Update: Sept 16 2009
49ers Paradise continues to look for ways to find sustainability while still providing as much free
access to the site and related content to all 49ers fans. In an effort to continue to produce high
quality content and a high quality site, we have reviewed our subscription policy based on nearly 1
year of performance. Based on this information, we have concluded that some changes are in order
to better the site, and to hopefullly provide an increase to the revenue of the site - and hence
it's long term sustainability. In an effort to remain as transparent as possible, I am disclosing
those changes here, as well as the information that lead 49ers Paradise to go down the subcription
49ers Paradise has decided to remove the "Total" subscription package and phase out the "White"
subscription package. This is based on streamlining the subscription options and a lack of demand for
these two packages. At the same time 49ers Paradise will be reducing the cost of the "Black" package by
$12 / year to make exclusive content more accessible.
The forum, with the exception of the exclusive Blitz content will now be free for all users to read.
In exchange for this free access, the site will place banner advertisements
on the site for non-subscribed members. These ads will not be visable to logged in subscribed members
of the Black, Red, and Gold packages. In addition, 49ers Paradise can now earn revenue on anything
purchased on Amazon.com. Simply go to the "store tab" on the main page (left navigation menu)
and search for the item on Amazon you wish to purchase. A small proceed will go to 49ers Paradise.
As of Oct 12 2008, 49ers Paradise will be requiring a subscription to access certain aspects of the site in order to make sure that the site is sustainable going forward.
This was not an easy decision. Please remember to provide your forum username when you sign up.
Thank you to those that have already joined the subscription program! You are helping to keep 49ers Paradise alive for the long term!
You can subscribe directly from this page, simply scroll down and follow the instructions.
Membership / Subscription Options
(Please read the ENTIRE message to fully understand this decision and how it affects you)
The future of 49ers Paradise depends heavily on the sustainability of 49ers Paradise and hence to enjoy 'dise to the fullest, visitors will need a paid membership / subscription. This is a brand new concept to 49ers Paradise, and one that I am not jumping into without much thought and considerable discussion. This is not a decision that I have taken lightly.
Each year 49ers Paradise has a donation drive to help support the site. As the site grows, simply relying on donations alone is not sustainable. In the past, 49ers Paradise has also utilized some minor text based ads throughout the site. These adds contributed to the year-over-year increase and changes that the site under goes throughout the year. Whereas the donations provided a base to continue the site on an 'as is' basis. Changes to the way Google ranks sites have already significantly curbed the revenue stream available from text based ads.
49ers Paradise has always made it a priority to minimize any and all commercial influence on the site (if you are still receiving pop ups on 49ers Paradise, you are accessing from a very old URL. Please update your bookmarks to www.49ersparadise.com NOT www.49ersparadise.cjb.net). Before deciding to implement paid membership, I considered adding other forms of advertisements to the site. I believe this would have greater negative results on the overall experience than paid subscriptions and previous research has also left me unconvinced that more ads would provide any significant revenue at all.
Every penny raised by 49ers Paradise goes directly back into improving the site. This includes all donations, any purchases made through the 49ers Paradise Store, and any advertisements. Obviously, subscriptions will go directly towards financing the site as well. It should be noted that should subscriptions not grow at a fast enough pace, that donations or alternative advertisements may still be required.
The growth 49ers Paradise has had over the past 12 years has already far exceeded my expectations. This growth brings with it plenty of positives. However, growth also means that some negative issues creep up as well. I am convinced that the paid subscription requirement will not only help to provide a sustainable and positive level of growth on the site, but that it will help curb the negative aspects of growth as well.
For a long time now, a small minority of visitors supported the site for the majority of readership by way of regular paid donations. This small minority in some cases provide several hundred dollars per donor per year. This is often on top of other services they provide to the site. It is highly unfair that such a small minority has to support such a large fan base.
Subscriptions should help spread the financial burden of running the site on to the entire fan base. At the very least, the subscriptions should help reduce the total funds required by the small minority who do contribute throughout the year. I have purposely kept membership costs to a minimum to make it affordable for every fan. Even the most expensive membership option can be had for less than a coffee a day. All fees are collected and secured through PayPal. I continue to be thankful and appreciative of every dollar received.
To view the costs and features of each membership option, please scroll down. Those who are truly in need may petition for free membership.
To re-iterate, this is not a decision that I made easily. It is what I believe to be the best way to sustain a bright future for 49ers Paradise. Subscription costs are extremely reasonable.