So, I know the CT paywall specifically has been discussed ad nauseum, but it got me thinking about the bigger picture on all of the paywalls on cycling websites like CN, CT, VN and even, dare I say it…Bicycling.
Personally, I don’t subscribe to any of these sites as I’m already subscribed to death by other things and don’t want any more in my life. However, I have noticed that I have a lot more free time because I’m not reading all the cycling websites. I just read the headlines, if even that now.
Which got me thinking, these articles (e.g. rider profiles, tech profiles, company profiles, cycling culture, etc.) are the things that connect old, new and potential customers and fans to the sport and these paywalls could be keeping them away. So, I hypothesize, that over the long run we (the cycling community) could potentially stagnate and not grow nearly as much (the sport is niche in most of the world) if cycling websites start to really “crank down” on the paywalls.
For example, I know longer read about new and upcoming American riders on VN because they are behind paywalls (or cool stores like Lambie’s 4km WR) but I do get to read about upcoming riders from Belgian and Holland because the sites I visit are not behind a paywall. I also use to check out the new bikes/tech that are profiled and now that many are paywalled I now don’t even bother.
What are your thoughts?