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AUTOSPORT to introduce metered access


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#1 Grayson

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:14

Hi everyone,

As announced this morning, AUTOSPORT will be introducing metered access to our news content from August 1st:

AUTOSPORT to introduce metered access

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 50 free news articles per calendar month. Once you reach the 50-story limit you can choose one of our great subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

. Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock in an ad-free environment
. Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
. Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
. Full access to FORIX – the world’s best motorsport statistics website

For over 60 years AUTOSPORT has been at the pinnacle of motor racing journalism, offering breaking news, unrivalled analysis and the most informative race reviews. We promise to keep investing in the highest quality writers, the best-informed experts and the most up-to-the-minute news service.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Andrew Van de Burgt
Editor in Chief



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#2 Grayson

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:14

One point to make very clear on here is that the Forum will NOT be affected by these changes.

Can I ask that any discussion of these changes be kept to this thread or communicated with me directly? You can contact me on Simon.Grayson@haymarket.com and I'll be happy to discuss any aspect of these changes.

Here are the answers to a few questions you may have about the changes...

What’s changed this year?
Non-subscribers are now limited to reading 30 news stories per month. Once you’ve reached this number, you won’t be able to read any more news stories unless you subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ or wait until the counter resets on the first of the following month.

Which parts of the site are free?
30 news stories per month, the forums, the live coverage of Grands Prix and low resolution versions of our galleries.
Also, promoted and sponsored content such as the AUTOSPORT Awards, the Castrol EDGE Driver Rankings, the Castrol EDGE Grand Prix Predictor, the AUTOSPORT Directory and the recruitment section are all free.

What content does AUTOSPORT already charge for?
Our premium features and columnists, our high resolution galleries, the FORIX database and the digital replica of the magazine. We also have Apps for both iPhone and Android available for a small fee.

I'm already an AUTOSPORT+ subscriber, does this change affect me?
No, if you're already a subscriber you will still be able to access an unlimited number of news stories as well as the additional premium content.

Why does AUTOSPORT need to charge for content when so many other sites are free?
AUTOSPORT has journalists in motor racing paddocks around the world. This includes every F1 race but also includes plenty of other series. We have been investing in the highest quality writers for over 60 years and need to continue to invest to make sure that we can offer the best insight as well as the most reliable up to the minute breaking news.

What counts towards my 30 stories?
New stories as well as stories from the archive. If you have read a story already during the month and you go back to read it again, it won’t be counted a second time.

Why is the limit set at 30 stories?
The vast majority of visitors to the site won’t reach this number. We want to make sure that AUTOSPORT is still free to most of its users, but we’re asking our heaviest users to contribute towards the running of the site.

How much does subscription cost? Will there be a cheaper “news only” option?
The basic subscription package is £49 a year. There is no option to just subscribe to unlimited news as we feel that £49 a year already represents good value, and anyone who is reading more than 30 stories a month will benefit from the other premium content they get with their subscription.

What if I want a digital copy of the magazine?
Bundled packages are available with access to both AUTOSPORT+ and a digital version of the magazine. This digital replica can be downloaded as a PDF or viewed as a pageturner in your browser. You can also subscribe to a package deal where you can get access to AUTOSPORT+ and also the HD iPad version which is an enhanced version of the magazine including some extra content.

Can I subscribe for less than a year?
With the exception of the AUTOSPORT+ and iPad subscription, all of our subscription options are available on a monthly basis as well as an annual one. It costs a bit more to keep a monthly subscription running for a whole year than to buy an annual subscription, but you can cancel at the end of any month if you choose this option. For details of all of our subscription options, click here.

How do I cancel my subscription?
When you’re logged in, go to the Edit Account section (you can find this in the blue bar at the top of the homepage) and you will see the option to cancel your auto-renewal. Once you’ve cancelled this, or if you don’t have an auto-renewal on your subscription, your subscription will lapse at the end of your current term and you will not be charged again.

Can I access this content on my smartphone or my tablet?
Yes, if you have a subscription to AUTOSPORT+ you can view all of the site’s content through the browser in your phone or tablet. If you also subscribe to the digital replica version of AUTOSPORT magazine you can download the PDF and view this on any iOS or Android device. Once we introduce subscription packages which includes the HD iPad version of AUTOSPORT magazine you will, of course, be able to view this on your iPad.

I have another question…
Feel free to post it in this thread or contact me directly!

#3 pacificquay

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:31

Very good move.

Quality journalism has a cost to produce - one thing the internet has done has made so many users think it costs nothing.

I support this.

#4 pristineaudio

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:38

I've been subscribing to your iPad edition since just about as soon as it appeared in the Newstand. I also have your Android app on my phone. As closely as I've read your announcement and follow-up I don't see anything which suggests either of these are going to benefit me when I browse your website (as I do daily) from my PC.

I already feel short-changed by the iPad edition not apparently giving me access to AUTOSPORT.com PLUS and FORIX - is this only going to make matters worse or have I got the wrong end of the stick? The website seems to ignore the Newstand edition altogether in favour of the PDF version - a far more long-winded approach involving manual synchronisation and downloading before transfer from iTunes to iPad. No thanks - this archaic Heath-Robinson approach to getting my hands on the mag is more likely to push me away than keep me subscribing.

Could you clarify the situation as for this reader and subscriber it all seems rather confused and opaque - right now I feel like a second-best Mark Webber to other subscribers' Sebastian Vettel preferred status, if you know what I mean - yet you still get my money, guaranteed, every issue, for now...

#5 dank

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 09:52

Seems like a fair compromise to me.

But what (if any) effect will this have on subscribers to the paper copy of the mag?

#6 Grayson

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:25

I already feel short-changed by the iPad edition not apparently giving me access to AUTOSPORT.com PLUS and FORIX - is this only going to make matters worse or have I got the wrong end of the stick? The website seems to ignore the Newstand edition altogether in favour of the PDF version - a far more long-winded approach involving manual synchronisation and downloading before transfer from iTunes to iPad.


You're right - we're not able to offer a package which includes both the iPad edition and subscription to the website at the moment. This is something we're very keen to fix.

At present, the version of the magazine you download on the Apple Newsstand is sold by a third party. Within the next few weeks (tech permitting) we will also be selling the iPad version directly, and this direct package will include full subscription to AUTOSPORT+ including FORIX.

#7 Grayson

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 10:27

But what (if any) effect will this have on subscribers to the paper copy of the mag?


Print subscribers who have activated their AUTOSPORT+ subscription will still be able to read unlimited news stories on the site.

#8 Muppetmad

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:01

How will the 50 stories system be monitored? Will it be 50 stories per IP address, or will it work in some other way?

#9 katmen

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:08

login method with cookies? ip change is very easy...

in my country there is paywall system named piano, it is operating for a year, but there are no good economical results from it, so be smart....


NEVER put forum behind paywal, you will kill a great comunity

Edited by katmen, 30 July 2012 - 11:12.


#10 philhitchings

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:09

Very good move.

Quality journalism has a cost to produce - one thing the internet has done has made so many users think it costs nothing.

I support this.


I agree and as someone who took advantage my Atlas F1 subscription many years ago I think it's only fair that more recent members of the community pay for great service. Still offering 50 free stories per month is a great deal IMO

#11 SpeedRacer`

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:36

Last time I checked there was advertising on the Autosport website. Everyone is already 'paying' for coverage.

How are the 50 sessions tracked? Is it through IP?

#12 pristineaudio

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:45

Within the next few weeks (tech permitting) we will also be selling the iPad version directly, and this direct package will include full subscription to AUTOSPORT+ including FORIX.


Thank you - I'll look out for this announcement on the site (*assuming I've not exceeded my limit of news reads by then*)

#13 etoipi

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:45

I already subscribe to Autosport. Does this change mean I will pay more? Do I still get my normal yearly invoice? Do I get the same access as I currently have or does it change? The explanation provided is lacking in clarity/detail particularly for those who already subscribe!

#14 Grayson

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:50

How will the 50 stories system be monitored? Will it be 50 stories per IP address, or will it work in some other way?

IP tracking is part of the process, but it's not the whole thing.

Last time I checked there was advertising on the Autosport website. Everyone is already 'paying' for coverage.

If you're logged in as a subscriber, you don't see any adverts on the main site. You will still see some branded content, such as the Castrol EDGE Grand Prix Predictor and you can still actively browse advertising sections such as the AUTOSPORT Directory and the Appointment section.

#15 Grayson

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:52

I already subscribe to Autosport. Does this change mean I will pay more? Do I still get my normal yearly invoice? Do I get the same access as I currently have or does it change? The explanation provided is lacking in clarity/detail particularly for those who already subscribe!


If you're already an AUTOSPORT+ subscriber, nothing will change at all. You will still have full access to an unlimited number of news stories as well as the additional premium content and the price of your subscription will remain the same.

Apologies that this is unclear - I'll add it to the FAQ section.

#16 ivanalesi

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 11:56

TBH, you're just massively accelerating the development of your competitors. In the world of Internet, charging the users doesn't work. What works is to work hard to find relevant sponsors for your visitors. I see Earthshare.org as the only ad right now on this page. I gather it's US based environmental organization & most of your traffic comes from EU. I'm in EU, so why would I support a US organization? Furthermore, are they better sponsors for your website than some auto industry related company?
That's where you have to work, asking your users to contribute for race reports available elsewhere isn't going to work.
Google or Youtube are worth billions not because they're super exclusive clubs and you aim to be #1 in the motorsport world.
Now I'm off to motorsport.com, just Googled to find a website which features race reports on the same topics that I read & turns out I've been missing on great reports from Super GT:)

#17 HuddersfieldTerrier1986

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:53

50 stories may seem quite a lot if there's maybe 1 GP per month for example, but if there's 3 (like July), you'll surely reach that number pretty quickly. 50 is less than 2 stories a day, and over a GP weekend, you're potentially likely to read 10-20 from the Thursday to Monday of a GP weekend.

#18 le chat noir

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:54

So let me get this right:

1. Don't pay, get 50 news stories.
2. Pay £46/year or £5.50/month and get Autosport+ on the web.
3. Pay £112/year and get Autosport+ on the web, a print magazine and a pdf (and in time a proper iPad edition), but no app use.
4. Pay £99/year and get magazine on your iPad/iPhone and no access to web content beyond the 50 stories
5. Pay £2.99 as a one off fee and get all the news and databases on your iPad/iPhone, but no Autosport+ content

Is that correct?

Anything I've missed?

Would be useful to know whether it tracks between work and home (can't see how) or between users in same household, etc.

Would also make sense if there was a digital subscription that covered everything - app, web and digital mag - or just app and web.

A £13 saving between digital mag and print with digital mag seems a bit cheeky too. Print + postage - additional content must equate to more than a £13 difference. Haven't seen the digital mag, but would assume you have enriched advertising that you can charge more for too.

Thanks



#19 FizzyJerk

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:54

I echo the above users comments. There is no way on earth I will pay for stories that are basically the same, but out there for free. What it will mean, is that i will start looking on other web sites once my 50 stories are up.

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#20 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:58

Haven't seen the digital mag, but would assume you have enriched advertising that you can charge more for too.


If you mean the weekly print issue online as 'digital mag' it's the same thing you'd have in your hands. Layout, advertising, even typos if there are any.

#21 pacificquay

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 12:59

The ones out there for free are largely plagerised and copied from the likes of autosport, or simply press releases. Genuine original journalism has a value.

#22 le chat noir

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:07

If you mean the weekly print issue online as 'digital mag' it's the same thing you'd have in your hands. Layout, advertising, even typos if there are any.



But surely when that's replaced by the HD iPad version, that would be a custom build (laid out to the iPad width, scrolling left/right and up/down) with extra content, and enriched content - like the Motorsport one.

I guess now it's just a pdf downloaded directly or through the digital mag app. When its the new one, Autosport will be able to charge advertisers more as the ad can link direct to their site / purchase and provide advertisers video and image galleries. Unless of course they remove all ads...

.....

Slightly unfortunate?

Is F1 pricing itself out of the market?
Prohibitively expensive race-hosting fees have led to exorbitant price hikes all the way down the F1 food chain. And, explains Dieter Rencken, it's time something was done about it

The something being 'can't beat em, join em'?;)

#23 goodrix

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:11

I'm following only F1 stories and probably fall within 50 stories/mo. with this website, but I fail to see how the news coverage adds "original journalism quality" compared to other websites. I just don't perceive the relative added value.
However, I wish you good luck with your metered use and I am super curious how this "experiment" will pan out.

And how will you keep track of visits? How about multiple users in the same household? Or the same user with multiple computers at different locations?

#24 Dudley

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:18

Well the answer is they quite clearly can't. Anyone with a modicum of technical knowledge will be able to rip it apart.

They also know that's not everyone.

That said, dynamic ips make ip only a problem. Requiring even a free registration is a good way to have no visitors. So it's a tricky problem.

On the plus side maybe they'll finally earn enough to pay for a sub-editor.

Edited by Dudley, 30 July 2012 - 13:22.


#25 aray

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:33

here is the notice...

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/101658

it means we can see 50 stories/news per month...i never counted how many news link i open per month...but 50 still seems quite a borderline for me... :well:

#26 Grayson

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:35

3. Pay £112/year and get Autosport+ on the web, a print magazine and a pdf (and in time a proper iPad edition), but no app use.
...
A £13 saving between digital mag and print with digital mag seems a bit cheeky too. Print + postage - additional content must equate to more than a £13 difference. Haven't seen the digital mag, but would assume you have enriched advertising that you can charge more for too.


Actually that £112 per year subscription offer is for the digital replica of the magazine but NOT the printed version of the magazine. The printed version costs £3.40 a week in the shops while the basic subscription costs £144 in the UK and more in other countries (to pay for the increased postage costs).

We've made sure that there's a basic subscription package which gives you all of the premium content on the website and unlimited news for £46 a year. At less than a pound a week, this is the option which represents the best value for someone who wants to use the site but doesn't want to pay the extra for a replica of the magazine.

There's going to be a new version of the screen which shows the different subscription packages once we launch metered access on Wednesday - hopefully this will reduce some of the confusion about the different packages that our current layout has caused!

#27 gm914

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:37

That's pretty generous compared to something like the New York Times site.
Journalists gotta eat too.

#28 joshb

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:39

That's pretty generous compared to something like the New York Times site.
Journalists gotta eat too.


iread that plus article about F1 pricing itself out of the market.
Frightening that journos have to write so much just to pay the costs
I know they're paid to do that but we're talking about life stories almost

#29 maverick69

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:41

here is the notice...

http://www.autosport...t.php/id/101658

it means we can see 50 stories/news per month...i never counted how many news link i open per month...but 50 still seems quite a borderline for me... :well:


They did this back in the early to mid 2000's...... and fell flat on their faces........ although to be fair there was no "allocation" - You'd have to pay or get nothing. Ergo an exodus to the wonderful PlanetF1..........

To be fair - you've got to have a sustainable business..... and generating capital is a major part of it..... and I don't actually mind paying out for the "paywall" articles.

However, the cynic in me see's it returning to a free for all...... just like it always does........

#30 Henrik B

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:43

1) Counting material put out from the teams press offices as "original content" is quite cheeky. I simply won't click on any such headline again.

2) Which brings out the big problem: There's a fine line between making attractive headlines and headlines that try to trick people, click-bait. It you are tempted to go for the latter style, and now there's a big incentive to, people will get fed up and leave.

I am not against the idea of subscription content, I was a Atlas subscriber for instance but right now I don't see your News section reaching a must-have quality. Certainly not £46. My immediate reaction will be to find another news site for press conferences and canned quotes and just click on the few really original stories here.

Interesting experiment.

#31 Imperial

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:44

As both a subscriber and Android app user, can I ask if the app will ever be updated?

The app is missing a lot, for instance there are still no times in qualifying reports. The app is the only app I have ever installed to have not received a single update ever. And I still had to buy it, despite being a subscriber.

#32 HuddersfieldTerrier1986

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:51

In addition to the things I mentioned before (ie 50 stories a month might be ok with only 1 GP in that month) but if you're interested in other motorsports as well, 50 stories will soon add up quickly, so I'm not so sure about saying 50 stories a month is alot.

#33 karlzy1

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 13:59

I fail to see how this is going to be enforced.
You are doing something that people wont like, PLUS its going to be easy to by passed PLUS it will get your numbers to go down (for those who wont be able to bypass it).
I don't see anybody not being a subscriber already paying for this type of service.
You are chasing away your audience.



#34 korzeniow

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 14:01

What really Autosport provides for free? From what I noticed (I follow only F1) they only post edited press releases, intervies and materials from FIA. Those teams' press releases and interviews are sent to Autosport by email to make it easier.

For example: http://www.autosport...t.php/id/101575 Autosport's addition to this news are first two paragraphs. You can find the same news on team's official web site even in more friendly form of interview.

Last (memorable) thing I remember from Autosport is spy photo of Williams car before 2009 winter testing.

My point is that all what Autosport gives are only available for subscribers already.

I don't even read news from Aoutosport anymore. I just go to the forum where I can find many more interesting information, where people are posting from around the world.

I just don't see a reason to pay for 50 press releases.

#35 Slowinfastout

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 14:08

1) Counting material put out from the teams press offices as "original content" is quite cheeky. I simply won't click on any such headline again.

2) Which brings out the big problem: There's a fine line between making attractive headlines and headlines that try to trick people, click-bait. It you are tempted to go for the latter style, and now there's a big incentive to, people will get fed up and leave.

I am not against the idea of subscription content, I was a Atlas subscriber for instance but right now I don't see your News section reaching a must-have quality. Certainly not £46. My immediate reaction will be to find another news site for press conferences and canned quotes and just click on the few really original stories here.

Interesting experiment.


Agree with most of that, especially the bold part.

Take this for instance: Ferrari wants to go on the attack

I find out the story kinda is about car development after I clicked the link.

Apart from this matter of principle, 50 articles seems a fair number if you really think this will translate into more revenue though.

#36 Imperial

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 14:37

I'd like to know where it fits in that you'd be paying for say a Mark Hughes article here, yet access his Sky articles for free whether a Sky subscriber or not.

To be honest I'm curious where Autosports priorities lie as a whole. It seems the website is taking priority for quality writers and the magazine being left to flounder somewhat.

The exact opposite of Motorsport. The website should be complimentary. Autosport the magazine is in no way high quality these days.

Edited by Imperial, 30 July 2012 - 14:47.


#37 GroupC2

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 14:41

Actually that £112 per year subscription offer is for the digital replica of the magazine but NOT the printed version of the magazine. The printed version costs £3.40 a week in the shops while the basic subscription costs £144 in the UK and more in other countries (to pay for the increased postage costs).

We've made sure that there's a basic subscription package which gives you all of the premium content on the website and unlimited news for £46 a year. At less than a pound a week, this is the option which represents the best value for someone who wants to use the site but doesn't want to pay the extra for a replica of the magazine.

There's going to be a new version of the screen which shows the different subscription packages once we launch metered access on Wednesday - hopefully this will reduce some of the confusion about the different packages that our current layout has caused!


Please ensure the options are laid out clearly, I understand all about the costs of providing an Ipad app vs post. Yes I hope it will be more cost effective, I have run out of storage space and the Ipad issue will save me from clearing old issues out.

#38 Grayson

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 15:33

I am not against the idea of subscription content, I was a Atlas subscriber for instance but right now I don't see your News section reaching a must-have quality. Certainly not £46. My immediate reaction will be to find another news site for press conferences and canned quotes and just click on the few really original stories here.


I know this comes back to the point about our subscription packages being clearly laid out, but I wanted to address this and mention that we're not charging £46 just for the news content - that price also includes all of the premium website content such as the features. Since Atlas merged with Autosport a few years ago, these features include the content which would once have been part of your Atlas subscription!

#39 le chat noir

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 16:04

Can I also ask you update the 'next story' 'earlier story' links to say what that story is. I'll get very annoyed very quickly when I scan the headlines, click a story, read it and go to skip to the next, knowing what should be there having seen the headlines, only to pass through 10 team press releases in between them, before getting to your condensed news story version. Thus taking one fifth of the quote for 2 stories.

Ta.

V strange you would charge more for the pdf direct from you where you get all profits, and less for the iPad pdf version of which you only get 70%, some of which will go to your agent... Still, I'd rather use the iPad one.

Will be good to see if you overhaul all pricing structures on Wednesday, because it's not clear right now how the value compares between products.

I also think you'd do well have sport dedicated channels / subscriptions / apps for less money. Only F1 stories on an app for 99p, instead of £2.99 for all sorts I'm not interested in. Users will increase dramatically if you do that. 99p is throwaway, £2.99 is not. Odd but true

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#40 BiH

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 16:13

not sure why its needed tbh content is not even unique


take the F1 section


FIA releases post press conference pre event, techincal directors, after quali, after race...

autosport writes 5-6 small story headlines from that story with catchy headlines to reel in readers

then few hours later reprint of FIA press conference in full

other content re-quoted from tv coverage interviews


only original content is from free practice, qualifying and race reports

in my opinion bad move

#41 rolf123

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 16:47

I hope this doesn't bankrupt Autosport.

I, like many others, only read news articles here because the link is there from the forum. Very few of your articles are substantially different to those on other sites and the same quotes can be seen everywhere else, there are extremely few "exclusives". So not worth subscribing to 50+ in my view at all.

As for restricting via anything other than IP, I don't see how it can be done unless you force people to register. You can use referrer information but this is easily circumnavigated.

If there was some good method, advertisers and other pay sites would already be using it. I personally don't believe Autosport has anything revolutionary up its sleeve in this respect.

Sounds to me like your business model is being seriously challenged. I'd concentrate on providing greater value and innovating to make up the gap. An affiliate program for your memberships would be very attractive to web site owners. Restricting the site won't achieve anything.

Edited by rolf123, 30 July 2012 - 16:51.


#42 artista

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 17:00

I have a question.

I'm a suscriber of the digital magazine, but I usually surf through the site withough logging in. I just log in on Thursdays to download the mag or when I want to read a particular AUTOSPORT PLUS article.

With the new access system, will I have to log in each time I want to read an article (after the 50/month)? or will you guys create a "remember me in this computer" system, or similar?
Yes, I'm that lazy :blush:

Thanks!

#43 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 17:02

Uhm, tick the 'Remember Me?' box at login?

#44 artista

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 17:11

Uhm, tick the 'Remember Me?' box at login?

Oops! Was it always there? :blush:

I think I need glasses.

Okay, forget the question.

#45 andysaint

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 18:49

My work and the amount I do means I don't have the time to trawl the web for Motorsport news so I use Autosport for everything. Asmi read everything on the web I deliberately don't by the magazines a lot unless it is something like the British gp, British world Champions ect..with good pull outs. I've heard of planet f1 and read some newspapers but nothing is as good or comprehensive as autosport (IMO). What would be nice is if I bought a copy of the mag on the iPad and got a unique code to access the web for 1 week or if they put one in the paper magazine or is that asking a bit much or too complicated.

I don't know what I will do either subscribe in the iPad or subscribe on the web. I don't particularly want to buy the paper mag as I'll end up chucking them out once I've finished.

#46 andysaint

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 18:51

I hope this doesn't bankrupt Autosport.

I, like many others, only read news articles here because the link is there from the forum. Very few of your articles are substantially different to those on other sites and the same quotes can be seen everywhere else, there are extremely few "exclusives". So not worth subscribing to 50+ in my view at all.

As for restricting via anything other than IP, I don't see how it can be done unless you force people to register. You can use referrer information but this is easily circumnavigated.

If there was some good method, advertisers and other pay sites would already be using it. I personally don't believe Autosport has anything revolutionary up its sleeve in this respect.

Sounds to me like your business model is being seriously challenged. I'd concentrate on providing greater value and innovating to make up the gap. An affiliate program for your memberships would be very attractive to web site owners. Restricting the site won't achieve anything.


From autosports point of view, sure they will lose users who want to get anything for free but the number who will pay will surely outweigh those that will leave? It's not like the price has gone up, it's new income.


#47 Henrik B

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 19:20

I know this comes back to the point about our subscription packages being clearly laid out, but I wanted to address this and mention that we're not charging £46 just for the news content - that price also includes all of the premium website content such as the features. Since Atlas merged with Autosport a few years ago, these features include the content which would once have been part of your Atlas subscription!


Oh, I got that I get more than news for my £46, I meant that since I'm apparently not enough interested in the premium content now, the news wont make me pay. If I want the same content I get now from Autosport, I will have to pay £46. I will also get extra I don't have now, but that is extra that I don't feel inclined to get now. Hope that is clearer.

The situation with Atlas was different. There was a lot less competition, no one with the same journalistic ambition as Atlas and I really liked the writers. Bira leaving made me want the product much less and when subscription service messed up with not telling me my credit card on file was expired and canceling my lifetime sub, the inclination to renew went away completely.

You know what would perhaps change my mind? Here, a free idea: Offering a free week or month, perhaps a cheap three-month sub would make me atleast want to try it. The £46 is just a bit too much to pay up front for a product I don't know if I like. I'm pretty sure Atlas offered something like that, which lured me in.

#48 Imperial

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 19:26

If Autosport insist on registration it is destined to fail. Multiple accounts, simple. Unless they go down some Orwellian registration akin to ebay or Paypal, needing a bank card and valid address to set up an account. Hope I ain't giving them ideas here!

If it's by IP, how is that fair? Virtually every household must share a computer. Think about multiple users accessing content. It's not the same user. What about libraries and internet cafes? The news limit could be reached in one day! And this would not be through just one user accessing the site. Hmm..I wonder about the legalities of it. Can't be IP's then, no way to prove single or multi-users.

I could sit back and say not my problem Jack, I am a subscriber, but I think it's a bad step.

What irks me the most is the lack of user consultation. Where was the survey? Motorsport have a massively high quality magazine complimented by a relatively minimal website. Having completed their surveys in the past I believe they have acted on what their audience told them. F1 and the internet are no longer slow-burners, I don't think people here realise that between say F1, Indycar and one other series, you could reach your limit over one race weekend, running from Friday practice to the Monday news/reaction mop-up.

I think after just one weekend Autosport are in for a rude shock when the remaining 3.5 weeks of the month it's just existing subscribers like me, paying no extra money, who are accessing the site. The advertising revenue will plummet and it'll be goodbye to ANY website revenue.

Unless I'm missing something genius this must literally be Autosport's dumbest move since allowing Nigel Roebuck to leave.

#49 ali.unal

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 19:52

GMM powered sites offer more news than Autosport without any charge. Press releases, race reports and session times, you can find anywhere on the internet. Even F1 Fanatic offer these with great depth than Autosport for free. I have been PLUS subscriber for over a year already, but I don't think the News section deserve to be valued. There is not enough exclusive content here to compensate the amount to be paid. Not a good tactic IMO.

#50 BigWicks

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Posted 30 July 2012 - 19:54

I have no real beef with paying to access Autosport content, a free model is just not sustainable.

And I like to think if Autosport are relying on our funds instead of advertising its enables them to be more independent.