Autosport, Is That Really Necessary?
Quick Note: I wrote this post almost a year ago. It is one the most read posts on AmerF1can.com. I don’t know if it is because as more and more fans discover the pay as you go feature, “search it” and finds my post or instead when anyone decides to just do a plain search for Autosport my post comes up. Whatever the reason I was prompted to revise what I said about the pay-for-further-access. I was going to edit out some of the harsher language while still making my point. Then I gave it some thought and as much as I would have liked to initially craft my post with a different tone, I think it would be disingenuous to change it now. I still stand by what I said. In my opinion, Autosport has taken a path which I feel will not serve them or their readership. The original post is below:
Well it finally happened, one of my favorite websites and a leader in motorsport reporting (one of them at least) has decided that I go to their website way too often. The other day I got up, made my coffee, sat down at the computer and hit the Autosport tab, more than likely for the first of several times. Not for the day, but for the morning before I take a break from F1, and then pick it up again in the afternoon. I then selected the desired article. At first, I thought I did something wrong because a big white window came on the screen asking for money. So I closed that and hit the article link again, and the same big white window came on the screen and I thought “That’s weird I didn’t select one of the pay-to-view articles.” (Autosport has specific articles and analysis that you can read for a one time fee). So I repeated the process again and as before the same thing happened. At this point I decided to read the fine print under the big white window asking for money. It very politely stated that I had used up all my free views and that if I wanted to continue I needed to pay. Whaaaaatt????
As far as I’m concerned, I’m already ‘paying’ for the site by viewing the ads on the top banner, the sidebar, and of course the bottom. (I won’t complain too much about those because you might see them on this blog someday if more than five people ever read it.) But on the topic of ads, I do wonder why I need an ad to sell me the product that I just Googled? Seems that if I found it without the ad, then maybe advertisers should figure out something similar to show me that I haven’t seen. Nothing more irritating than being shown pictures of something you just purchased, or decided not to purchase. I never quite understood that, but then again I have never purchased something because a women with exaggerated measurements was holding it and smiling, or because some guy in race gear was telling me I need energy for 5 hours (that was for all you NASCAR buffs), or in the case of a car, seeing as that is the fundamental beginning of all racing, and this is a racing blog, no ad or commercial would ever make me want to buy say, an Infiniti, even though Red Bull’s livery now features it predominately on the new RB9. (Actually that makes me less likely to buy it, now maybe if it was on Ferrari’s livery …)
But back to Autosport’s pay-to-view policy. Now I have to view ads AND pay for access to this site, seriously? Oddly enough while I could not read any more articles last month, I was able to watch testing live, go figure, of course I had to stay up until one a.m. to do it but at this point I didn’t want to look a gift tail pipe in it’s opening. I just can’t think why Autosport would put another restriction on their website. I am already being limited in my viewing due to the fact that the good articles are pay-to-view anyway. Most of what is available for free are just snippets of commonly known news from around the racing world, not insightful analysis. Truth be known I would get a subscription, but this is a weekly magazine and with the overseas shipping it is just too expensive for me.
I guess this is just another sign-o-the times that nothing is free in this day and age, and now the Internet, that one last cool place that was free, is free no more. For the record I believe I have 30 free views (i could go through that in a day, no problem) per month, for now. However we all know that will soon be reduced to 20 and then to 15, 10, 5 and surely to 0. I guess Autosport is trying to wean me off my steady diet of free news gently, isn’t that so sweet of Autosport, how considerate. Whatever.
I suppose Autosport’s logic is that I will end up being a paying customer. Well I have just one word for you, Mr. Autosport Accountant. Actually I have several: YallaF1, BBC F1, Planet F1, James Allen on F1, Joe Saward, ESPNF1, Speed, Adam Cooper, Peter Windsor, Formula1.com, Formula1OnLive.com, and I have not even touched the surface of all the foreign language websites.
The list is almost endless. Autosport, what are you thinking? It doesn’t cost you anything when I look at your site, except its an opportunity to gain a fan that might buy the money articles some day, or the print magazine which I purchase on a regular basis. You are not losing money by making your site free to me. I will not be paying for access, therefore you are not going to make any money on me, except for the fact that you can sell more ads since my eyeballs go to your site multiple times everyday, but I guess that soon will not be the case, will it? Oh yeah, and I really do have one more word for you. Bitches! I’m out of here. -jp