Say Goodbye to the Ads
Good news today for those that loathe the little animated, flashing and constantly-cycled banner adverts that pop up on wine websites the world over (and indeed on just about any other website or blog in existence). From today, September 15th 2015, thanks to the support of my subscribers, Winedoctor goes ad-free.
It is now a little over two years since I implemented the subscription system and paywall. It was something of a ‘sink or swim’ moment, as I had no idea how many readers of the ‘free’ Winedoctor would remain interested when payment was required. Happily I swam; in fact the support was overwhelming, and I hit my one-year target for subscriber numbers – really a ‘break-even’ target – after just ten days. After that, I knew Winedoctor was here to stay.
Subscriber numbers have continued to climb, and so it now seems appropriate for me to look at the income streams that were associated with the old ‘free’ Winedoctor, most notably those flashing, flickering advertising banners. They are, I decided earlier this year, no longer necessary. Subscriber numbers are so good that I would rather focus on optimising the experience for my readers, and so from today I have called a halt to the presence of advertising banners on Winedoctor. Aside from links to Wine-Searcher (the little magnifying glass after each tasting note), Winedoctor is now funded solely by subscribers.
I would like to pay homage to the advertisers who have had a presence on Winedoctor at one point or another during the last fifteen years. Winedoctor wouldn’t be what it is today without their support. The roll call of advertisers has, over the years, including some of the most prestigious names in wine and wine retailing. Indeed, one early supporter was none other than Robert Parker, who ran an advert for erobertparker.com in the early days of his new website – the old banner ad (above) appeared on Winedoctor circa 2001/2002. Others over the years have included Albany Vintners, Millésima, Bancroft Wine, Cadman Fine Wines, SmoothRed, Slurp, Spiral Cellars, Yapp, Four Walls Wine and more than one or two others (apologies if I omitted your business). Thank you all.
But most of all, thank you to all those who now subscribe to Winedoctor, as together you have ensured Winedoctor’s ongoing existence, and encouraged me to write more detailed updates and profiles, and to post more frequently (in other words, no more weekends off for me!). I am humbled by, and deeply grateful for, your support.