For a nice inside look at some of the thinking directly behind the removal of all sponsored WordPress themes from the WordPress Theme Viewer, check out Matt’s post this morning.
Matt shares some interesting thoughts, as well as the fact (numbers shared) that non-sponsored themes are much more popular on Theme Viewer than sponsored ones.
So if you assume downloads are a measure of the public interest in a theme, then non-sponsored themes are about twice as popular as sponsored ones.
Of course you might not accept that assumption, and the data is fuzzy, and there are certainly a handful of sponsored themes that are very high quality, but overall the indications are that they were a net drain on the site. Rather than making one-off exceptions to the no-sponsored-themes policy and being accused of favoritism or of having ulterior motives* I’d rather spend time doing things to reward and encourage the people who are making high-quality themes without embedded advertising.
Read the rest of the post at Photo Matt