It’s a cliche because it’s so true: the digital landscape is always changing. And right now, the pace of that change is quicker than ever. Specialist publishers are not immune to those changes: some are charging for specific content, and some are putting up blanket paywalls. We want our well-respected reviews and buying advice to continue to be available to everyone. So we’re choosing a different path – supporter subscriptions.
If you’ve read this article on the site then you’ll know that when it comes to paying for all the things road.cc does, the ads do the heavy lifting; yes, even that gross earwax one makes a contribution. We also know (because you’ve told us) that many of you would like to make a contribution too – and that some of you aren’t keen on the ads that pay for the site. Not everyone that wants to support road.cc finds the ads intrusive, and not everyone that’s ad-phobic wants to support our efforts to produce unbiased, informative and entertaining cycling content. But there is a big overlap.
With that in mind you’ll soon be able to subscribe to road.cc for £1.99 a month, or £19.99 a year. That’s less than a slice of cake at your favourite cycle-friendly cafe every month, so we reckon it’s pretty good value. Subscribers will have the option of turning the ads off, so the site will be all about the bikes. The revenue we generate from subscriptions will be going back into the site to make it better, and we’ll be talking directly to our subscribers to find out what people want from road.cc and its sister sites.
As a subscriber you’ll get a monthly newsletter with behind-the-scenes content and subscriber-only offers, and as the subscriber base increases we’ll be adding more subs-only content, driven by our conversations with you.
The only thing you can currently pay for on road.cc is premium Fantasy Cycling, and that will be rolled into the new road.cc subscription. If you’re a subscriber you’ll be able to play as many Fantasy Cycling competitions as you like. If you’re a current Fantasy Cycling player then you’ll know that there hasn’t been very much racing this year, so we’ll be giving everyone who’s currently a premium player – or whose membership has lapsed during lockdown – a full year’s subscription for free.
So, those are the plans. We like making the site, and we hope that you like reading it. With subscriptions we think we'll be able to do more, and we hope you'll join us on this journey.
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.