Today we’re introducing a new form of FanGraphs Membership: Ad Free Membership. With Ad Free Membership, you become a full-fledged member of the site and you will not see a single third-party advertisement on the FanGraphs website so long as you maintain your membership. The price of Ad Free Membership is $50 per year.
If you are already a FanGraphs Member, you’ll be able to easily upgrade your membership at a pro-rated rate, depending on how much time you have left before your renewal date. Just select the new “Ad Free Yearly Membership” and hit the Sign Up Now button.
To give everyone a sense for what Ad Free Membership looks like, we’re going to put the site into Ad Free mode for all users through Monday. We hope you’ll like what you see. I know for the few of us who have been beta testing the product, we can attest that it really does make a noticeable difference in both the speed and responsiveness of the site.
Let me give you some details on why we’ve decided to do this. Earlier this year we introduced FanGraphs Membership, and we are incredibly thankful for everyone who has decided to become a member thus far! FanGraphs Membership is a way for you to help fund the site’s current operations and its future growth. If you think we’re doing a good job and you’d like to support our efforts, it’s a great way to show your support.
However, even with FanGraphs Membership, the majority of our revenue comes from advertising. Without advertising, there is no way the site could continue to operate. This has become a bit of a double-edged sword for us. As online advertising technology has advanced, it has also become more resource intensive, taking up both processing power and bandwidth. While there are movements within the online advertising industry to combat advertising bloat, we want to give our users a way to avoid ads completely, without cutting off the revenue stream which is essential for FanGraphs to operate. Ad Free Membership does exactly that.
We rely on various advertising networks to provide ads to us, and we do our best to vet all of these networks to make sure they’re not serving intrusive or malicious ads. But, even the most diligent ad networks have intrusive ads that slip through the cracks. Tracking down intrusive ads has more or less become a game of whack-a-mole for us over the past few years. Intrusive ads annoy us just as much as they annoy you, and we are constantly trying to make sure the advertising experience on FanGraphs is acceptable.
We will remain completely committed to having a non-intrusive advertising experience for those who would prefer not to become Ad Free Members.
It would be disingenuous of me to not mention ad-blocking. Ad-blocking is a real problem for us, but we also understand the many reasons people decide to install ad-blockers. If you are using an ad-blocker and you regularly visit FanGraphs, I urge you to become an Ad Free Member. There is now a real option for you that will help us continue to bring you high quality baseball content, without ads.
As we’ve stated before in our previous membership posts, Ad Free Membership, or any type of FanGraphs Membership is not a paywall. Whether you decide to be a member or not, all the content on FanGraphs remains available to you. We are incredibly thankful to the entire FanGraphs community for supporting us over the years and hope that we can continue to earn your support going forward.
David Appelman is the creator of FanGraphs.