Home » We’re Launching Autopian TV So We Can Share More Videos With You

We’re Launching Autopian TV So We Can Share More Videos With You

Autopian Tv
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If you’re a regular reader of car websites you’ve probably experienced the increase in advertising bloat, ranging from annoying pop-ups to random ads every other paragraph. I hope, as the Publisher of this site, your experience is a lot better and you’re not seeing a lot of ads and your reading experience is fairly uninterrupted. Our theory behind all this is that, by offering something that looks and works better, we’ll get you to read more and, therefore, we don’t have to make every page look like a mood board created by a teenager who really loves motor oil. In that vein, we’re launching a video player that you will see in the body of every article (it will run our videos with ads in-between and audio off), but we’re going to try to do it differently than everyone else. It’s why I’m excited to announce AUTOPIAN TV.

This won’t be a surprise to members, who got a preview of what we were doing last month and even helped us pick how it would look. I’ll try to summarize what we’re doing and why because we believe transparency is important. This isn’t just a car website, it’s a community, and communities require open communication and trust.

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Ok first, and most obviously, here’s what it looks like right now:

Jason designed that. I hope you think it’s sleek. I hope it loads for you and works well without bogging down your browser. I hope it doesn’t follow you around the page like these things tend to on other sites.

What You Can Expect From AUTOPIAN TV

Fordberkely

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Our goal is to put up as many original video pieces as we can, but we’re a small outfit that mostly shares a video team with Galpin Media, so we’re going to start small with one to three new feature-length videos a week. These will include:

  • AUTOPIAN DRIVES: This is what the screengrab above is from. As the name suggests, we drive things. Sometimes it’ll be Torch. Or David. Or Beau. Or Mercedes. Or everyone. Sometimes it’ll be a new car, often it’ll be something old and weird.
  • PODCAST: It’s the podcast!
  • SECRET NEW SHOW: David’s been working on a new show and we have a pilot and are about to start shooting new episodes. This will roll out soon.

Additionally, we’ve gotten feedback that many of you don’t like the embedded Instagram player (which is how we share reels). Don’t worry, we can also put these videos up in this new player, and it’s a way easier/better experience. This doesn’t mean we’ll stop posting to our YouTube channel or to our Instagram account, it just means that we want to make our on-page experience more sustainable.

Why Are We Doing This?

Is this about advertising? Absolutely. 100%. Because we have membership (sign up!) we get to avoid doing all sorts of things we don’t want to do; we’re grateful for that. Still, we don’t think membership alone is quite enough to keep us going long-term (yet!) unless we instituted a paywall (like you see on other sites or Substack). Since we’d like to reach as many people as possible, we don’t want to restrict what we regularly do to just members. Car culture is for everyone, after all. It’s a tough balance but, in the end, we want to give you more for being a member without subtracting from what a non-member sees.

We also want to make doing video sustainable and, frankly, it seems that YouTube may not be the platform do that on anymore.

Almost all of our car-blog colleagues use so-called “white label” players that work kind of like YouTube, but these players do a lot of annoying things:

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  • Autoplay sound, which is something we want to never do.
  • Become a “sticky player” that pops up on the sidebar and never leaves, which we don’t like.
  • Run way too many ads.
  • Show content from other publishers that isn’t vetted.

The reasoning behind these annoyances are purely practical: You can show people more ads and guarantee nearly 100% viewability of those ads. Advertisers love it. Chief Revenue Officers love it. I’m pretty sure no readers love it.

Thankfully, we found a company that offers a high quality and useful one of these players that will allow us to do none of the above. It’ll mean less money for us, likely, but our theory on all of this has been that it’ll all even out because people will choose to watch our videos as opposed to being forced to watch them. And part of the reason we want to have membership is so that we’re not cornered into wallpapering the site with ads.

Will this all magically work with no issues at first? Almost certainly not. We spend the vast majority of our money on staff and not technology, which probably shows sometimes. We’ve been testing this and think it should work fairly well. We will absolutely be surprised by some things, so we just ask for your patience and, more importantly, to please let us know when something doesn’t work the way you think it should. My email is right here.

Our video partner understands what we’re trying to do and has been pretty flexible with letting us try to do this our way. I’m hopeful we’re a success not just because it might help us become more sustainable, but also because I want us to show that there’s a way to run a sustainable website in 2023 that doesn’t require making that website entirely unreadable. I could be wrong, but I hope I’m not.

The first new AUTOPIAN TV video will be up today and I can’t wait for you to see it!

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Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago

“Become a “sticky player” that pops up on the sidebar and never leaves, which we don’t like.”

Bad news. It’s doing exactly this now on my Fire tablet/Silk browser. It’s horrible!

Last edited 5 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Things and stuff
Things and stuff
10 months ago

The pages have started jumping around ever since the video player started being embedded in articles. Not a lot but 2 or 3 lines at a time. Chrome on Pixel 7 pro

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
10 months ago

> Our goal is to put up as many original video pieces as we can

NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO

Jalopnik is almost entirely videos of ugly scruffy dudes yapping about something they should have written 300 words about.

Please keep the videos separate from the articles so they can be safely ignored.

67 Oldsmobile
67 Oldsmobile
10 months ago

I’ve said it before,I really appreciate what you are trying to do here with the ad’s and all. I certainly hope it won’t become super intrusive and I will try and watch the videos. May I also suggest that you make the podcast a members only thing? It seems like that could be sort of a little extra for the members while not completely shafting your not-so-members.

Paul B
Paul B
10 months ago

Can the videos have close captioning on by default?

I’ll like to be considerate to my neighbour in the stall next to me.

Philip Dunlop
Philip Dunlop
10 months ago

Seems to work well for me in-line when browsing on Safari on my iPhone, but when I open up “full screen”, it doesn’t fill the screen. In fact, it’s not a lot bigger than the in-line video.

A means to airplay the videos would be great – especially longer ones – as I love to watch on my TV. Though, if they’re going to continue being uploaded to YouTube, this probably won’t be an issue as it’ll come up on my subscriptions anyway.

1789667
1789667
10 months ago

Please don’t force it down our throats like jalopnik is doing !!!
Every article doesn’t need to have a video version of it, and certainly doesn’t need to have embedded by dozen on every page you open, in autoplay.
We are old enough to decide if want to click on the content or no, and watch it or no.

1789667
1789667
10 months ago
Reply to  1789667

Oh fuck, i’ve read the article, you’re going embedded in every page + autoplay.. here goes my data plan, fuck that.
Pulling my main account subscription away, will not financially support that, if i have to be forced to watch content i don’t want to see, at least it’s gonna be “for free”.
Also, i will probably slowly stop consulting anything anyway, like it happened with jalopnik and the drive.

Freelivin2713
Freelivin2713
10 months ago

Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU!
When people are reading, they don’t want to be interrupted by anything, they are trying to concentrate. When I’m reading an actual physical book, I don’t want to have a million videos and ads pop up (hypothetically) like the other site ha ha

The48thRonin
The48thRonin
10 months ago

My browser automatically pauses autoplay, so that isn’t something that bothers me all that much. Even if it didn’t, I can just scroll past it if it’s something I’m not interested in, which I sincerely like as I do a ton of reading on my phone and the “follow you around” popups are the worst because, in addition to taking up a third of the screen, they’re also really slow most of the time and take forever to get rid of.

One thing that does bother me though is the instagram embed. It has never once loaded the content for me, and I’m not sure if it’s a result of my (admittedly rather strict) privacy settings, a plugin I have installed (not an adblocker, that’s disabled on most sites including this one) or something else, but they never load. If the instagram embeds actually showed up properly I’d love them, but I feel like just embedding the picture itself in the article and linking to the instagram post is a lot better for long term site usability. I think we all remember what happened with photobucket (and now imgur).

TDI_FTW
TDI_FTW
10 months ago

I would like to sign onto the non autoplay-video, at least for mobile. It’s a little different on desktop, but would still prefer non autoplay-video. I feel if it gets too annoying people will be much more likely to re-enable their adblocks. Some of us cheapskates who didn’t become a member at least feel good about allow-listing the site.

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