FanGraphs Business Update: July 2020

With baseball scheduled to return in a couple of weeks, I wanted to give everyone an update on how FanGraphs is doing business-wise. For those of you who are returning to the site for the first time since the season was postponed, a lot has happened since you last visited.

You can read all about what’s been going on here, here, and here, but the quick recap is this: When the season was postponed, our traffic decreased by over 70% and ad rates declined by as much as 45%, causing an 80% decrease in ad revenue, which is far and away our largest source of site revenue.

We asked you for help in sustaining the site and you’ve come through in overwhelming fashion over the past four months, giving us some breathing room to try to weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were also able to secure funding through the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was another boon to our short-term viability. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who helped keep the site alive. We would not be here today without you.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t still need your support and assistance. We still have a long way to go.

In June, we continued to see an 80% decrease in ad revenue, and as we are still currently living through and seeing the effects of the pandemic, the ad-based business model we have relied on for over a decade is likely to be an insufficient source of revenue for the foreseeable future. Our traffic has rebounded some, and we hope it will continue to improve as Opening Day approaches, but we are still seeing around a 60% decrease in traffic and we don’t know what will happen if the pandemic eventually forces the cancellation of the season.

A few weeks after Opening Day was postponed, we had just over 10,000 Members. After our initial appeal for your help, that number grew to almost 14,000. At that time, we set a goal of 40,000 Members by April of 2021. Today we have just over 17,000, putting us 23,000 members short of our goal. To put that in perspective, we had 1.3 million unique users in April of 2019; 23,000 Members is just 1.8% that total.

FanGraphs is far from the only place in need. Quite frankly, our need seems embarrassingly trivial when compared to that of front-line medical workers and the Black Lives Matter movement. But if you are in a position to help, there are a number of ways to do so:

Become a Member
You can become a Member or an Ad-Free Member. You’ll see all the same great content and have access to all the tools. Ad-Free Members enjoy the site with faster loading times and no ads. It is the best way to experience FanGraphs.

Donate to FanGraphs
We have a simple donation form you can use to donate to FanGraphs. Please note that donations to FanGraphs are not tax-deductible. For the purposes of this year’s Membership goal, we will treat every $30 donated as one new Membership towards our goal.

Gift a Membership
You can send a coupon code for one year of FanGraphs Ad-Free Membership to anyone you like. The code never expires, and no credit card or other form of payment is required when the recipient signs up. Their Membership begins when they use the coupon code.

As always, thank you for your support and keep safe!

David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.

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3 years ago

…..: mugs

3 years ago
Reply to  dukewinslow

Listen, I love this site… but the ‘mugs’ request has been going on for months now. Doesn’t seem like a hard fix. No, it would not solve the $ problem, but every bit helps.

Cave Dameron
3 years ago
Reply to  dukewinslow

Mug Costanza

3 years ago
Reply to  dukewinslow

would buy