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Leader: End of term report

1 year ago

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Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder


24 December 2022

It’s been a while since we last brought you – our wonderful, kind and devastatingly attractive subscribers – up to speed with where things are with Ti. And there is a gratifyingly large number of you who have joined our ranks recently who may never have heard directly from Dan or me, the people who created Ti in the first place. And the end of the year seemed as good a time as any to talk a bit about what we did in 2022 and some of our plans for 2023.

You don’t need me to tell you that 2022 has been a difficult year in general. What you may not know is that it’s also been an appalling year for motoring media in particular. Plummeting ad revenues, rocketing paper prices and ever increasing distribution costs have made keeping traditional formats harder than ever. And while you might think we’d be tempted to sound smug about how our advertisement, paper and distribution-free business model inoculates us against so much of what others are suffering at present, nothing could be further from the truth. We love really good car magazines, the big, beautiful, physical products we were all brought up on and it gives us no pleasure at all to see them struggle.

But I can only really speak in detail about Ti, and for us it has been a momentous year, dominated by the decision to create a website to sit alongside the app that launched in 2021. Hopefully you agree it is beautifully designed, but also that it brings a new dimension to our stories when they’re allowed to spread across the screen.

Meanwhile, those of you who are new to The Intercooler may not be aware that we have an app at all. You can download it from the app store and your website log in credentials will give you access.

Leader: End of term report

And if you’re kind enough to want to continue supporting us by renewing your subscription, could we urge you to do so on the website rather than the app? Those who subscribe through the app contract with Apple or Google, which means you are their customer, not ours. So we know nothing about you and have only the comments on individual stories as ways of knowing what works for you, and what does not. Importantly, you would continue to have full use of the app as you do now. We should probably also flag up that we are going to raise our prices at some stage in 2023 to reflect both our increased costs and investment in the business.

The good news is that Ti continues to go from strength to strength. The Instagram site where it all started as DriveNation back in the summer of 2018 is now followed by over 56,000 people; Dan and my weekly podcast has been downloaded over 1.2 million times this year and continues to routinely rank inside the top three of the many hundreds of UK automotive podcasts and inside the top ten in the entire and vast leisure sector. This was also the year we created a brand new podcast format called Last Blast, in which guests including Sir Chris Hoy, Adrian Newey and Ian Callum named their six favourite cars and which one they’d choose for their ‘Last Blast’. To this day it is available in full only to our subscribers (click here) and while we will finally put season one on general release some time in the New Year, be assured that plans for season two are already well under way, some cracking guests have already agreed to come on and, as before, we’ll make sure the entire season is made available to you, exclusively and in full, to enjoy long before it becomes more widely available.

As for the app, it has now received almost 1000 ratings across the Apple and Google app stores and continues to hold maximum 5.0 star ratings on both.

Leader: End of term report

I think that’s probably enough backslapping for now, but I do just want to talk briefly about 2023. It’s the year in which we hope to meet as many of you as possible. We’re still discussing the wheres and whens but we will be hosting events for you and we’d be delighted to hear first whether you’d want to come along, and what kind of event would appeal the most. A simple gathering somewhere central and appropriate might be all that’s required. But if we decided to record a podcast live would you want to be in the audience and take part in a Q&A? Or would you only be interested in a full blown track day? We have our own thoughts on all of the above, but rather than try to steer you in one direction or the other in advance, please let us know what you think in the comments.

Otherwise? We have more contributors coming on board, both regular and occasional, and we’re going to add rapid response reporting from the F1 paddock in addition to Karun Chandhok’s ongoing brilliant stories. We’re going to be doing many more drive stories, bringing unique combinations of cars together, massively upscaling our video content on our YouTube channel and working ever more closely with our partners to help build the Ti community around the world and introducing you to some new ones too. Above all our aim is to provide you, our subscribers, with even more of what makes Ti unique: the greatest stories from the best writers, designers, engineers and drivers, in the most easily accessible form there is.

In the meantime we’d like to wish every one of you a fun and restful break and every best wish for the New Year. And thank you so much for all your ongoing support. We never forget it is that which allows us to do what we do and in an extraordinarily short period of time build Ti into what it is today, a highly respected multi-media brand with a strong and rapidly growing following around the world. With your help we can not only continue that process, but accelerate it further still.