AFTN’s subscription only podcast “There’s Still (Extra) Time” celebrates its birthday today with a new episode. Now it’s time for us to move into year four.
If you’re unsure what this is all about. Let us explain!
It’s basically our primary fundraising for AFTN. Our chance to bring you some extra content in return for you helping to support AFTN with a small financial subscription. Even if you don’t want to listen to the podcasts, it’s an opportunity to give us a little financial support for all aspects of the website and some future plans we have to grow AFTN further. We just want to give you a little bit back as a thank you in return.
The first three years of the ‘Extra’ podcasts seemed to have gone down well. Or at least we hope they have as no-one has given us any negative feedback and subscriptions have continued to grow!
We’ve covered a wide range of issues over our 35 episodes so far, including Vancouver Whitecaps discussion, player interviews, general MLS chat, the Canadian national team, the Canadian Premier League, the 2026 World Cup bid, and more.
If you were a subscriber, we hope you enjoyed them. If you weren’t we’d love you to consider being one.
As we all know, the media landscape is constantly changing in this modern age, and this appears to be very much true when it comes to the world of Vancouver Whitecaps coverage, and seemingly soccer in general in our country.
The Province still does a great job, but their resources are severely stretched and writers are pulled in various directions. There’s two sports radio stations in town, but they’re not always represented at training. In fact there’s many days when few people are there. It’s not unusual for there to be just two or three of us non ‘Caps staffers in attendance and even my attendance has had to drop a little as I take shifts in my other non-writing job to pay the bills.
It’s not exactly a revelation to state that writing about football is not a full time career option for many in Canada, with fewer and fewer sites wanting to pay, never mind actually wanting quality long-form coverage.
We’re lucky to have some fantastic independent online websites, blogs, and podcasts in Vancouver and across Canada, and here at AFTN we feel we’ve led the way in that for a number of years and are proud of that. But year upon year, we want to improve. To step up our coverage and expand our content in all aspects – written, audio, and visual.
We’ve continued to do that last year by adding some fantastic Canadian Premier League content and writers and will continue to develop that further in 2020. But we can’t do all that we’d like to without your continued support and desire to take it all in.
None of our writers, photographers, and podcasters make any money directly from AFTN, and many of them are actually out of pocket by doing what they do for us. But we all know that, accept that, and do what we do for a love of the game and a belief in the quality coverage AFTN provides. Sure there’s perks of getting into matches for free etc, and it has opened doors to other opportunities for some of us, for which we’re truly thankful.
I’ve always hated AFTN having advertising and sponsorship. We shunned it completely in our fanzine days, but as hosting costs rise, needs must and we eventually succumbed to adding a couple of (hopefully) unobtrusive Google ads on the site and one day we may yet opt in to run some ads on the podcast or get a primary show sponsor (if you or someone you know would be interested in that, then please get in touch!)
Ultimately though, as much as I hate asking people for money, we’ve been doing an annual fundraiser piece these past couple of years, and that’s what you’re reading just now!
We want to continue to bring you some of the best Whitecaps, CPL, 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 Vancouver TSS Rovers, VMSL, VISL, Provincial Soccer, the local college teams, along with the Canadian national teams and Canadian Premier League.
We still want to launch a couple of video shows on You Tube to compliment the site, radio show and podcasts.
To help fund that all of that, we’ve looked at various ways of monetizing AFTN. None of it really sits that comfortably with me, but it’s the only way to make it happen and not spread ourselves too thin.
We decided against launching a Patreon campaign (for now at least), or some other kind of crowdsourcing campaign as well. We are open to having a main podcast sponsor, so if any business or venture out there is interested, get in touch!
Which brings it all back to our ‘Extra’ podcasts and how we’d love as many of you as possible to subscribe. Here’s all the details….
WHAT WILL THE MONEY BE USED FOR?:
In a nutshell, primarily costs. No-one is getting rich out of AFTN (sadly!). Our website and podcast hosting first and foremost, along with subscriptions and other costs that we incur for things such as Flickr, CiTR memberships, and others.
We also want to keep growing AFTN. Every year we try and add something new and expand into something a bit different. In 2017 it was making the jump from onto CiTR Radio and also providing commentary for WFC2, TSS Rovers, and UBC Thunderbirds. In 2018 we added a preview podcast, increased our CPL content, and got some new equipment. Last year was our fuller CPL expansion.
This year we plan to do some more video work (as mentioned above). We’ve used funds raised from these podcast subscriptions to buy some equipment to enable us to do that. We bought a new video camera, a digital camera, and some items to help give us content for the shows we are planning on producing.
The ideal scenario will be to raise enough to do all that and pay some gas and/or parking expenses to some of the team that travel far and wide to bring us material. We managed to do a little bit of that last year, so thank you for that.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?:
Our pricing structure will remain the same as it has from the start (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
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’ve brought out 35 ‘Extra’ episodes over the first three years of this fundraising initiative, but I don’t want to put a number on how many episodes we’ll do this year, but we’re aiming for around the same ratio, so equating to roughly one a month. Some months may have two, some none.
The reason I don’t want to definitively say one per month or whatever is we want to put out a quality product. We feel we did, but we don’t want to be forced to bring something out if the material isn’t quite there just to hit a number.
We’re aiming for each show to be a minimum of 30 minutes in length. Most will likely be more, some may be a tad less. Hopefully all will be enjoyable though!
And the actual content?
Well we plan to continue in the same vein, with some stuff that you never get to hear, like full conference calls, some player interviews, discussions, and whatever else we can think of. We may even throw in a Wavelength special! But we want to hear what you want to hear. Let us know what kind of stuff you’d like in the ‘Extra’ episodes.
This year I’m hoping to do some varied interviews with those involved in the non playing side of the game (writers, presenters, product providers, etc). Some of these may appear in part in the radio show, but the full interviews will be saved for the ‘Extra’ podcast.
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. We hope we remedied that a little by using these in the ‘Extra’ pods.
You can check out what we brought you in the first three years HERE to see if it’s up your street or not.
HOW WILL I GET THE PODCASTS DELIVERED TO ME?:
As of right now, we’re wanting to continue 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. It seemed to work well so far.
What that means to you dear listeners is that we’ll send you a download link by email to enable you to download and save the episode to your device of choice. We’ll be doing this via a service called WeTransfer. We’ll email you a download link once each show is available (make sure it doesn’t go into your junk folder).
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 send you another link at any time that month.
Files will be sent as mp3’s and saved at a 192kbps bitrate quality barring any original source issues.
OKAY, I’M IN. LET’S GET THIS STARTED:
Ready to support AFTN in this venture?
If you’re an existing subscriber, your subscription will automatically renew from whatever day you signed up, and we thank you for your continued support.
If you want to be a new subscriber (or if you cancelled auto renew and want to start again), then you can 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.
If you have no interest in getting the podcast, but do want to help the site, then you can find details of how to donate HERE.
Thanks for reading this far and for your support of AFTN. We hope to continue to entertain and inform.