Mailbag: 2020 Predictions, DGPT Changes, Subscription Notes

Send me your questions!

Welcome to Ultiworld Disc Golf’s brand new mailbag! You don’t necessarily see my byline around here too much — I am more often behind the scenes as the publisher, but I’m still here as a co-host of the Upshot podcast with Jamie Thomas and I generally report from Worlds and USDGC every year.

Now, you’ll see my thoughts in print every week in the mailbag.

Generally, the mailbag will be for subscribers only (here’s our announcement about the new subscription), which helps keep me committed to writing it every week. It will reward subscribers with a weekly column they can count on. And it will allow us to offer a free one-month Mini subscription for the best question, email, or comment we get and publish in the Mailbag. If you’re already a subscriber, you get a free extra month (or a discount). If you’re not, you can come in and check out the benefits.

You can email me anytime at [email protected] with questions, comments, ideas — whatever you’ve got.

The first couple questions this week, though, are available for everyone for free!

Q: The tiered pricing is comical. $4 for the basic plan, an extra $9 if I want to watch old Ultimate videos, and $16 more if I want zero ads? If the people in charge of this company think that’s a good subscription plan, they will be outta business soon. I appreciate the effort, but this is garbage.

– Flickin_Frisbees

Q: Are they really going to be creating enough extra content to support a subscription service? As much as I love it, Disc Golf is still a small sport. There just isn’t that much to talk about. Maybe they’re just hoping people take it from a patron angle where they are ok with paying just to support all of the work Ultiworld does, paywalled and not?


Q: I like Ultiworld, but think they are underestimating how cheap disc golfers can be. Remember the uproar about USDGC last year? And that was an actual tournament, not just related content.

– theNightblade

Q: The coverage they already have is just a rehash of what I saw on reddit the day before and lacks depth. I don’t see much value in what they’re offering.

– Hes_a_Nihilist

A: All of the above comments and questions come from the Reddit thread about the subscription announcement.

So, there’s a bunch of stuff to address here, and I’ll try to do my best to be complete without rambling. I should have done a better job describing some of this in the initial post about the subscription.

First of all, we’ve had some form of a subscription for the ultimate site for many years, and for about three years in its current, three-tier form (Mini / Full / Plus). The plan was always to eventually create a subscription for the disc golf site, as what we’ve learned after covering disc sports for nearly eight years is that the only way to remain independent and financially solvent is to ask readers to support our work. Now, we’re not asking for a giveaway or charity — we’ve worked really hard to develop high quality benefits for the subscription, and a lot of what we learned developing the ultimate subscription informs what we will do in disc golf.

So…why the heck would anyone pay $12.99 or $19.99 a month for the disc golf Full or Plus subscription? They wouldn’t — I don’t expect almost anyone to do so. The only reason those options really exist, to be honest, is that it allows us to keep everything technologically simple. We have a single subscription that covers ultimate and disc golf. The payment processing stays simple. We can offer reciprocal benefits to fans of both sports under one account and login. There are a host of reasons we decided to do it this way.

So we’re not trying to insult your intelligence by suggesting that you should pay $19.99 a month for not much additional benefit.

We’ve built the disc golf subscription to be $3.99 a month. You get almost all of the benefits — exclusive articles, this mailbag, bonus Upshot segments, a forthcoming email newsletter covering business and sport development, no ads on mobile devices, AND access to our Slack community.1  If you don’t care about ultimate, then the Mini is what you should get, unless you’re feeling extra generous.2

Now, are there going to be readers who say, ‘Hell no, I’m not paying you anything.’ Of course. That’s ok. We plan to make the subscription easily worth the $3.99 a month. If you don’t think it’s worth it, unsubscribe and email me why. We want to make a site that helps grow the sport of disc golf. If it’s not good enough to be worth a few bucks a month, then we have to do better.

As a part of this subscription launch, we are investing more than ever in our reporting and analysis this year. We want to tell important stories and break ground in understanding the game. There’s always going to be an element of “rehashing” (we call it aggregating) news that pops up online (and gets posted to Reddit) — not everybody reads Reddit and it’s important to cover news even if we don’t break it — but we are also going to work harder to tell stories first and dig deeper to give important context.

Give it a try. Subscribe. Or send me a sweet mailbag question so you can win a free month!

Q: With the 2020 season just about to get started, who do you think is primed to have a big year? Are we set up for more dominance from Paul McBeth and Paige Pierce, or will things shake up this year?

– Alex D.

A: Well, I guess we’re getting started with the big questions right off the jump, aren’t we?

  1. That’s only available for Plus subscribers in ultimate! 

  2. In the ultimate subscription, the other tiers are more meaningful. 

Mailbag: 2020 Predictions, DGPT Changes, Subscription Notes is only available to Ultiworld Subscribers

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