It’s not easy being Singletrack. Please help.

by and 405

Tough Times.

These are not easy times for almost everyone right now, and we know this at Singletrack as individuals and as a business. Let me explain, and then ask for your help.

Advertising is awful right now. Not just because it’s worth is less that it was just a year ago, but because we are currently so reliant on it. Our way forward as an MTB community is through you, our members. We want to be more responsive to what drives you to be part of our community and less reliant on income from advertising. We want fewer ads for you and for ourselves. The ads you do get we want to be relevant and useful to you. We really want them to be better and that is why we are appealing for new members to come and join us.

Over 6,000 mountain bikers have joined us for their mountain bike news, reviews and random points of view. The more of you that join us as full members, the less we need to look to our advertising revenue to pay our bills. But also, the more of you join us the more powerful Singletrack becomes within the bike industry and the more good work we can do. Such as this great example.

Great Independent Bike Journalism.

If you haven’t already read it I’d like to point you at Hannah’s recent article on Warranties. This was an article inspired by you and the community you are currently a part of. It was necessary and we think it serves as a real example of the power of our journalism. That feature took Hannah a great deal of time and focus to produce – it was expensive, but we want to be able to do more articles like this and better serve you all as a result.

Hannah the investigative journo looks into important things for you.

But we need your help to do this.

Whether you are one of the 6k+ existing full members, a free member or just an observer, there are ways you can help support us and the rest of the Singletrack community.

Pay a little more for your current membership.

Did you know that you can actually name your price and change how much you pay for your annual membership? We have a minimum price of £45 for a print & digital membership and £25 for a pure digital, but you can actually increase that amount if you want to give Singletrack a little extra help.

How? You can dig through your account settings if you like to find the button or just click this button below.

It works like this. You pay a little extra, now, pro-rata. If for example you are half-way through your current membership cycle (Your renewal is 6 months away) and you added an extra £10 to your next renewal, the system will charge you 6 months of that increase now. Basically, you would pay £5 today and then an extra £10 at renewal in six months.

Confusing? Don’t worry. The system will calculate the little extra donation payment based on when your next renewal anniversary is. Also, any extra amount you choose to pay can be changed at any time so you can reduce it just as easily as increasing it* – You are in control. 

*subject to our minimum prices (£45 & £25 for annual memberships)

Become a Full Singletrack Member.

So, you have not already joined us as a member? That’s ok, we have two great introductory offers for you. When you become a member, it is not only great for Singletrack, but it’s also pretty damned good for you too. You get:

  • Member discounts
  • Magazine in print and/or digital format
  • Digital access to every Singletrack magazine ever.
  • Advert free website.
  • Member only content
  • And lots more

Special Offer 1: Half Price Membership.

Use code HELLO55 and your first year of membership is half price. That is only £22.50 a year of print membership where you get the magazine landing on your door mat, and £12.50 for Digital membership where you get all the perks such as advert free website and digital access to all our magazines ever.

Special Offer 2: Free Timber Bell Worth £27.99.

Timber Bells are rather clever bells that you switch on and off. They do an amazing job of clearing trails and keeping other trail users happy. And this is a really bloody good offer. You see you can be a Digital member for only £25 (or Print Member at £45) and we give you a bell worth £27.99. That is one hell of an offer. £25 for a £27.99 component and full membership. Simply use code HELLO56 at check out.

Join us

Full Subscriber Benefits

From unlimited access to content to discounts and offers on gear and services. All full membership comes with unlimited digital access & ad free website

Join around 2,000 digital members and 4,000 print members.

Thank You.  

Thanks for supporting ST. We really could not pump out the magazine, quality content, awesome photography and the forum without you. You do make a difference. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Click here to pay a little extra, and then get out on your bike before the rain starts again. 

Thank you.

Mark and the Singletrack team.

Introductory offers explained: Yes, we know introductory offers can look odd to our loyal existing members. However, it is a very normal business practice that has proven to work very well for us. New members stay with us for many years, so a little deal on the first year is good for Singletrack, and good for the new member. As an existing member you have already had years of magazines, forum nonsense, and good biking times. So, please don’t feel short changed. It has all been brilliant and great value for money. You know I would often buy a new bike when it was launched in the spring, and then see it discounted at the end of the summer. But that summer of blasting dusty trails in the sunshine was worth it. And this is especially true looking back as an older biker. That 1997 FSR with betamax 26” wheels, rubbish travel, delicate innertubes and barely effective V brakes was worth every undiscounted penny. – Charlie Hobbs.

Author Profile Picture
Charlie Hobbs

Merch & Marketing Manager at Singletrack

Grumpy, happy, hairy, overweight and awesome. I started riding offroad in 1978, and never stopped. I was once Charlie The Bikemonger, I invented orienBEERing, the Clunker Classic, and the Dorset Gravel Dash. I own the Bum Butter brand and I'm a co-owner of Dirt Dash Events. I also work at Singletrack, I have the self-appointed job title of "Overlord of the leftovers" and look after the merch shop, and marketing. Other interests include skateboards, surfboards, motorbikes, and cooking (I invented the Beefer Reefer).

More posts from Charlie

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  • It’s not easy being Singletrack. Please help.
  • the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    A bit added to me yearly digital sub as I spend most of my working day on here and I’ve been with STW from issue 1!

    Is the business model working though? These requests seem to be more frequent and there is a lack of the normal response to this particular request.

    Is it time to shed a couple of staff to get through? I know there was a comment a week or two ago about having great staff but it’s got to be better to have a less staff in a job than all staff be out of work for the sake of being nice. Nice is great, but sometimes not affordable.

    oldnick
    Full Member

    Done. When do I get my blue tick?

    eddiebaby
    Free Member

    I sympathise.
    I closed three free newspapers over the last few weeks due to a lack of advertising revenue.
    Now I realise I should have just asked the readers to give us money.

    frankconway
    Full Member

    Now we know how many paying subscribers.
    How many free members are there?

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Done

    Now I realise I should have just asked the readers to give us money.

    It’s worked very well for The Guardian, they raised £76.1m from donations last year..

    https://www.theguardian.com/gnm-press-office/2022/jul/20/guardian-media-group-plc-gmg-publishes-202122-statutory-financial-results

    solarider
    Free Member

    It’s not easy being anything these days! The only way to survive is to adapt, not just charge more for the same thing.

    Apologies if any of the following sounds harsh, but if anybody external and independent with commercial acumen looked at this, they would probably say the same thing.

    We all love this site and the support that it provides through good times and bad times, but these requests are becoming more frequent and the place has more of a whiff of a charity than a business.

    There are loads of good web only bike sites that don’t have the added burden or producing a mag. As emotional as it is, surely the time has come to review the business model and whether it can actually support as many employees as it does? Let’s exclude the emotion and focus on STW as a business as well as a bike hub. The writing is on the wall for printed media guys – evolve or die.

    Saddens me, but that’s the harsh reality of running a business. I have worked in a number of business facing a similar existential challenge and the questions is ultimately ‘would enough people to keep you running miss you if you weren’t there tomorrow to keep you alive’? If not, change the model so that enough people do care to keep you running. The web is full of the same stories – declining sales in the bikes industry, cost of living, death of printed media. You can only swim against the tide for so long.

    thepurist
    Full Member

    IMO this sort of transparency is useful. We’ve seen enough LBSs and other shops just disappear with no warning – had you known they were struggling could you/would you have gone there to buy your gloves/socks/shiny thing rather than getting it online?

    Tracey
    Full Member

    I’ve just tried to up mine but it looks like in addition to the increase it want to charge me a sign up fee. is that correct

    It would be good to know the percentage of Full/Digital/free members

    Mark
    Full Member

    A lot of people think that print is our problem. It really isn’t. Advertising is the problem. Programmatic in particular, which has no connection with print at all. We’ve seen a 65% drop in programatic revenue in the last 12 months. This is not an issue restricted to just us. It’s much wider than that. The solution is as Charlie stated above – to shift from chasing the big traffic numbers and ad revenues and focus on the members. Many of these issues have resulted from large tech platforms changing their policies and strategies that have radically changed the media landscape and the ability of any media to generate revenue from traditional sources of digital advertising. The part print plays in all of that is minor and in fact our print revenues are pretty stable (That’s revenues from traditional print advertising and print memberships).

    To be fair none of this is a surprise. It’s been coming for several years and we’ve been working towards adapting to the new media landscape without reliance on the big tech platforms (Facebook pulled all its publisher specific tools and revenue streams with a few weeks notice late last year). The thing that’s brought on a greater sense of urgency about our path is all of that coupled with the cost of living crisis and how that is affecting not just us joe public and how much we have to spend but also the bike industry itself, on which we also rely for revenue and material.

    Call it a perfect storm of cost of living and large digital media shifts perhaps, but it’s unfair to blame it all on print.

    Mark
    Full Member

    @tracey The so called ‘sign up fee’ (Built in – horrible term) IS the reconciliation for the rest of your membership.

    There are roughly twice as many print members as digital only – although everyone gets digital.

    Tracey
    Full Member

    Thanks Mark

    This is what I’m getting. I don’t want to upgrade just pay more

    £35.00 / year and a £12.08 sign-up fee (Upgrade)

    Are you allowed to say how many free as a % of the above

    solarider
    Free Member

    Evolve or die – whatever the cause, the same thing applies (but surely print can’t be helping – the mag and content doesn’t come for free and print media circulation isn’t exactly on the up). The mag might be a revenue generator and arguably fundamental to the STW brand, but if it didn’t exist you could reduce your overall overheads? Plus, look at BearGrease’s comment below. Your mag is only as good as the last edition and keeping it relevant in a world where news is here one second and gone the next is increasingly difficult.

    A community of 6,000 paying subscribers + non-paying traffic that generates ad revenue generates income X. Costs = Y (where Y must be < X). If that isn’t true, something has to change. Getting more from the paying community of 6,000 feels like a sticking plaster cure when the real issue is an over reliance on a dwindling and increasingly regulated pot of ad revenue. You have to fight harder for the big pot of money (advertising), not rely on a small group of dedicated loyalists (or if you do, reduce your costs accordingly). You can’t afford to run a multi-channel business on niche, specialist revenues.

    Increasing X is an increasingly difficult task for any industry right now as the tide is falling. Making money when the tide is rising is relatively easy. Unfortunately the cost base has to be reviewed if there isn’t a sustainable way to increase the top line. That’s the long and short of it. No emotion, whatever is unaffordable will drag you under. No pet projects, no emotional decisions. The world is littered with failed passion projects that we really loved by their creators but didn’t work commercially.

    Sounds doom and gloom, but it isn’t. The future may not look like the past, but there is a strong future for STW given the demand for its product, albeit that demand might not be quite as healthy as it once was. However doing the same things and charging more for them when there is decreasing demand is a fool’s paradise.

    Take a look at the Pinkbike model. Their traffic generator is YouTube. Their content generates revenue via YouTube as well as directing traffic towards their site. YouTube generates more impressions than the printed media ever will, thus providing a more attractive place for advertisers. You need to get more eyes on the site to be more competitive as a place to advertise. To use an old-school example here’s no point doing this through a sandwich board when you competition are on TV!

    Tracey
    Full Member

    Sorted Mark

    Worth every penny

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    I think there’s still a market for specialist print publications*.

    The only printed magazine I subscribe to is Motorsport Magazine (£5.50/month) as it adds so much more than the web motorsport media.

    The only reason I don’t have print STW is because I don’t ride anymore.

    I have seen some local free advertising mags go to the wall recently though. The advertisers are still there but print costs have rocketed so they’re no longer viable.

    *no – not that sort, that really has been killed off by the web! 🙂

    bearGrease
    Full Member

    So I resubscribed. I’d let my previous subscription lapse in a huff about being bitterly disappointed with the pre-Christmas issue. I’ve got over it.

    kelvin
    Full Member

    Take a look at the Pinkbike model.

    Singletrack has managed to stay independent and focused on original content, where as Pinkbike has been consumed by Outside and relies on recycling old content from their other “channels” and publishing outside PR pieces. Now, who should be looking at whose model…?

    solarider
    Free Member

    My point was not to sell to Outside and adopt the whole Pinkbike model. I would never hold Pinkbike up as a model of quality, but when it comes to quantity (which is what drives traffic and therefore advertsing $), they are more competitive. My point was that in order to drive more traffic to the site in order to generate a bigger share of the available ad revenue, a media channel such as YouTube is more effective and scaled than a printed magazine.

    Having said that, not all of Pinkbike’s material is recycled or low quality. Ben Cathro’s series, their behind the scenes and technical stuff and their reviews are all good, and not something that STW can match.

    I whole heartedly agree with your comments about Pinkbike’s content. I am not advocating that at all. As I mentioned above, the STW ‘product’ is outstanding. But that doesn’t matter if more people flock to Pinibike when it comes to where brands target their media. Quality, philosophy and altruism won’t beat sheer numbers in a race to attract advertisers in the kind of numbers that are required to sustain the STW model.

    I really want to see STW thrive, not just survive or disappear, and to do that there might be some commercial vs philosophical trade offs.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Oof, some tough love responses on here.

    The old cozzy livs is hitting us all and I can’t put my hand in my pocket, sorry 🙁

    Take a look at the Pinkbike model. Their traffic generator is YouTube.

    It’s easy to guess the problems with someone else’s business and say to fix them by “pivoting to video” (cheeky quote from Succession there), but PB has BY FAR the biggest audience in MTB media (and arguably the most-coherent editorial offering). Thus they’ll have advertisers beating down their door. YT will be one of their revenue streams but it’ll be a piece of the puzzle, not the magic formula for their success.

    I dunno if you work in media Solarider but I did many years in print & digital, and I got out of editorial because it was so insecure. FB and Google were hoovering up all the advertising money and it always ended up with employers cutting costs (aka jobs).

    If there was a simple answer that didn’t involve cutting staff then I’m sure Mark & co would be doing it already. Telling him to make people redundant is a bit distaseful IMO.

    solarider
    Free Member

    Telling him to make people redundant is a bit distaseful IMO.

    Not sure I have said that? There are many ways to reduce costs before you get to that stage, but if any business ring fences their biggest single cost (people) and treats any attempt to raise the subject as ‘distasteful’, they have a real problem.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    I would never hold Pinkbike up as a model of quality

    You should.

    They are pretty much the best in the biz, unless you favour print-style long-form features or the embittered ramblings of NSMB.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Not sure I have said that?

    Sorry that was another poster above.

    Yeah cutting headcount is a glaringly obvious solution and I’m sure Mark has to face that prospect, it’s just me saying I don’t think it’s cool for forum users to tell him to.

    ped
    Full Member

    Posted without comment.

    screeshot showing a free member saying they want to see STW thrive

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    I’ve no idea why Pinkbike is so popular – it’s always looked a bloody mess to me.

    solarider
    Free Member

    That’s right Ped.

    After years of being a subscriber, I had to make some tough decisions about renewing this year. STW wasn’t the only mag that I dropped. I kept Cyclist but that’s it because it was ultimately more relevant to me than Singletrack, but STW is far better than Cyclist as a website (surely that is quite telling?).

    Does me not being a subscriber somehow diminish the validity of my responses or make me somehow less entitled to post? Do you also subscribe to the argument that because cyclists don’t pay road tax they shouldn’t use it? It’s a remarkably similar reasoning. Does my decision not to subscribe for financial reasons somehow exclude me from still wanting to see STW thrive?

    Making judgements about the validity of an opinion when you have no insight into the financial reason for not subscribing is unfortunately neither big nor clever and certainly won’t help the very real challenge that clearly faces STW. Am I somehow meant to put the financial needs of my family bhind the future of STW, or otherwise retreat from the site and never post again? Apologies if I missed something in the small print about the benefits of being a subscriber and the indirect cost of ending a subscription. If you want the site to be some sort of exclusive club for subscribers only, then the 6,000 users will not be enough to keep it afloat for sure.

    I would argue that the contribution that I make to the traffic to this site through my regular visits and consumption of the advertising is of equal value to my subscription since it generates advertising value. Simply being here, being active and consuming media helps the business to generate revenue. If you aren’t familiar with that model, hopefully it gives you some insight into how the business works. Do you think that the advert that you are probably looking at right now doesn’t help to fund the site, or that the value that it generates is directly proportionate to the number of times it is seen? The world of advertising is a cynical cruel world, but make no mistake, you are part of it and your very presence here is valuable to somebody whether you subscribe or not.

    andygreener
    Full Member

    I consider my membership fee (print) as paying for a service.
    I’m happy to and fortunate to be able to do that.
    As with most services no matter what it is there is likely a fee for that service even if small.
    Of course I understand that some people can’t pay for every service but I also think that some people don’t when they perhaps should.
    Really difficult situation for so many people right now.
    To the STW team – Keep up the very good work. Take care.

    desperatebicycle
    Free Member

    Similar to bearGrease my sub lapsed. I thought I’d miss the mag and be back onboard pretty quick but I don’t really. I read it for almost as long as it’s been going. I’ve just subscribed to a music mag – I do like a print magazine so I’m not staring at screens all **** day – so can’t afford to rejoin at the mo. I might do next month.

    the-muffin-man
    Full Member

    How does website advertising work now? Is it still the old way of you only get money if someone clicks on the advert? Or are sites paid just for displaying them?

    And I really don’t understand the ‘local newspaper’ approach to web-pages – so much advertising you can barely see the article.

    solarider
    Free Member

    How does website advertising work now? Is it still the old way of you only get money if someone clicks on the advert? Or are sites paid just for displaying them?

    It’s a really complicated balance of algorithms, but what matters is firstly how many visitors there are to the site who have the opportunity to see (OTS) the ad (which is itself valuable) and the number of those visitors that actually click on the ad (the click thru rate or CTR).

    Sites that can deliver a high OTS of the right demographic (and unfortunately middle aged dentists are more valuable than younger students in this respect because of their disposable income) have a head start. They can further enhance their value by their CTR.

    Therefore what matters to STW is generating enough traffic to the site in order to generate OTS revenue, and hopefully generating a high CTR both in % and absolute numbers, which is where a high volume of visitors (whether they are subscribers or not Ped) is valuable as a starting point and where the printed mag is not as effective at driving traffic as some of the other options out there (YouTube for example, hence the Pinkbike reference).

    I know STW is relevant to our hobbies, but it aint a charity, it is a business, and whilst we might not like to see it that way, it has to survive in a harsh and competitive world.

    There are many other ways of generating advertising revenue, but these are the biggest and simplest to explain.

    It is clear from the article linked by Charlie that the team at STW are throwing everything at this problem, and chapeau to that. I just hope it is enough, but if not there are still things that can be done.

    davros
    Full Member

    Done. Looking forward to enjoying my shiny bell 😮

    Every full member should have a bell.

    Mark
    Full Member

    Once upon a time simply viewing ads was enough to generate revenue. Now the pendulum has swung away from Pay Per View to Pay Per Click. The programmatic system pays us a eCPM rate. Ie effective rate per 1000 views but this is misleading. It appears that we get paid for the views but in reality the eCPM would be zero if no ads were clicked. Typical eCPM rates in this sector are around $0.7 CPM for programmatic ads. Much higher for direct sold ads from the bike industry and not through an ad network. so it takes 1000 impressions of an ad to generate us $0.7. That’s why you see more than one ad on a page. A year ago that rate was much higher.

    We currently deliver around 3 million page impressions/month. For some scale.

    despite what Solar keeps saying the return per reader is way way higher for print. It’s just that print comes with bigger overheads.

    The problem isn’t print. It’s actually much more effective than digital advertising/user.

    solarider
    Free Member

    My point is that as a method of generating traffic to the site through advertising STW as a ‘thing’ the mag is less effective in terms of readership numbers (what is circulation these days – 10k?) than a YouTube post that can easily generate 6 figure viewership. The mag has a UK bias whereas the world wide web would bring you traffic from a much broader church.

    Ultimately revenue is for vanity and profit is for sanity. If the mag generates revenue and traffic but at an unaffordable cost, is it really as valuable?

    Serious suggestion BTW – would it help if we all just clicked thru 10 ads a day each? I have no need for a Bentley, some new shoes or a new internet provider but happy to look like I do if it helps!

    afrothunder88
    Full Member

    I just subbed as a full Print member, one thing that isn’t clear is do I get the current Printed issue or do I have to wait until April for that to start?

    fahzure
    Full Member

    Media is increasingly tied to events and event ownership. Redbull pioneered this, as it gives them exclusive content which they sell to advertisers and consumers (some of those event tics aren’t cheap). Other media companies, Lifetime, Outside Interactive, H5 and X-games/ESPN are engaging in similar event/media strategies. Pinkbike doesn’t own events (well the “Academy” is a kind of event), but they do a LOT of event sponsorship and have a WC DH team so they can be inside events without owning them. Singletrack has a community that loves events and pays for them (Ard Rock tickets, anyone?) and would enjoy (exclusive is best) post-event coverage. Advertisers LOVE that type of engagement and it seems as though events still have plenty of sponsor dollars. Print is fading, my kids (one age 33) don’t know what to do with print mags. The TIME and RESOURCE used for print and its longer term viability are the issues, not whether the ads pay for printing and mailing costs. Who here would like to go to a Singletrack event? Would you trade your paper mag subscription for discounts/special treatment at 6 events per year? Maybe even just 4 good ones? We’re social animals, the STW Forum proves that. Give the people what they want: news and info on their device; ways to get together with other interested folks in the meat and virtual spaces.

    fahzure
    Full Member

    And, fix the the hard paywall, so I can share a limited number of articles per month and grow your audience for you. (“It’s really great content, but you’ll have to trust me on that and pay first” isn’t a viable growth strategy)

    stumpyjon
    Full Member

    So if we all logged out once in a while and madly clicked on the ads would that up the revenue?

    solarider
    Free Member

    A bit like this:

    For STW to say yes to that question would be almost fraud as a beneficiary of those clicks, but I can say it – YES!

    shermer75
    Free Member

    So if we all logged out once in a while and madly clicked on the ads would that up the revenue?

    Good point, happy to click on a few ads if it’ll see a jump in revenue!

    ads678
    Full Member

    I don’t really want to give STW any more money as I don’t read the mag so my digital subscription fee is basically just an ad blocker service, but I have just logged out and clicked on five ads. If it’s gonna help, I’ll do it again every now and then.

    I only renewed a couple of weeks ago as well. TBH I was struggling to justify it, but decided ad free is a better experience.

    solarider
    Free Member

    I just re-read the article. Final bit of tough love, then I will retreat. Please understand that this comes from a place of love and may not be universally well received, but it feels like you are seeing some writing on the wall and even if it just generates debate I am happy to challenge.

    the costs of printing have jumped up almost 20% in 18 months

    That is a simply unsustainable position if you chose not to pass at least some of it on. You can’t keep absorbing cost at that level or looking for ways of cost avoidance. No matter how much you want to avoid it, you have to increase prices. You have to believe that you are worth it (because you are).

    Putting up the cost of a membership across the board will be hardest felt by those of you who can afford it the least

    That may be true in relative terms and it would be a credible manifesto strategy for a left wing political party or a not-for-profit organisation, but not much good as a commercial model. Don’t be apologetic about the value of your product. Yes it might out-price some people (me included), but that’s life unfortunately. You already make a large part of the STW experience available for free, but those elements of your product that cost you something to produce should be sold, not given away.

    we can afford a smaller margin on each thing we sell if we sell more of them

    This is true in theory, but realistically just how many more subscribers would you need just to stand still in the face of a 20% increase in printing costs alone? You have to make more from diversification and other sources of revenue and pass on any COGs increases. Many business have failed by convincing themselves that they will sell more of something at a cheaper price. Maybe you are selling as many subscriptions as there is demand for and your product is price inelastic.

    Singletrack is a community that has grown over 21 years to become more than just a business

    Agreed, but you can’t have one without the other and you need to be selfish and realise your value. Even charities need income. If you are good at something, don’t do it for free, particularly if that something is your way of making a living.

    profit is not the ultimate goal here

    Have you seriously considered transforming into a registered charity with subscriptions that benefit from gift aid if break even is the only goal? And don’t make profit a dirty word or something to be afraid of. It’s the way that you will drive investment and stay afloat for years to come. Yes British Gas type profits are something to be ashamed of but making a modest profit that you are able to reinvest is the basic lifeblood of your business and will ensure that STW has a future.

    My greatest wish right now is that we continue to be an employer

    The only way to do that is to stay afloat and this might involve taking some difficult decisions. This isn’t a popularity contest – your employees won’t thank you if you did all the right things and they still lost their incomes. Some of the things that sound counter-intuitive will actually help you deliver precisely the altruistic and admirable goals that you hold dear.

    First of all, there’s a new look to the website coming

    Seriously?! How much have you spent over the years on this stuff? The site looked great and functioned better several iterations ago. Yes I appreciate some of the updates are necessary rather than nice to do in terms of security and regulatory adherence but make sure you are investing in things that add value. Do you really believe that another new look website will deliver more subscribers, more ad revenue or more visitors?

    I know it all sounds harsh and critical, and to some extent it is, but you ain’t going to fix this through well meaning small donations from the STW loyalists. Ask Dan Stanton how the passion vs commercial equation works if you get it wrong. It isn’t enough to be morally upstanding if the numbers simply don’t work. And yes I can no longer justify the cost of a subscription, but that doesn’t meant that I haven’t enjoyed and don’t still enjoy ‘the bike site’ as it has come to be known over the last 2 decades in my household.

    frankconway
    Full Member

    If I understand Mark’s most recent post correctly, the ad revenue generation of $0.7 per 1000 impressions multiplied by 3 million impressions per month converts to $2100/month which, using forex rate of 1.15 is c£1830/month.

    This, I think, means that it takes 41,000 impressions to generate £25 – which is the cost of an annual digital only subscription; that’s 1367 impressions/day – each and every day.

    I asked earlier how many free members there are; Tracey also asked the same.
    Any answer?

    This is now the third time that Mark and co have made a direct appeal.
    That should send out a very clear message.

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