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AUTOSPORT to introduce metered access


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#201 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:42

You really should have announced the change from 50 to 30, or any time you modify someone's access. Surprises are nice when they're presents.

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#202 Grayson

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:46

You really should have announced the change from 50 to 30, or any time you modify someone's access. Surprises are nice when they're presents.

This is why we've changed the warning pop ups so that the first one appears when you hit your 10th story. Given that the majority of our users won't ever reach 30 stories in a month, it seemed to make sense to tell people at the 10 story mark rather than setting up a fairly intrusive message to users when they first come to the homepage or putting a message on every news story.

#203 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 12:55

As noted by the last few posters, we have set the limit at 30 stories for December. The first popup warning you of the page limit now shows when you've read just 10 stories, so hopefully the page block won't take anyone by surprise once they reach 30!

We're reviewing this on an ongoing basis, on the basis of both visitor feedback and also our site analytics.



We've had a lot of constructive criticism both here on the forum and from readers contacting us directly, and we've done our best to take it on board and to act on it where possible. Since this thread started, we've launched the iPad subscription and introduced the option to subscribe via PayPal, as well as changing some of the messaging around metered access where people told us that some aspects were unclear. Our development team has also put an effort into refining the metering tool after reports that it was blocking people who hadn't yet reached the limit - this should be a much rarer occurrence now. We've also made improvements to the site, such as the top ten stories box and the revamped jobs and business directory sections, to make sure that all of our users including non-subscribers are getting more out of the site.

There are more improvements coming in the New Year, including improvements to both the subscriber experience of the site and the free experience of the site, but I'll hold off announcing anything for now for fear of ruining the surprise (and also for fear that particular plans we have may be delayed).


Thanks Grayson,

I can appreciate that you have taken a lot of the criticism onboard however would still venture that the biggest issue most posters here are having is the fact that you charge for stories which by appearance are nothing but cut and paste jobs from the various teams. I know that Autosport can produce great insightful journalistic articles, they do however seem hard to find, and shelling out for something which rightly or wrongly are seen as a lessor product of what was delivered in years past, is what the forum at large, or at least those posting here oppose.

As stated previously I will actually shell out, but I will wait for the testing season to start before doing so, and I were unawares of the reduced number of stories, and even the warning showing that I have seen less than 10 in month of December. The biggest issue I continue to have is that you are 'charging' (one level reached) for non-stories which can be found other places for free, I have found a number of sites I did not frequent before, and get my daily dose there rather than here which would be my preference.

I will likely plum for the biggest package available, so you can tag me in your statistics as one who did not get away. Do note however that writing to your subscription service at same time as post you replied to, gave an incomprehensible answer and had you not replied in this thread, I would likely not have decided to end up paying after all.

:cool:

#204 kar

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:58

KWSN hits it on the head. I'm a former subscriber and I'm 'not above' paying for product. But I feel really, really uneasy about the general quality of the content here. It's a shame actually there is so much 'churnalism' going on. I can understand a freesite that has to pay the bills and needs ad impressions. But the model increasingly here is for paid content.

Autosport, even still, appears to turn out some really good articles. But they seem few and far between.

I'm sure this is not an easy thing to address, but I really think for the long term good of the site, if you're going down the premium paid content route, you're going to have to ditch the PR regurgitation pieces, or make those pieces of content explicitly free. Personally I think they add very, very little value. And as a paying customer, I would be very upset if that's what I was paying for.

Not an easy job you have Grayson, I don't envy it :) Best of luck.

#205 sesku

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 13:36

AUTOSPORT should make one large counter showing how much free article left and any of free article left this month can be move to the next month, then I'll be a bit happier.

#206 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 19:38

So they drop it from 50 to 30 with out informing us, and still charge for other stories aswell??

I'm deleting autosport from my favourites!

#207 Rob

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 23:53

KWSN hits it on the head. I'm a former subscriber and I'm 'not above' paying for product. But I feel really, really uneasy about the general quality of the content here. It's a shame actually there is so much 'churnalism' going on. I can understand a freesite that has to pay the bills and needs ad impressions. But the model increasingly here is for paid content.

This is exactly it. Paying for what is essentially a copy-and-paste from a press release leaves you wondering why you bothered.

Edited by Rob, 12 December 2012 - 23:53.


#208 STIGG

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 03:19

Well, you got me by surprise with 30, thanks.

EDIT: And is this 30 limit just for the off season or for good?

Edited by STIGG, 13 December 2012 - 03:23.


#209 Ravenak

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 01:05

Funny how you ignore the anger messages by implicitely flagging them as disrespect, whereas it's an authentic symptom of your faux-pas.

It is not constructive to avoid the contentious/upsetting issues. You concentrate only on the side we don't have a say in anyway.

This is nothing else than totalitarism, but hey, it's your baby.

Edited by Ravenak, 14 December 2012 - 01:13.


#210 jimjimjeroo

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:59

Funny how you ignore the anger messages by implicitely flagging them as disrespect, whereas it's an authentic symptom of your faux-pas.

It is not constructive to avoid the contentious/upsetting issues. You concentrate only on the side we don't have a say in anyway.

This is nothing else than totalitarism, but hey, it's your baby.


Think it blatantly takes the piss if you ask me!

I wonder how much the website traffic has dropped in recent months!


#211 panzani

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 16:54

I stand with my fully ignored advice: show, identify, what er news are not just some copy&paste PR with an icon! Like extra! or Exclusive! And them count them, just them, with the threshold you decide is better for the company!

O! Wait! You've already done that! There's no one! Not a single one in last, say two years? :p

Edited by panzani, 20 December 2012 - 16:55.


#212 milestone 11

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:57

There are more improvements coming in the New Year, including improvements to both the subscriber experience of the site and the free experience of the site, but I'll hold off announcing anything for now for fear of ruining the surprise (and also for fear that particular plans we have may be delayed).

Hopefully this also means that priority will be given to the accessibility and functionality issues that this forum experiences every GP weekend.


#213 Pudu

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Posted 22 December 2012 - 09:23

Yes, I have to add my voice to those suggesting this isn't the way forward. I understand that journalism is more costly than many people appreciate.

However, instead of taking away something and charging money for it - especially when that content seems to be 90% just ripped off the net and re-posted, like every other F1 blog/news site - far better to create content that people feel justified paying for. Currently, this seems like the lazy way to try to make things work and I can't see it as sustainable.

#214 404KF2

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:57

If you had a Henry Manney III or L.J.K. Setright on board, it'd be worth it!

#215 goldenboy

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 12:27

I was a bit pissed off when I found out I had run out as well, but really if all they have is just cut and paste articles like everyone says it is then why the big outrage when you can get it anywhere? It's probably time I started paying something after a few years anyways I suppose. (It was a bit sneaky though).

#216 UPRC

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 13:03

Why has there become an increasing number of Autosport Plus articles being advertised outside of the Plus column on the right hand side of the page? I wouldn't mind if the headlines and titles indicated that they were Plus articles, and I think that they once were, but they're not anymore.

Here's what is on the front page now:
Posted Image

Two of those are Plus-only features. Isn't the point of the Autosport Plus column to show off what the newest Plus articles are? Why do they also have to be advertised in the section that the non-subscribers click? It's not like we're not seeing them over there in the column already.

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make...


Honest
Posted Image

Dishonest
Posted Image


At least label them appropriately so that they aren't deceiving people.

Edited by UPRC, 24 December 2012 - 13:22.


#217 Rinehart

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 17:08

KWSN hits it on the head. I'm a former subscriber and I'm 'not above' paying for product. But I feel really, really uneasy about the general quality of the content here.


Me too.

Armed with an iPhone, iPad and laptop plus plenty of internet connection most days, there really is very little on AS+ that I wouldn't have read in some form before or soon after its "paid for" publication. Also the Digital Mag particularly dynamic content. I have the AS App on ipad and iPhone, no limits on those. All in all, I don't see a reason for it. The world has changed. I follow about 50 motorsport related people on twitter which delivers a superb mix of content and links to more news.

#218 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 17 January 2013 - 23:29

Having hit it on the head, have not changed my mind and I have paid my Usd 189 or what ever it was for a full years subscription.

:cool:


#219 Ravenak

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:29

Good dog.

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#220 jcbc3

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:24

Wouldn't that be 'sheep'?

(from a paid-up subscriber too)

#221 Ravenak

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 07:34

Good boy, good lad, brainwashed, ripped off, scammed, you name it.

#222 Myrvold

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 19:47

30 free views is frustrating enough as it is. But is it resetted (or what it is called) the 1st in every month? Or the 22nd? Because now I'm suddenly able to view articles, even though it said yesterday that I had used my 30 free views...

#223 Grayson

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 08:25

30 free views is frustrating enough as it is. But is it resetted (or what it is called) the 1st in every month? Or the 22nd? Because now I'm suddenly able to view articles, even though it said yesterday that I had used my 30 free views...


It's definitely reset on the first of each month.

It sounds like the resetting of your views is something a bit different and that the meter is confused as to whether you're the same person coming back again. We've programmed the meter to be relatively lax when there's any confusion here as we'd rather it errs on the side of letting you read too much than on the side of locking people out when they haven't reached the limit!

#224 Myrvold

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 04:01

Well, the day after it went back to 30 views! So no idea what happened there. I know I actually have 4 computers, and 3 different internet connections (separate) just where I live, so I know I can probably abuse the 30 free views thingy. But this was with the same computer and same connection.

Oh well, anyway, as soon as I get a job, I'll probably try to pay for this for the first time in my life :)

#225 undersquare

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 18:19

I've just hit the limit after letting my card details get out of date and I'm simply going to go to other sites for my F1 news. I might end up spending time on their forum too; it might not stop working every time there's something interesting. Their traffic will go up, yours will go down.

If I were a shareholder I'd be worried that you've lost the plot, trying to monetise something that your competitors are doing for just advertising. There's a faintly not-quite-honest feel to how it's being pushed too.

Look at what kruvas is doing for almost nothing. You need to do that with sector times and tyre compounds, for example. Work the data. Video. Add value.

F1 has made you a bit lazy I think!! You've had a living on a plate, but it's changing now.

#226 Group B

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 13:42

Yep, that's kinda my feeling. Sky sports did much the same; hitting people with subscription AND lots of adverts, then had the neck to ask PPV for some events. I don't mind paying, one way or tother, for premium, authorititive editorial, but I'm not going to pay several times over for press releases and common knowledge that are free elsewhere.

#227 Grayson

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Posted 28 February 2013 - 10:40

Yep, that's kinda my feeling. Sky sports did much the same; hitting people with subscription AND lots of adverts, then had the neck to ask PPV for some events. I don't mind paying, one way or tother, for premium, authorititive editorial, but I'm not going to pay several times over for press releases and common knowledge that are free elsewhere.


It's worth pointing out that for the most part, AUTOSPORT+ subscribers aren't served advertising (other than in the Forums, where at present the system effectively doesn't know whether or not you're a subscriber). The idea is that the single AUTOSPORT+ subscription should give you access to everything we offer - all you need to decide is whether you want the package that includes a digital copy of the magazine or not.

#228 Imperial

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 12:01

It's worth pointing out that for the most part, AUTOSPORT+ subscribers aren't served advertising (other than in the Forums, where at present the system effectively doesn't know whether or not you're a subscriber). The idea is that the single AUTOSPORT+ subscription should give you access to everything we offer - all you need to decide is whether you want the package that includes a digital copy of the magazine or not.


Although we are served up rehashed articles from F1 Racing (where some of us are paying a second subscription) and mre recently articles appear on Plus before in the magazine, ruining the enjoyment of said magazine.

#229 packapoo

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:38

Curious whether viewing a wind-up article like the April 1 effort on Dupont impacts on a non subscribers monthly 'reads'?

From what I can see it seems to and from here I can't see the funny side!

#230 packapoo

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:38

Curious whether viewing a wind-up article like the April 1 effort on Dupont impacts on a non subscribers monthly 'reads'?

From what I can see it seems to and from here I can't see the funny side!

#231 Grayson

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:37

Curious whether viewing a wind-up article like the April 1 effort on Dupont impacts on a non subscribers monthly 'reads'?

From what I can see it seems to and from here I can't see the funny side!


Yes it does - if you didn't find our April Fool's story funny then I hope you enjoy your other 29 free stories this month a little more!

If you didn't like that story and you don't want that sort of article to count towards your 30 monthly pageviews then I'd suggest that you might want to avoid stories with the "grapevine" tag in the future. These are quite clearly marked out when you're viewing the homepage or the news page with the letters "gv" before the headline. If you view all of a month's stories such as January's archive here, you'll see the word grapevine spelled out before the relevant headlines.

The sort of stories given this tag are what we class as "soft news" - rumours or stories which aren't directly relevant to the racing series which we cover. These are stories which a lot of people want to read, but which won't quite be classified as hard racing news. As well as the April Fool's story, examples of this would be John Surtees playing down the calls for him to be knighted or Gerard Lopez buying Ayrton Senna's 1991 gloves at a charity auction.

#232 Myrvold

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 00:03

Down to 20 now... Slowly going to "pay only" ?

#233 FizzyJerk

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 04:24

Down to 20 now... Slowly going to "pay only" ?


Other websites here i come

#234 Gilles4Ever

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Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:01

Down to 20 now... Slowly going to "pay only" ?


http://forums.autosp...p;#entry6295619

#235 packapoo

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 05:11

It's definitely reset on the first of each month.

It sounds like the resetting of your views is something a bit different and that the meter is confused as to whether you're the same person coming back again. We've programmed the meter to be relatively lax when there's any confusion here as we'd rather it errs on the side of letting you read too much than on the side of locking people out when they haven't reached the limit!


That depends in which hemisphere one lives in.

#236 GhostR

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 16:39

I think it's now something like 9 months since I last posted in this thread (a post that's no longer present because I said a bit more than I should have about how easy it was to bypass the restrictions back then). I'll probably get my knuckles rapped again for this post, given I'll be mentioning competitor sites... But it's done to try to help the Autosport team here realise how much damage they're doing to their brand with this stick-based approach to converting free-loaders like me into subscribers.

I've done a lot of thinking since then about how I feel about these restrictions, and a bit of monitoring of my own "F1 News Browsing" behaviours. I've a few observations and opinions I want to share now.

Observations

1. I frequently contemplated subscribing prior to this view-limit coming in. I was tempted on multiple occasions by A+ articles that I wanted to read but couldn't. Before I got around to taking the plunge, however, this view-limit came in. I'm the sort of person who does not take well to being 'encouraged' by stick-based methods. I respond far better to rewards - as I'm sure many others do. All of a sudden the Autosport team decided that a stick was needed, and all of a sudden I stopped contemplating paying for all that A+ content.

2. I now use the BBC F1 site more frequently than I did a year ago. Not much content, and the site design is terribad, but the content tends to be unique and interesting and I never get whacked with a stick or asked to pay for something.

3. I now use the ESPN F1 site. I *never* used it a year ago. Now I have their Chrome browser extension added - a lovely little *free* feature that ensures I know when there's new F1 news. Which often pops up there before Autosport has the news.

4. Whenever there's a big brewing story in F1, I pick up the initial story on Autosport ... and then follow it for the duration on other sites. Either the two mentioned above already, or any of a number of decent blogs written by respected people. I never used to do that.

Summary? I'm using Autosport until I hit the limits (which without naming how, is not 20 views for me - but I still end up running into continuous disappointment by about half way through any given month). I'm using other sites all the time. I'm spending less time on the Autosport forums as well, although I still stay current on a few key threads that interest me the most.

Opinions

1. Autosport needs to employ a modern-thinking, creative, out-of-the-box sort of marketing person. The current methods are outdated, obsolete, and probably driving away at least as many prospective subscribers as it's creating. I'm sure it looks like it's 'working' in your stats, but I'm equally sure that a modern marketing approach that leaves the stick behind and focusses on carrots would do even better.

2. If you're hell bent on monetising through subscription (hello - modern world is all about micro-transactions. Take a leaf from the MMO world here, please) and won't consider alternatives, then you absolutely must implement SSO for the main website and the forums.

3. That SSO linking site accounts and forum accounts - that's where the gold is. Not the subscriptions. Modern world marketing is about social, it's about community, and it's about keeping your superuser advocates happy. SSO gives you the tools to do that, by making it possible for you to give modest rewards to your most active forum members. I know you think that those most active users who are on the forums day-in, day-out are costing you money - but that's because you're not making cost-effective use of the huge resource that those people represent.

Really. I did just say that. Your forum members are your best resource for generating new subscriptions. But not when you've got stick-based methods like the view-limits on free articles. Just go and do some research - there are companies out there that are showing the way forward into the future. Companies where the buzz and positive energy that builds around a brand that proves it actually values its community, trusts its community, and gives back to its community builds rapid success.

#237 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 17:06

I was against the stick method being applied, I think it the wrong approach by AutoSport, however as posted I caved and became a paying customer. I still do not think Autosport is close to as good as it used to be, I find it suspicious that breaking F1 news on occasion are not carried at all by Autosport.

But is still my prime landing spot for all matters F1.

:cool:

#238 GhostR

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 21:13

I was against the stick method being applied, I think it the wrong approach by AutoSport, however as posted I caved and became a paying customer. I still do not think Autosport is close to as good as it used to be, I find it suspicious that breaking F1 news on occasion are not carried at all by Autosport.

But is still my prime landing spot for all matters F1.

:cool:

Autosport's still my primary site as well. It will, after all, be 10 years since I first registered here next month. It's just not my only site any more, and for half a month I can't read any articles. Which sucks, but it's not going to get me to fork out any cash when what they're asking me to pay for is stuff I can get elsewhere for free.

The stick is too big (you've read too many articles! Bad GhostR! Bad! No, stop trying, we'll keep hitting you with our big stick!)

The carrot is too small. I'm just not seeing the value.

The balance is just completely wrong. It's so 1990's internet, not 2013 internet.

Edited by GhostR, 09 August 2013 - 07:42.


#239 jcbc3

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 06:14

I'm a subscriber and has been for many years. And will stay one. Maybe I'm just lazy. But have found a worrying trend.

If anyone ask me of my primary source for F1 related news I would now say. 'The forums'. Anytime there's a breaking story, someone on these forums has a thread put up and provide a link. And tellingly, that link is NEVER to an Autosport article.

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#240 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 10:32

I'm a subscriber and has been for many years. And will stay one. Maybe I'm just lazy. But have found a worrying trend.

If anyone ask me of my primary source for F1 related news I would now say. 'The forums'. Anytime there's a breaking story, someone on these forums has a thread put up and provide a link. And tellingly, that link is NEVER to an Autosport article.


Exactly what I meant by "...I find it suspicious that breaking F1 news on occasion are not carried at all by Autosport....".

:cool:

#241 b195

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 06:16

Exactly what I meant by "...I find it suspicious that breaking F1 news on occasion are not carried at all by Autosport....".

:cool:

In the past when chatting online, I would post a link to an autosport.com story and let them the other person read the whole story online. Now I think twice before doing so, knowing that it will count towards their total stories for the month and I don't want to (potentially) waste one of their count by sending them to read a story that they weren't that interested in after all.

#242 Dudley

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 19:53

One FIA press release.

 

6 news stories.

 

Desperate to make people use up their quota are we?



#243 Tsarwash

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Posted 09 December 2013 - 20:07

Funny how you ignore the anger messages by implicitely flagging them as disrespect, whereas it's an authentic symptom of your faux-pas.

It is not constructive to avoid the contentious/upsetting issues. You concentrate only on the side we don't have a say in anyway.

This is nothing else than totalitarism, but hey, it's your baby.

Bullshit. This is journalists working for a publishing company trying to make the books balance. I don't expect to be able to walk into a newsagents and pick up any newspaper for free, so why should this be different. If this was a totalitarian regime, your comment would have been deleted and your forum account banned and your ip logged. I don't often say this, but get a grip.