Is this a paywall website now?

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Worth noting that, with regard to VN and CT, their owner - Robin Thurston's rebadged Outside group - is implementing paywalls across all its titles.


The problem with metered paywalls, however, is they are easily circumvented, as they rely on cookies. Even VN's non-metered paywall can be defeated with the right browser and keystroke.
 
Reactions: Sandisfan
I have not yet read my 5 articles... and not come across the payment methods... but if anything I'll only do something like paypal anyway. Don't know the options here. The thing for me is that I'm willing to pay for really good journalistic work, but cyclingnews, the way that it is now, is not really a site that offers investigative journalism or at least some insightful writing. It consists of snippets of news that are just taken from all the instagram and twitter accounts, put into some short context one already knows. Then there are also some previews, but they are not at all original or offer anymore than I could write myself. So, basically, it's a platform that brings all the infos together, and that's work that doesn't do itself, either, but it's really soulless and just not something I'm willing to spend any money on, even if it's only a small sum. (What amount is it by the way...?)
 
Yes, but they are aiming wrong because i'm the type that never makes subscriptions, everytime i see a paywall i search for an alternative, if there is one, otherwise i could live without something like that.
I definitely used to take that approach, but this has become the market model for “news” sites, whether they are newsworthy or not. Just in the past year a number of U.S. “newspaper” sites I used to be able to read a few free articles now block me from reading anything unless I register and then that just provides a few free articles till I start paying. I have to have access to some of the major news outlets for work, so I’m now normalized (for myself) to paying for those. I’m not willing to register for 10 other sites just to read a few articles a month.
As for CN, I mostly just browse the article headlines, but 99.9% of my information comes from the forum.
 
The economics of a website like CN are pretty simple (I work for a trade publication that's online only now...).

The problem with online ads is the low click-thru rate. As my boss likes to put it, every time one of our advertisers asks for detailed click-thru rates, we lose them. So you basically have two choices: Keep hustling for new advertisers who can either live with low click rates or don't know what to ask for. Or, you can put up a paywall and hope you get enough subscribers to fund x percentage of your budget.

Will that work with CN? I'm guessing that the online ad model isn't working. I'd pay for CN if they went back to comprehensively reporting race results, especially the minor races. As it is now, it's just an aggregator, without any real original content. So I'll probably pass.
 
Future boss, Zillah Byng-Thorne, has spoken of the group's growing profitability, with adverting and affiliate e-commerce driving revenue growth even during the pandemic. Given the relatively low monthly sub being introduced I would wonder how much of this is being driven by the looming death of cookies, which is part of what Thurston says is the driver at Outside.
 
Reactions: jmdirt and Ripper
Is there really a great cycling website? Maybe in other languages? In German, there's radsport-news, which is a rather "small" site, they do not have such extensive coverage on rumours and "he said xy...", but actually I have to say it's a good, solid site. They do sometimes bring interesting diaries, usually they have news before cn and they clearly have some connections, they offer a comprehensive, clearly structured results-overview, and they have previews for all UCI races, which are very short, but their choice of favourites for instance is not bad and you can see there are people with knowledge there, who do not just pick the biggest and most hyped names. So... do they really offer something great? No, but (for now they are free, just asking for donations), if they become paywalled I would think about subscribing.
Then there's cyclingtips, which is a very good site, I think, if you race or at least ride a lot yourself. For a leisure rider like me who just likes to follow pro cycling as a hobby, there is too much practical and equipment writing and only about one article per week which I would be interested in, but only about two per year I would really, really like to read - not enough for a subscription for me.
Velonews is too concentrated on the American scene/ riders for me.
Then there's cyclingweekly, where I sometimes go and read an article or two... and very, very occasionally I go to directvelo. Basically, none of these sites is my comprehensive go-to-site. That is actually the forum here.
The thing is that I usually don't like twitter and such very much because you get into a bubble too easily and there are small topics which get overblown so easily while more important things fall between the sheets. But in the end I suppose you can get your infos about transfers and reactions or any news just as well there, so a website asking for money just has to offer a bit more.
 
^^Defiitely, but you have to provide content worth paying for, rather than aggregating riders' and teams' Twitter feeds. I would want some deeply reported and well-written articles. Maybe a paywall would help pay for that.

When I lived in the US I happily paid for VeloNews -- I thought the quality of their rider profiles justified it. Now, the only cycling media I pay for with regularity is the French edition of Cyclist. The trip reports and historical articles are pretty great.
 
Reactions: jmdirt
Defiitely, but you have to provide content worth paying for, rather than aggregating riders' and teams' Twitter feeds.
CN is a news site. As such, it is, yes, an aggregator. An aggregator of social media posts? Not really, that's more the Comic's territory. CN has, pretty much from its start, aggregated the international - mainly non-English - cycling media. But CN also breaks the news. And it has writers who who can write and who contribute occasional features. Plus, there's the techs mechs bits. So, you know, let's park the hyperbollix and be fair.
 
Reactions: jmdirt
As I'm one of the many who haven't seen the paywall yet, elaborate on the price point, please.
Turns out my foggy brain added a zero!

"Join now for unlimited access Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1". I though it was 10 not 1. Not sure what the amount is after the first month, but the language suggests the rate goes up and clicking the link they provide does not clarify.
 
Turns out my foggy brain added a zero!

"Join now for unlimited access Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1". I though it was 10 not 1. Not sure what the amount is after the first month, but the language suggests the rate goes up and clicking the link they provide does not clarify.
The fact that they don't just tell you what the re-up costs is off-putting. I am sure that they tell you it will be easy to unsubscribe once they have your CC info, but I bet you have to do it in writing.
 

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