Recently, Jonny McFarlane wrote a very good explanation of why we shouldn’t fear subscription journalism becoming the new normal.
“Good journalism, like anything else of quality, costs money. Often painstaking, it’s creative work that shouldn’t be rushed.”
After launching the Anyone’s Game podcast before the 2019 World Cup, last year we made the bold move to become a subscription-based newsletter. We led with a promise that at least five days of content would be behind a paywall. Some weeks we brought you seven days of content.
Boosted by some brilliant young journalists from the BA (Hons) Journalism degree at the University of the West of Scotland, our small team have, at times, worked through the night to live up to the aim we gave ourselves on the opening day; give women’s football the coverage it deserves.
Therefore, we appreciate each and every subscription. But for the 2021-22 season, we’re going to be releasing our content for free, even if as a business model that makes no sense.
Often painstaking, it’s creative work that shouldn’t be rushed.
The team have spent the summer discussing a range of exciting ideas to take Anyone’s Game to the next level. We’re going to be spending much of the new campaign trialling new content - some which actually wouldn’t work behind a paywall simply because of the limitations of the Substack model we’re currently using.
Another reason, though, is while it’s entirely possible we might actually produce more content, what we’re aiming for is to give you better content.
And therefore the "five-days-of-paywall-content” promise actually holds us back, as we sometimes fall into the need to put something, anything, on the website so that we don’t break our promise. Remove the paywall and we can work away behind the scenes like we have done over summer on some brilliant interviews and previews to launch the new season.
At some point, perhaps the following season, we’ll look to return to a paywall because if Anyone’s Game is to have a future then this is simply the way to support it without having intrusive advertising everywhere, or having to resort to clickbait in order to boost those advertising revenues. But for now we ask - if you haven’t already - to become a free subscriber and follow us, for free, throughout the 2021-22 SWPL season.
How will this affect current subscribers?
If you are already a paid subscriber, your subscription will soon be cancelled and you will be refunded in five-seven days for any time remaining on your subscription. You will then revert to a free subscription.
So please join us for the new season, where we’ll again endeavour to bring you the best Scottish women’s football coverage there is.