Website for sale

Sold by Negotiation

$12,000 USD

Ended 1095 days ago

Lyrics site with RapGenius-style annotations, artist interviews, 250K uniques/mo

Lyrics website with RapGenius-style annotations and admin area for database and user submission management. Exclusive video interviews with signed musicians and user generated content.

At a glance ?

Touch a value for a description

Site Type
Site Age
6 years
Net Profit
$173 p/mo

Traffic ?

Page Views
Unique Visits

Financials ?

Gross Revenue
Net Profit
AdSense Revenue

Traffic ?

Uniques Page Views
Aug 14 226,589 392,091
Jul 14 241,694 412,270
Jun 14 270,531 461,077
May 14 414,467 704,419
Apr 14 536,105 909,089
Mar 14 596,186 1,027,707
Feb 14 532,391 881,704
Jan 14 579,590 934,801
Dec 13 535,007 862,192
Nov 13 545,430 878,421
Oct 13 554,572 897,084
Sep 13 544,724 896,718

Traffic Health ?

Pages / Session
Avg. Session Duration
Bounce Rate

Top Channels ?

Page Views % of Total
Organic Search 365,054 86%
Direct 51,165 12%
Referral 4,761 1.1%
Social 1,419 0.34%
(Other) 20 0.0047%

Top Countries ?

Page Views
United States 103,171
United Kingdom 28,287
Finland 23,602
Germany 20,084
Japan 14,501

Financials ?

Monetization Methods

  • This website earns revenue with Google AdSense
  • This website also earns revenue with Advertising Sales. It is recommended to request a video walk through from the seller to verify all revenue claims.

Last 12 Months Claimed Revenue and Profit

Revenue Costs Profit
Sep 13 $514 $100 $414
Oct 13 $619 $100 $519
Nov 13 $640 $100 $540
Dec 13 $721 $100 $621
Jan 14 $622 $100 $522
Feb 14 $553 $100 $453
Mar 14 $689 $100 $589
Apr 14 $333 $100 $233
May 14 $335 $100 $235
Jun 14 $324 $100 $224
Jul 14 $249 $100 $149
Aug 14 $248 $100 $148

Seller's Notes

As a big music fan I launched Decoda in 2011 after being frustrated with the current lyrics websites at the time. Lyrics is one of the web's most-searched keyword, racking up 5 million searches per day.

The lyrics market is currently undergoing major change as a result of the brilliant disruptor Rap Genius (now just ""): their USP is to have the ability to annotate or explain the meaning behind specific lines of lyrics. This feature has worked great, not just because it's giving value to consumers but also because it dilutes out the duplicate content of lyrics (which is the same on every website) with a whole slew of unique content on each page being available for Google to digest, and thus rank highly. Every lyrics website will need to adapt to this annotation format to remain competitive, and most either aren't bothering or are slow to do so.

Even prior to the Rap Genius annotation feature taking off, MetroLyrics, one of the biggest lyrics websites, was acquired by CBS in 2011 for $18 million. Lyrics has always been a good niche to be in, and now with the advent of Lyrics 2.0 sites it's an even more exciting time to be involved.

We've focused mainly on building the brand, audience and user base and not on monetising the website. Unlike Rap Genius, we haven't had the luxury of funding but we have been able to make the site self sufficient with just a single ad.

We've had a lot of success, particularly here in the UK, in securing interviews having built up contacts with PR agencies and record labels, culminating in exclusive content of signed songwriters explaining their songs and lyrics on video for Decoda. You can see all of our interviews here. Assuming the new owner(s) wish to continue this, I'm happy to make introductions, explain how the press side of the music industry works and turn over ownership of our Highrise CRM accounts, which contain our contacts and detailed notes on past conversations with each one.

Decoda has been a side project for me and my business partner for the past 3 years and although we've enjoyed working on Decoda it's been recently neglected as we're having great success with a real estate software product that's demanding most of our time, thus we're looking to exit from Decoda early and let someone else with big ambitions take it over.


  • AJAX auto-suggest lyrics search.
  • User registration via e-mail or Facebook.
  • Quote lyrics to Facebook status.
  • Annotate lyrics like RapGenius with Markdown language.
  • Embed links, images, video, audio, maps in annotations via
  • Publish lyric explanation interviews.
  • Invite remote interviews with webcam recording via CameraTag.
  • User submission of new songs, lyrics, lyric edits, annotations, annotation edits.
  • Moderation of user submissions by way of Accept/Reject buttons.
  • Gamification by awarding points for user submissions upon submission acceptance.
  • Admin area with CRUD tools for artists/albums/songs/users and moderation of user submissions.
  • Changelog in admin area so you can see who done what and when, providing a historical log for each object.
  • Admin user roles with varying levels of control.
  • Automated and semi-automated aggregation of new artists/albums/songs.

Here's a video I produced that outlines the basic annotation features and touches on the interviews we've executed. 


  • 8,000 unique users per day.
  • 15,603 registered users with e-mail address, most with extra details from Facebook.
  • 24 artists interviewed, vast majority signed including Frank Turner, Kimberly Anne, Blizzard.
  • 332 exclusive videos of artists explaining their own lyrics on camera.
  • 788 songs explained and annotated.
  • 10 new users signing up per day.
  • 32 users submitting lyrics per day.
  • 35 users submitting their e-mail address per day to be notified when specific lyrics are available.


Decoda is built with PHP and MySQL on a CodeIgniter framework and hosted on Digital Ocean.

The schema of the song database (that is, artist, albums and songs) is based on data from MusicBrainz and is one-way sync'd every 2 weeks. Objects such as specific artists/albums/songs can be flagged to not be sync'd if our data is deemed more accurate. Objects that are entered into our database first (such as a hot new artist or song) and then later appear in MusicBrainz are automatically "merged" so that they can stay in sync with any future updates to MusizBrainz's data.

Lyrics populated against song objects come from a variety of sources including multiple lyrics site scrapers (and indeed, Decoda is scraped by other lyrics sites in what is accepted as standard practice) and user submissions.

Interview content has been produced by myself and a handful of contractors. Some interviews have been arranged and executed in London, most of the time at Google Campus in Shoreditch, and the others have been executed remotely via CameraTag, which enables an artist to submit answers through their webcam. See an example here.

Included in the sale

  • Site code and database including Git repo.
  • Web hosting account with Digital Ocean.
  • Domain names:,,,
  • Ownership of all content.
  • Ownership of related online accounts such as Google Apps (including YouTube and the content in the channel), Universal Records press account, Gandi, Mandrill, MusicBrainz, Disqus, Pingdom, Highrise, Cameratag, Quantcast, Bing, Yahoo!, Twitter, Facebook, Buzzfeed, Pinterest,

Site Info

Site Established ? April 2011
Built With ?
Google Analytics Detected ? Yes
More info: BuiltWith

Domain Info

Domain Registered ? 19 October 2003
Registrar ? GANDI SAS
More info: Wayback Machine and Whois

Site Uniqueness

Content Unique ? Yes
Design Unique ? Yes
More info: Plagspotter and Copyscape

SEO Presence

Pages In Google ? 9,010,000
MajesticSEO Inbound Links ? 219,908
SEOmoz mozRank ? 5.55
Alexa Rank ? 121,484
More info: SEOmoz and SEMRush


HostLead ( | $95.8K )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:15:25 AEST

How are you only making $250/month with 200k+ visits?

Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:18:36 AEST

@HostLead Only 1 ad. If Decoda doesn't sell this time round we'll focus on monetisation and then re-list early next year.

Dillinger2024 ( | $129 )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:57:54 AEST

Hey, I would like to buy this outright, can we talk price?

Dillinger2024 ( | $129 )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 06:57:55 AEST

Hey, I would like to buy this outright, can we talk price?

HostLead ( | $95.8K )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 07:23:06 AEST

@Dillinger2024 This is an auction.

Px48x48 logo  2
user501 ( | $11K )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 07:49:06 AEST

@HostLead Its called BIN

jagelski ( | $89 )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 19:45:10 AEST

Hi, I am interested! A few questions:

1. Who is licensing the lyrics, is it LyricFind or musiXmatch?
2. Are you on CPM or revenue sharing deal?
3. Could you explain the drop in traffic (50% drop from March to August)?
4. Have you engaged in link buying or anything else that Google may consider as black-hat SEO?


Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:03:20 AEST

@jagelski Hey Richard, thanks for your questions, here's my answers:

1/2. Like many lyrics sites we're unlicensed: until you're high profile you're not of interest to anyone. RapGenius got to 10M uniques/month and raised $15M in funding without any licensing. We've had one legitimate DMCA takedown request in 3 years, that was from Warner which we simply complied with and no further action was taken. I've even been in a meeting with Universal Publishing and openly discussed the possibility of Decoda licensing directly from them, they are very relaxed and acknowledge that it's not worth their time pursuing lyrics websites until they're making significant revenue.

Personally, at the point that you need to be licensed I would do a direct deal with the 3 majors plus Kobalt (aggregator for independents) and with our talks with Universal Publishing we were negotiating around an advance of $5K. I'm happy to make intro's to all contacts that I've made and introduce the new owners to people I've been dealing with at Universal and all our other industry contacts including MTV UK and

3. I stopped proactively link building from January this year and I believe that was the cause of our drop from March-May. From May onwards I'm pretty sure that's Panda 4.0 and we weren't the only lyrics site affected - many of us were. Pages where we have unique content (interviews, annotated lyrics, etc.) still maintain page 1 or no. 1 SERPs.

4. Zero black hat, take a look at our backlink profile, my position has been white hat SEO all the way. My strategy was to build a great website and procure unique and quality content so that we could build relationships and attract quality links with important, relevant companies and brands.

Let me know if you have any other queries.


Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:06:55 AEST

@jagelski Forgot to mention: my talks with Universal got to the point where they verbally agreed to give us direct access to their huge roster of songwriters to do interviews in return for us licensing directly with them. I've not progressed these talks further since March this year. As I mentioned, if you're the winning bidder I'm happy to introduce you to my contact at Universal Publishing to try and get those talks re-established.

jagelski ( | $89 )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:11:52 AEST

Hi, thanks a lot for your reply. All makes sense. I used to have a lyrics website in the past which was licensed with LyricFind hence my question.

Could you upload some screenshots from GA (I am interested in traffic sources over the last month or so)?


Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 20:14:43 AEST

@jagelski DM me your Google account email address and I'll give you read-only access to our GA.

pauljason ( new )
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 00:19:10 AEST

What is the reserve price?

sitebuyers ( | $538K )
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 08:33:31 AEST

When you spoke to Universal what were they going to charge for licensing?

Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Wed, 10 Sep 2014 08:52:13 AEST

@sitebuyers We didn't get that far except that they would want a minimum fee regardless of gross revenue, so if we only grossed $7k in a year from Universal licensed content they'd want minimum $5k regardless.

jagelski ( | $89 )
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 20:39:08 AEST

One more question, how many songs have lyrics and how many songs have annotated lyrics?


Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 13:50:26 AEST

@jagelski Decoda has over a million lyrics and 788 songs have been annotated.

sitebuyers ( | $538K )
Fri, 12 Sep 2014 20:56:31 AEST

Why is this site so poorly ranked for its own name? If I do a search for "decoda" on Google you show up on the third page. Can you share any keywords that you do rank well on?

Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 02:05:28 AEST

We rank for actual lyrics keyword searches such as:
majestic creeping in the dark lyrics
dub phizix marka lyrics
blizzard testing the water lyrics

In retrospect I should have tried to link build around the brand name "Decoda" and it wouldn't be a difficult thing to do.

sitebuyers ( | $538K )
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:25:39 AEST


If you get stuck holding this domain I would highly recommend that. The reason is people don't type urls so much anymore. They type the name of the site into Google and then visit the #1 result. So you should be able to increase return visits if you can get ranked for your name.

Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Sun, 21 Sep 2014 17:18:18 AEST

@sitebuyers Thanks for the advice, noted. If it doesn't sell this time round I'll do that, shouldn't be difficult to achieve at all.

Px48x48 avatar 1320697249.38714eb83da15e8325.73830286
CHG ( suspended )
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 00:27:44 AEST

In my experience it is completely unnecessary to SEO the domain name itself if the site is sufficiently maintaining a consistent revenue from search traffic and long tail keywords. I would venture to guess that the majority of the traffic comes from exact phrase matches of lyrical content rather than the name of the site.

For those reasons, I feel this could be a pretty sound investment and have bid accordingly!

Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:41:30 AEST

Auction is coming down to the wire, make sure to place a bid before it's too late! Happy to answer any last minute questions. =)

Px48x48 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510
do1 ( | $13.3K )
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 08:38:19 AEST

Buy It Now price added! Avoid a last minute bidding war and secure this business now!

LordofTheMorning ( | $15.1K )
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:00:34 AEST

Missed the very end as I was driving :(

The Seller
Px140x140 avatar 1410097273.7027540c6079ab8ee4.88956510 do1 Ed Gain
2 transactions totalling $13,299
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  • PayPal
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