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AUTOSPORT to introduce metered access


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#101 f1fan1998

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 18:10

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 changing from 1st August?
Non-subscribers will be limited to reading 50 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?
50 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 50 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.

Isn’t 50 stories quite a lot?
Yes, and 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 £46 a year. We aren’t introducing a new option to just subscribe to the news as we feel that £46 a year already represents good value, and anyone who is reading more than 50 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. Coming soon, we will also be offering 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?
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!


I have only just seen this (and I am sure my following point is made in this thread), but I will make it irrelevant by viewing the site through a proxy website.





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#102 Dudley

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 12:09

Well something is clearly not right as i've just been told i've reached my monthly quota of 50 news stories which is not true as I have not read nearly that much since the start of August


Welcome to the joy that is checking by ip, which you may share with others at your location or indeed be rotated around everyone using your isp.

#103 panzani

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 17:23

So, so close to a race weekend, which of the ten or twelve news depicted Today in autosport were worth a dime? All came from either the Teams themselves, driver's PR or major news agencies and could be read in almost any news site — not only F1 sites.

I stand my offer: show us some or any exclusive news/articles and we'd all think about metering and paid access...

#104 ch103

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 13:40

Overall I do not support the move. It just comes across as greedy.

Just copy ESPNinsider. Its basically what you are trying to do.



#105 John Player

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 17:28

I have just found out about this. Ive read 40 so far but thats just because of the break, in september we are gonna have 3 races!

Thats suicide...

#106 JRizzle86

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 20:32

Ran out of access for the month. Will find other sources of F1 news.

#107 Murl

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 07:35

Ran out of access for the month. Will find other sources of F1 news.



Oh, and the front page still looks like someone puked all over it.


#108 subseven

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 22:41

I liked this site, and never complained that the forums where down/busy EVERY SINGLE TIME after a race, but i am not gonna pay for that.


#109 Pilla

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 21:30

if your going to do the leaky pay wall maybe open up all content four free rather than just the press releases, that will show users at least what they are missing.

#110 as65p

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 23:06

By the very nature of those restrictions, they are no more than a small nuisance for anyone willing to do half an hour (at most) of Google research on the relevant terms.

#111 steferrari

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 17:17

I'm an italian reader of Autosport website, i read the website every day, for me it's the reference point about F1 and motorsport in general.
I just got the "50 free stories" message and, with all the respect, i think it's a ridiculos decision for such a big and important website.
Why force people to pay ? I can understand that there are subscription packages for old stories and for special contents... but make people pay for topical news is wrong, in my opinion.
Most part of them will be available in other websites, and this for sure will bring many Autosport readers to other places.

I hope this decision will be changed in the future.

I apologize if my english wasn't 100% correct.

Stefano,
Italy.


#112 maximilian

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 21:22

And just like that... very quietly... this whole thing seems to have gone away? Or am I the only one suddenly seeing well over 50 stories?

#113 Grayson

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 09:38

Following feedback from readers who mentioned that the 40 story message was a bit of a surprise, we've added (from the start of this month) a message when you have read 30 stories and have 20 to go, on top of the ones telling you when you have 10 and 5 to go.

It's not possible at present to see how many stories you've viewed in any other way (it's a long story, but it's to do with the fact that the metering tool doesn't keep a count based on a particular account which you have created), so we want to find a balance between keeping you informed on how many stories you've got left and not annoying you by repeatedly telling you about the meter!

On a separate matter, I've had to delete a couple of posts from this thread. Hopefully it's clear from the posts in this thread that we have absolutely no problem with hearing negative feedback, but we draw the line at posts detailing ways of circumventing or abusing the 50 story limit.

For those who have pointed out in this thread that it's possible to get around the limit (and who have left it at that rather than detailing such methods), the alternative would much more stringent enforcement which would risk lots of "false positives" as normal readers are blocked as they look like they are returning users trying to get around the limit. I think we can all agree that it would be good to avoid that!

#114 pristineaudio

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 10:25

Any news yet on the iPad app? The subscription webpage asks "Which AUTOSPORT+ subscription package is right for you?" and the answer is right there, under a big red blob that says "Coming Soon". It seems utterly pointless to start a different subscription - but now I'm being warned about my number of page views so far.

I want to subscribe. When are you going to let me give you my money?

#115 Pits

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:11

This is just stupid autosport, big mistake.
You are going to lose your position as leading F1 website like this.
I'm never gonna pay a cent to read your articles.
The work around is also pretty easy, and pretty hard to stop that technically by the way.

This makes me remember your little experiment with making us pay for the live-update feed during race weekends.
How long did that last? 2 weeks.... :rotfl:

News should be free, there are other ways to make money from a website you know...

#116 Felix

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:27

Above: News should be free, there are other ways to make money from a website you know...




Yes, by stealing other sites' paid for news - as you seemingly do!

Edited by Felix, 11 September 2012 - 11:28.


#117 jcbc3

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:40

I think what all this amounts to is that Autosport is 'broken' and they have to do 'something' to fix it. They just won't say so out loud.

I am certain that Autosport would love to provide free for all content and remain the first stop for Autosport news for everyone. However, the income and costs just doesn't add up for them. Hence this new experiment. I think it is valid for users to vocalize their disappointment at this development, but the fact of the matter seems to be that if nothing is done, Autosport may cease to exist.

Personally I am not very impressed by the content and have certainly voiced this in several threads here. However, I am a 'plus' subscriber and will remain so.

The only other site I have encountered metered access to, is New York Times, and since my interest in their exclusive stories is limited, I just refrain from going there until the block is lifted. If this has meant that NYT is not the global news leader it once was I do not know. But they seem to be alive and kicking still. It is my impression that their problem is mostly with the printed edition. As, funnily enough, it seems for Autosport.

#118 Pits

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Posted 11 September 2012 - 11:50

Above: News should be free, there are other ways to make money from a website you know...




Yes, by stealing other sites' paid for news - as you seemingly do!


Excuus me? What are you saying?

#119 danielps2fan

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 01:46

Removing posts that detail just how easy it is to circumnavigate the 50 page limit wont make the weakness and folly of the paywall go away. Trying to milk more money from the only profitable arm of the business, the online presence, to recoup costs lost from ailing circulation of the printed edition (dropping below 30,000 for the first time) makes no sense and I predict this unwise strategy will be reversed when they start to lose advertising revenue because of the reduced traffic the website experiences.

I understand that the UK arm of Haymarket Publishing made a pre tax loss of £77,000 and globally only just broke even. Times are hard but following Rupert Murdoch's pay model he uses on such giants as the The Times and The New York Times is risky.

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#120 pristineaudio

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 07:02

Times are hard but following Rupert Murdoch's pay model he uses on such giants as ... The New York Times is risky.


Had to double-check this one...

"The New York Times is owned by The New York Times Company, which also publishes 18 other newspapers including the International Herald Tribune and The Boston Globe. The company's chairman is Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., whose family has controlled the paper since 1896." - Wikipedia

Murdoch owns the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post (among other newspapers around the world) but not the New York Times. Perhaps that's why the latter is still held in high regard in some quarters?

#121 Grayson

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 08:38

Any news yet on the iPad app? The subscription webpage asks "Which AUTOSPORT+ subscription package is right for you?" and the answer is right there, under a big red blob that says "Coming Soon". It seems utterly pointless to start a different subscription - but now I'm being warned about my number of page views so far.

I want to subscribe. When are you going to let me give you my money?


All I can say for certain is that we're close to being able to launch the combined iPad/AUTOSPORT+ package. We would have liked to have launched this in August, but various gremlins in the system led to delays. (Or, to answer your question directly, we're going to let you give us your money as soon as we're sure we can give you what you've paid for!)

Times are hard but following Rupert Murdoch's pay model he uses on such giants as the The Times and The New York Times is risky.


Interestingly, the pay model that Rupert Murdoch's News International use for the sites UK sites they charge for (The Times, The Sunday Times and the News of the World before it was shut down) is very different to what we and the New York Times are doing - they put absolutely everything behind a paywall with no free content at all. We are trying to find a balance between the need to charge for our content and the desire to offer content to those who aren't paying which is why we have moved to a model where non-subscribers are still able to read 50 stories a month.

#122 bauss

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:07

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.


pretty much what I'm now doing

#123 Felix

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 17:12

Excuus me? What are you saying?


Can't you read? (let alone spell...)

Edited by Felix, 13 September 2012 - 17:13.


#124 pristineaudio

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 20:04

The silly thing about all this is that because I've received a warning of 30 pages viewed, and because there's stuff brewing that, if and when it happens, I know I'll want to read, I'm now not reading a whole lot of content (with allied advertising) which I'd normally be looking at.

This seems to me to be potentially catastrophically counterproductive for the magazine. I realise we're in quite different business sectors, but having run an online music company since the very earliest days of legal downloads, the idea of anything which actively deters potential and existing customers from browsing our own website and sampling our content seems to me to be totally and utterly counter-productive, and it's hard to see how that doesn't apply here too.

Yes, there's a (suicidal?) logic behind it - but I really find it very hard to believe it's going to do anything except harm to AutoSport in the medium to long term. The website is potentially some of the best possible advertising for the printed magazine there is: people come and consume it of their own free will! What company deliberately restricts such brilliant access to its own publicity? It's so totally wrong-headed!!! Get the online content right and you'll drive people to the magazine - or stick it all behind a pay barrier and watch interest dwindle and depart... :wave:

Coming back to today's news. I'd normally have been looking and reading about Magny-Cours and Sid Watkins, if I didn't know I was up into the mid-30s on my views (and still can't get a new-style iPad sub). You see, I'm not going to view that content, because the off chance that Lewis Hamilton's future F1 career choice is announced any day now (and Singapore is happening in 2 weeks) is making me hoard my limited page views. Instead of following AutoSport's coverage, I'm reading opinion pieces on the BBC - despite having an existing ( old-fashioned iPad - I'm in France) sub to the magazine. This is so stupid from Autosport's business perspective - the odd page refresh on the home page to check headlines isn't going to generate much in the way of advertising revenue, nor will it keep alive interest in in-house content. I appreciate that it's a difficult balance to find - free vs. paid - but I really don't think this is the way to do it.

Edited by pristineaudio, 13 September 2012 - 20:07.


#125 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 09:50

I am with you up /\ there.

AutoSport is still my first landing place, but I am hoarding my news stories since there is the potential for news I do want to read here, rather than other places. I used to read every single news story there was, not I am very judicious in which to actually open, and all the Junior series I have basically stopped reading here. The news is out there, and all this new manner to read news have made me go look for other sources, which I found with very little effort.

It is a great shame, since I really really want AutoSport to become what it once was, just seem more and more that this will not happen.

:cool:

#126 Pits

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 10:44

Can't you read? (let alone spell...)


My spelling is rather good in my own language... ;)
As you probably know this is an international forum.
It was a mistake to reply to your post, but now I know.... :wave:

#127 PokePoke

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 19:07

Many, many thanks for adding PayPal option. Just purchased A+ subscription :kiss:

#128 korzeniow

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 09:54

What happened to the restrictions? I reached the limit this month but suddenly today I can access the stories without any problem

#129 Ravenak

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 23:59

Your IP probably changed dynamically.

#130 Grayson

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 08:41

Many, many thanks for adding PayPal option. Just purchased A+ subscription :kiss:

Glad to hear you're happy with the option - I know we've been promising it for a while and I'm glad we've finally been able to implement it!

I was planning on waiting for a few days before announcing that PayPal was up and running on the Forums in case there were any teething problems with the PayPal subscription options, but it all seems to be working so far...


What happened to the restrictions? I reached the limit this month but suddenly today I can access the stories without any problem

The limit is definitely still in place. The metering tool has to find a balance between locking out those who it thinks have reached the limit and locking out readers who haven't really reached it, so sometimes you'll be lucky and it will give you the benefit of the doubt even when you've read more stories.

#131 steferrari

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 10:31

You think there is no chance that in the future you can change your mind and go back to unlimited stories ? Thanks.

#132 SonnyViceR

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 11:42

Just found about this when I reached the limit - I'm already fed up with the F1-centric coverage on the site and now this??? I've been considering a full time switch to Speed TV only for a long time - you know to read high quality articles of Dagys & Pruett & co as my primal news source - and this is the final straw. I'm gone

#133 as65p

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 14:33

The limit is definitely still in place. The metering tool has to find a balance between locking out those who it thinks have reached the limit and locking out readers who haven't really reached it, so sometimes you'll be lucky and it will give you the benefit of the doubt even when you've read more stories.


Ah, so you introduced a luck element. Oh, the suspense every day, finding out if your metering tool "thinks" a reader has had enough for the month, or maybe he's the lucky winner who can read 10 stories more this month.

Sounds like fun, I'm really thinking of cancelling my subscription so I can become part of it! :drunk:

#134 MichaelPM

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:36

Why does it say I have reached 50 views on my phone (separate internet provider and when on Wifi) when it's web history shows that I haven't been to the site for over 2 months let alone read any articles?
The desktop says that I have 10 views left :confused:

I'd hate to be a company who paid to put adverts on your website now they people are tippy towing around it. I hope they are paying per click.

#135 03011969

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 11:41

The silly thing about all this is that because I've received a warning of 30 pages viewed, and because there's stuff brewing that, if and when it happens, I know I'll want to read, I'm now not reading a whole lot of content (with allied advertising) which I'd normally be looking at.

This seems to me to be potentially catastrophically counterproductive for the magazine. I realise we're in quite different business sectors, but having run an online music company since the very earliest days of legal downloads, the idea of anything which actively deters potential and existing customers from browsing our own website and sampling our content seems to me to be totally and utterly counter-productive, and it's hard to see how that doesn't apply here too.

Yes, there's a (suicidal?) logic behind it - but I really find it very hard to believe it's going to do anything except harm to AutoSport in the medium to long term. The website is potentially some of the best possible advertising for the printed magazine there is: people come and consume it of their own free will! What company deliberately restricts such brilliant access to its own publicity? It's so totally wrong-headed!!! Get the online content right and you'll drive people to the magazine - or stick it all behind a pay barrier and watch interest dwindle and depart... :wave:

Coming back to today's news. I'd normally have been looking and reading about Magny-Cours and Sid Watkins, if I didn't know I was up into the mid-30s on my views (and still can't get a new-style iPad sub). You see, I'm not going to view that content, because the off chance that Lewis Hamilton's future F1 career choice is announced any day now (and Singapore is happening in 2 weeks) is making me hoard my limited page views. Instead of following AutoSport's coverage, I'm reading opinion pieces on the BBC - despite having an existing ( old-fashioned iPad - I'm in France) sub to the magazine. This is so stupid from Autosport's business perspective - the odd page refresh on the home page to check headlines isn't going to generate much in the way of advertising revenue, nor will it keep alive interest in in-house content. I appreciate that it's a difficult balance to find - free vs. paid - but I really don't think this is the way to do it.


What he said. There's a lot of other F1 website out there, and they, and their advertisers, now get more of my business than they used to thanks to this tremndously short-sighted, counter-productive and greedy approach by Haymarket.



#136 Fastcake

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 20:39

I am not sure how your new counter is working, but I can tell you it has been all over the place for me. It's been popping up saying I have reached the limit (which I haven't) then the next day it has disappeared again, only to reappear on my phone where I don't read Autosport. :confused:

I also don't see what the gain is with restricting access. Almost all the stories outside the subscribers section are either based off press releases or generic race reports that are duplicated across the net, and if I can't read them here I'll have to go elsewhere - and likely stay. I come to Autosport because A) I prefer to get news from one place that earns my loyalty, which this site has, and B) because I can read the news from a variety of different series here.

#137 Byrne

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 10:36

What this is going to do is increase my time spent on speedtv.com, italiaracing.net, racer.com and motorsport.com; maybe one day I won't even visit Autosport.com anymore. Simple as that; every news piece on Autosport is found on other racing sites. I used to primarily go on autosport.com to get my news, but if they want me to pay, then I'll give speedtv or someone else the primary spot. Simple as that! One thing I won't do, is pay!



Thanks for pointing out these sites, I didn't know them before. I'll get my news from there from now on. Bye, bye Autosport!

#138 RedOne

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 12:34

To the people who thought of this idea you deserve a series of slow claps with awkward pauses inbetween.

So many reasons why it's an awful idea that everyone has already covered so I won't waste my time repeating the same points.

But I will be moving my business elsewhere, bravo.

#139 Ravenak

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 13:38

Autosport: can you please let us know, when the time comes, if your idea actually worked out well for you, or if you have to acknowledge that it was an absolutely senseless move?

Thank you in advance.

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#140 ali.unal

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 13:48

To the people who thought of this idea you deserve a series of slow claps with awkward pauses inbetween.

So many reasons why it's an awful idea that everyone has already covered so I won't waste my time repeating the same points.

But I will be moving my business elsewhere, bravo.

:rotfl: :up:

#141 SonnyViceR

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 15:07

Autosport has gone so massively downhill in recent years that it's not even funny. After they ruined the magazine by making it completely F1-centric public relations piece, they also pretty much killed the Autosport LIVE and now they've also made the online news section worthless - ie news that I can read from other sites already and in much better detail.

Now they're asking money for something that isn't even an improved product. What were they thinking?? That money is the answer to everything?

I guess that the next step is that you also have to pay if you wish to view the forum :rolleyes: then you have to pay extra to keep the ads away and and and...

Edited by SonnyViceR, 25 September 2012 - 15:11.


#142 Grayson

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 16:56

I guess that the next step is that you also have to pay if you wish to view the forum :rolleyes: then you have to pay extra to keep the ads away and and and...

We're way ahead of you - you can already pay to keep the ads away. If you've got an active subscription to AUTOSPORT+ and you're logged in, you see the main site in an ad free environment. There's still the occasional branded product (such as the Castrol EDGE Grand Prix Predictor) visible, but the banner ad, the MPU (the square ad on the right hand side of the page) and the site skin (the big ad that goes around the website) are all removed.

As for your other suggestion, we're not going to start charging people to view the forum.

#143 Ravenak

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Posted 25 September 2012 - 19:42

No need to pay to remove ads, really, AdBlock Plus does a very good job at it... for free.

#144 fosters35

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:43

Looking at Alexa stats, Autosport's traffic took a dive from Aug just as metered access started...


#145 dank

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 10:06

Probably more to do with with the extended F1 summer break.

Edited by dank, 26 September 2012 - 10:07.


#146 Rob

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 11:23

I just go elsewhere to get the news now. Most of it is a copy-and-paste job from press releases nowadays.

#147 as65p

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 17:00

I was just thinking, from a business perspective it might go exactly as planned. Going by the reports in here, it doesn't work reliably but is more an annoyance with a big surprise factor. So maybe a small percentage of people will be annyoed enough to subsribe. The majority, being annoyed enough to go elsewhere, likley consists of the same people who would never have payed for it anyway.

The one factor I can't judge in this is how it affects the value of the sites advertisements if a lot of freeviewers drop away, I have no idea about the amount of cash Autosports web advertisements generate.

#148 milestone 11

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 21:17

If you've got an active subscription to AUTOSPORT+ and you're logged in, you see the main site in an ad free environment.

No Grayson, not the case. I'm an Autosport + subscriber living in the Canaries and often, not always, I get banner ads. Today, I've got a Siemens active ad, no problem when I scroll down a bit to the second or third post on a page. What does piss me off though, yesterday all day, and this is quite commonplace, I had a Spanish site telling me I'd won an iphone and to click here, which I never have, so I can't tell you who the ad is for. The problem though is that it plays jingle-bells, yes the tune, for twenty seconds every couple of minutes. Scares the shit out of me if I'm in silence. I can't get rid of it other than turning my speakers off, which as I'm sure you'll agree, is far from amusing.

#149 milestone 11

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 21:28

No need to pay to remove ads, really, AdBlock Plus does a very good job at it... for free.

Yeah and be forced to use Firefox which is abysmal. I had ie7 until a lot of websites ceased to support it, like photobucket, so had to get ie9. The Spanish, being what they are, haven't got to 9 yet. When I have to deal with my bank, I have to use firefox as I no longer have ie7 installed. It is most frustratingly slow, so much so that if I was obliged to use it, I'd give up the internet altogether. Probably to some people's relief.



#150 Fatgadget

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:45

It's against my principles to pay for whatever content on the interweb! :wave: