links have been gathered here. Second, there’s David Hudson at Keyframe, who’s been doing this kind of thing much longer than I have (and long may he reign). Third, I believe the arrival of a new arthouse cinema aggregator is imminent. I had nothing to do with this site, but I know the people involved and I think you’re gonna like what they’re doing. This new site actually made it easier to let go of mine, since I know arthouse aggregating will remain in good hands.
Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone who appreciated what I was doing and tried to spread the word about this site. I feel a tremendous sense of gratitude over every email, retweet, favorite and compliment CRU has received. I can’t convey how thankful I am for all the support.
James Kang, founder of Critics Round Up