A BRIEF HISTORY
DVD Verdict was created in 1999 by then Chicago lawyer Sean McGinnis. After little over a year in operation, Sean passed ownership over to Mike Jackson who redesigned the site’s old school HTML format into a modern content management system. In 2004, Mike changed careers and passed ownership to Michael Stailey who leverage our content and became a digital marketing partner for the studios and their distributors, moving Verdict from Chicago to Los Angeles in 2006. Along the way, Verdict gave birth to four new sites — Cinema Verdict for theatrical reviews; TV Verdict for television reviews; Pixel Verdict for video game coverage; and DVD Verdict Presents which became home to an entire family of weekly podcasts for seven years, archiving more than 1600 hours of audio content and generating more than 2 million downloads.
In early 2010, with Mike Jackson gone, our code began breaking down when sites like Google and Amazon upgraded their design and API standards. Despite fighting these tech fires, our readership continued to grow at a rapid pace. Even after adding a new server to keep pace with bandwidth, the site could no longer sustain itself in its current form. A massive redesign project began in 2011, but two separate web design houses were unable to recreate Verdict on new platforms, and the sustainability of the site came into question. In late 2015, we made the hard decision to cease normal business operations and keep the site active as a living archive.
THE DVD VERDICT YOU SEE TODAY
We’re back in business! On a much smaller scale. A glimmer of hope surfaced in 2016, when it became apparent that we might possibly transfer all our content over to WordPress and potentially rebirth the site without all the technical demons that previously plagued us. That process turned out to be more of a nightmare than a dream, but we have given DVD Verdict new life, in a more simplified and streamlined format. The process of hand-converting our nearly 30,000 reviews to new templates has been long and arduous. As a result, the links to our archive from IMDb and MRQE have broken. We are working to get everything back on line, but with one person doing all that work, it’s going to take months to complete. In the meantime, our small staff continues to publish reviews of new and upcoming releases, so I guess in some way Verdict will live on forever. Which is a good thing.
HOW CAN I WRITE REVIEWS FOR DVD VERDICT?
We are not bringing on new reviewers at this time.
WHERE DO I SEND A DISC TO BE REVIEWED?
Feel free to contact editor-in-chief Michael Stailey firstname.lastname@example.org. Given our small staff, we aren’t able to review nearly the amount of product we used to, but it’s worth asking.
HOW DO I BUY MOVIES FROM YOU?
That’s a common misperception. We don’t actually SELL anything. Instead, we have an affiliate partnership with Amazon.com whose links you’ll find on the bottom of each review. Any product you purchase through our Amazon links help support Verdict financially.