How We Keep Things Ticking Over at BRFCS
BRFCS Premium Members are helping to enrich a thriving, vibrant community of Rovers supporters.
All subscriptions help BRFCS keep things ticking over, updated and stable. It also helps develop & deploy new features to make your user experience even more enjoyable.
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First month only £1.99
The subscription will auto-renew unless & until you change your mind... we hope you don't of course but we do understand that circumstances can quickly change.
By the way - to benefit from the ad-free experience - you MUST be logged into the site.
The site has overheads, principally these relate to IT costs; although as we add new features, these are increasingly including additional subscription fees for services, as many more providers are moving towards that kind of a pricing model.
For instance, even Google is now charging for its basic business suite of email addresses and shared storage.
As the site is owned and operated via a limited company, there are also fees associated with running a company, including statutory Companies House returns, accountant's fees, bank/payments charges and so on.
Historically, the site was funded purely from Google ad revenue, but the returns were a bit thin and somewhat unpredictable. Consequently, different options have been pursued to provide a more stable income and eliminate over-reliance on Google.
These include sponsorship of different aspects of the site - it was this type of funding that enabled the site revamp last year for instance, when BRFCS evolved from being purely a forum, into the comprehensive package of features you see today; including the magazine elements, the 4000 Holes archive, podcast hosting and of course the excellent Match Centre feature.
Throughout 2022 we have sought to optimise our advertising revenue to provide greater confidence that our income will continue to cover our running costs. BRFCS handicaps itself to a degree however, because we refuse to accept advertising for gambling, adult, alcohol and tobacco.
The challenge we face therefore, is to earn as much as we can from what remains. This has meant that ad positioning and frequency are elements over which we have diminished direct control.
Following these changes, we have had a reasonable amount of feedback from some users, who have commented that the ads are becoming increasingly intrusive and that this is impacting adversely upon the user experience - especially on mobile devices.
With that in mind therefore we plan to introduce an *option* to subscribe to an ad-free* experience.
*It's important to clarify that the sponsor mentions on the magazine and forum threads will remain; as noted above, sponsorship income is a vital component of our overall revenue streams.
ll other non-sponsor ads are removed as part of this package.
It can mean absolutely nothing. If you are not interested in an ad-free experience, just carry on using the site as you were - nothing will change for you.
However, if you wish to benefit from an ad-free experience*, then by subscribing, you will remove the (non-sponsor) advertising from the site on whatever device you use - please note, you have to be logged in to remove the ads.
In our own tribute to Steve Waggott, we will offer an early-bird discount to allow users the opportunity to trial the option at a discounted rate.
The initial subscription plan will therefore cost £1.99 for one trial month, reverting to £3.99 per month thereafter.
Monthly subscriptions can be cancelled at any point should circumstances change for whatever reason.
Platinum membership of £39.99 for a full year will also be offered.
This can also be cancelled before the ANNUAL renewal date.
As an aside - if you are canny enough to take the £1.99 initial offer; cancel after one payment, then renew for 12 months - this brings the effective monthly charge down to £3.23 for a period of 13 months #NorthernThrift 😉
In a spirit of transparency, we have no idea how many people will be attracted by this offer and equally, we can only guess at the impact it will have on our overall revenue, but clearly, if the subscription revenue received proves to be consistently less than the advertising revenue lost, we will have to put our thinking caps on and come up with another plan.
Well quite... the spirit of BRFCS always has been "by the fans, for the fans" - it has never been operated as a hard-nosed, capitalist venture. This philosophy will not change. The free option (served with advertisements) will remain.
This is simply our attempt to offer a service that many have indicated they would welcome but without threatening overall viability of the site.
Well... just to summarise - the purpose of sharing this background is to provide the context as to why/how we aim to address legitimate concerns raised by some users; the purpose of sharing the rationale of our approach with you all, is to be transparent as to our thinking.
Essentially, the owners and contributors provide (considerable amounts of) their time & expertise for free because they enjoy doing it. When the pleasure is no longer there, then we will no doubt look to pass on the mantle.
For the avoidance of doubt... we are ALL currently enjoying it!