As we all know, the media landscape is quickly changing in this modern age, and this appears to be very much true when it comes to the world of Vancouver Whitecaps coverage.
As of right now, the Whitecaps have no radio deal in place for the fast-approaching new MLS season, whilst the Province has lost Marc Weber as its long-time quality ‘Caps beat reporter. All of this comes on the back of a number of other local sports journalists losing their jobs over the past year or so, many of them guys that covered the Whitecaps. Even Goal Canada is no more, following a merger of the US and UK editorial desks, so yours truly is no longer writing for them as an outlet for ‘Caps coverage.
But it’s not all bad news, as Vancouver is lucky to have some fantastic independent online websites, blogs, and podcasts, with AFTN proud to lead the way.
As a very brief history lesson for those that don’t already know, AFTN was first established in Scotland in 1989, covering East Fife FC and Scottish football, first as a critically-acclaimed fanzine and then transferring online to a website, blog, and forum. The Canadian arm of the site began in 2009, covering Vancouver Whitecaps in the USL days. We started as a blog over here before expanding into a fully blown website. Four years ago we launched our successful podcast, and AFTN has continued to go from strength to strength, year upon year, but we never want to rest on our laurels.
We now number a team of 12, with more additions likely to follow soon. None of us make any money from AFTN. We don’t even bring in anywhere near enough to cover our hosting costs for the website, podcast, and other ventures, never mind covering anyone’s own out-of-pocket expenses. We do it for a love of the game and a belief in the quality coverage AFTN provides. And it has opened doors to other opportunities for some of us, for which we’re thankful.
Part of the reason that we don’t make money is that I’ve always hated AFTN having advertising and sponsorship. We shunned it completely in our fanzine days, although we recently succumbed to adding a couple of Google ads on the site and may opt in to run some ads on the podcast (which all give neglible returns in all honesty, but we\re going to try them and see).
We want to keep growing AFTN. We want to continue to bring you the best Whitecaps and local soccer coverage around. That means more ‘Caps coverage, at all levels, to take up the void left by the disappearing mainstream media. More coverage of the local game like TSS FC Rovers, VMSL, and down the line, the proposed new BC league. More coverage of general MLS, USL, and NASL stories, along with the Canadian national teams.
To help fund that all of that, we’re looking at various ways of monetizing AFTN. It’s the only way to make it happen and not spread ourselves too thin.
We’re going to launch a Patreon campaign, possibly some other kind of crowdsourcing campaign as well. We’re also open to having a main podcast sponsor, so if any business or venture out there is interested, get in touch.
But first up, we’re launching a new premium podcast called – There’s Still (Extra) Time.
The show will run alongside our current AFTN Soccer Show – There’s Still Time – which you can hear on CiTR Radio 101.9 FM every Sunday at 11pm, and the following day as a podcast. This will always remain free, but we just want to bring you a little bit extra.
This will be a subscription service to help cover our running costs for the site and podcast. We know money is tight for everyone these days, but if you can spare the subscription fee, we’d love to have you along on the ride.
Here’s all the details….
HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?:
Our initial pricing structure will be as follows (all prices are in Canadian dollars):
A 12 month subscription – $30 per year [12 months for the price of 10, based on the monthly subscription rate]
Monthly subscription – $3 per month
Individual episodes – $3 per episode [some months will have more than one episode]
Each subscription will auto-renew at the end of the your 12 month or 1 month billing cycle unless you cancel, which you can do at any time free of charge.
The only commitment will be for the duration of the time period you subscribe. There will be no cancellation or refund requests accepted, but if we stop the service before the end of your subscription period, we will refund any remaining months pro-rata. The current pricing structure may increase down the road, but if you take the annual option you’ll naturally be locked in at that price point until renewal.
WHAT WILL I BE GETTING FOR MY MONEY?:
We guarantee to bring you at least an additional half hour of content each month, via at least one ‘Extra’ podcast. In reality it will be most likely be more than that. There could be hour long shows, a couple of shows per month, we’re just going to see what we have, when we have it. But you will be guaranteed at least 30 minutes of podcasts from at least one extra episode each month.
And the actual content?
Well we hope it’s right up the street for our fellow soccer aficionados. We do a lot of conference calls with coaches, players, and the game’s movers and shakers. We’re never able to bring you those in full in the podcast or even use that much of what is said in written articles. There’s often a lot of interesting stuff, especially insight, background, and analysis, discussed that just goes nowhere. Until now!
There’s Still (Extra) Time will bring you these conference calls, often in full, along with the full chats we’ve have with players for written pieces, and some talk and analysis coming out of them from your usual AFTN gang. There’ll also be other fun stuff thrown in along the way.
Our first ‘Extra’ show is all ready to go and it’s based around a conference call with Canadian U20 head coach Rob Gale ahead of this week’s CONCACAF U20 qualification tournament for this summer’s U20 World Cup in South Korea. We’ll bring you the full call (which is around 28 minutes long) and some analysis of some of the main talking points coming out of it as Canada look to return to the Finals for the first time in 10 years.
We may also use a better graphic for the podcast at some point!!
HOW WILL I GET THE PODCASTS DELIVERED TO ME?:
Depending on the popularity of this (and how many subscribe) we may have to switch this service to our usual podcast hosts at Podbean down the line and podcasts will be delivered via a RSS feed like the normal free show.
But as of right now, we’re wanting to do it all in-house in the DIY spirit that AFTN has always adhered to. Plus it takes away all the middleman’s fees, which are a biggish chunk.
What that means to you dear listeners is that we’ll send you the file to download and save to your device of choice via a service called WeTransfer. We’ll email you a download link once each show is available. We’ll use the email address from your paypal payment, but if you want to use a different email, let us know. This link will be valid for seven days but don’t worry, if you somehow don’t download the episode in that time period, just let us know and we can re-send it through at any time that month.
Files will be sent as mp3’s and saved at a 192kbps bitrate quality. If you want the file smaller than this (at 128kbps), let us know and we will send it through at that quality instead.
OKAY, I’M IN. LET’S GET THIS STARTED:
Ready to support AFTN in our new venture? Then sign up via one of the methods below. We’ll also have a separate sign up article/page for each episode once it comes out.
12 month recurring annual subscription ($30 per year):
Recurring monthly subscription ($3 per month):
If you don’t have paypal and want to pay a different way, or if you have any further questions about the service, then drop us a line at: aftncanada @ hotmail.com.
Thanks for reading this far and for your support. We hope to continue to entertain and inform.