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Leader: Looking ahead to 2024

2 months ago

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Writer:

Andrew Frankel | Ti co-founder

Date:

22 December 2023

I think it is now broadly accepted that, lovely idea as it may seem to some, time travel is not actually possible. But as we have discovered here at Ti, it can be simulated. All you have to do is start your own automotive website, app and podcast, host public events, make videos and post daily across all relevant social media platforms, and a year will be made to feel like a month. Possibly less.

It is tempting at times like this to do a review of said year so as to reflect on the stories we have brought you in that time. But actually? You are our subscribers, you give us your money and are as aware as us of our output over the last 12 months. So I’ll try to be brief. There are one or two things I’ll mention, because they directly affect our thinking and, therefore, how we’re going to be doing things over the next 12 months, but other than that, I want to look forward not back.

I guess the first thing to say is that, in a marketplace where ‘managed decline’ is fast becoming a watchword, The Intercooler continues to buck the trend. In all the ways that can be measured Ti continues to grow and for those of you who have joined our happy band during the course of 2023, we’d like to thank you not just for subscribing, but for putting your faith in us. We hope you feel it is being justified. And the same goes for the rest of you whose loyalty, we also fervently hope, is being appropriately rewarded.

Expect more tests like this in 2024

It’s not just subscriber numbers that have grown either; we have more world-class contributors now too. Richard Bremner has joined us, the former-BL employee who became editor of Car magazine and was the first person to think that driving a Ferrari to the Sahara might make for a decent yarn. And I am proud beyond words we were able to persuade Dr Ulrich Eichhorn – a man instrumental in the engineering of cars as varied and as brilliant as the original Ford Focus and Bentley Mulsanne to join our stable. Finally Sam Smith, the man I asked before any other to be our US correspondent, finally came aboard, and anyone who has read his astonishing monthly ‘Road America’ column will not struggle to understand why we wanted him so much.

We have started doing more videos, and our test of three outwardly similar Porsche 911s – insofar as they were all manual, rear-drive, two-seat coupés – which turned out to be actually rather different, was the most successful thing we shot all year. That video is now on its way to quarter of a million views. But we were at least as proud of getting Ferrari’s three greatest front-engined V12 special editions – the 599 GTO, F12 tdf and 812 Competizione – together for the first time anywhere in the world. We can see from our data that you love stories like this, so expect more of the same, but at a greater frequency in 2024.

What’s more, we hosted our first live recorded podcast, a brilliant event for just 120 people held at the wonderful Henry’s Car Barn, in partnership with Footman James. We had a carefully calibrated sales strategy where we’d offer tickets to you, our subscribers, first, then our podcast audience, then anyone who was kind enough to follow us on social media. But you lot bought them all within three days of them going on sale so the plan went in the bin. And the universally positive response received tells us we should be doing more of those too. So we will.

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"There’s a major change coming to the app. I won’t give away too much now, but early next year the app will become better integrated with the website. Your comments beneath our stories will appear on both platforms, not just one as is the case right now"

We made our first official appearance at a Bicester Heritage Sunday Scramble, lining up a Bentley Batur, continuation Blower, a Singer DLS, BMW M2 and Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 RS. We didn’t know what to expect, certainly not people queuing up to speak to us, so we’ll be back at the next one of those a couple of weeks from now.

At the coveted Newspress Awards, we picked up Automotive Website of the Year and the big prize, Automotive Consumer Publication of the Year, beating off giant titles like Top Gear and The Sunday Times. Then, at the glitzy Digital Impact Awards, which are not automotive-specific but open to any company in any industry, we won bronze awards in the Best Digital Rebrand and Best Use of Digital categories, thanks to our brilliant design agency Treacle Media. Other winners included Xbox, Shell and John Lewis…

In other news, there’s a major change coming to the app. I won’t give away too much now, but early next year the app will become better integrated with the website. Your comments beneath our stories will appear on both platforms, not just one as is the case right now, and however you subscribe, you’ll be able to use both platforms seamlessly, too. It will represent a significant investment for us.

"In a marketplace where ‘managed decline’ is fast becoming a watchword, The Intercooler continues to buck the trend. In all the ways that can be measured Ti continues to grow and for those of you who have joined our happy band during the course of 2023, we’d like to thank you not just for subscribing, but for putting your faith in us. We hope you feel it is being justified"

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So we turn our attention to the year to come with a question. What would you hope for from Ti in 2024? What sort of stories would you like to see more of and which are you not too bothered about seeing again? Is there more we should be doing beyond pure content creation? If the quality and price were right, would you buy Ti merchandise and, if so, what sort? We are open to all and any ideas. Don’t assume we know the answers to anything, let alone everything, and we love it when a good idea comes from the community; it is you, after all, who is paying for all of this, so the least we can do is listen to you and try to act on good, practical, achievable ideas.

And it’s no secret we’d like even more to join us. Ti is not a vanity publication existing thanks more to the largesse of kindly, well-heeled backers than subscriber numbers. Because we deliberately carry no advertising, we have just two main revenue streams – partnerships and subscribers – and if we are to do all those things we’d like to and turn Ti into what we know it can be, we need more of both.

So if you know anyone you think might enjoy reading our words, please tell them about us. Better still, buy them a subscription and tick one more name off the Christmas shopping list. We have some terrific deals right now, starting at £34.99 for a six-month gift sub. All you need to do is click here to see our gifting options. You can download a digital gift voucher immediately. Choose a one-year (£53.99) or two-year (£99.99) gift subscription and, as long as the recipient enjoys it, you need never worry about what to get them for Christmas again.

Finally, the most sincere thanks from the entire Ti crew for your ongoing support, your always intelligent and informed opinions, and the kind things you’ve said about us both in the comments and when we’ve seen you at events. For ourselves and despite what’s gone before, we still see it all as just the start of the Ti adventure, one that is set to grow still further as we bring you more and better stories and, we hope, meet more of you at our and other people’s events.

In the meantime, we wish every one of you a happy and restful break, and we look forward to bringing you more of what Ti does best in the months and years to come. Happy Christmas.

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