Why Does Prep Hockey Have a Paywall?
We field questions every day about our paywall – why we require a paid subscription to read our content. We’re only writing about high school hockey. How can we expect someone to pay to read it? We’ve spent, and continue to spend, valuable time examining our model, trying to determine the best way to best serve the high school hockey community with a high quality media outlet. Through that examination, we’ve been able to come to a few conclusions.
A few truths…
There’s a void in the comprehensive coverage of high school hockey.
Everyone covers the top 1% of prospects – the ones being recruited by high major schools. While those players drive the most clicks, they are not representative of the huge majority of high school players in America. We’re talking about the rest of the players, fighting for maximum visibility, looking to find their fit in college at any level. We hear time and time again from prospects that they’re looking to get their name out there, and as frequently from non-division I college coaches that they’re looking to get more names on their recruiting lists. Newspapers will cover the highest profile prospects occasionally throughout the winter and at state tournaments, but before Prep Hockey, a comprehensive resource for high school hockey news and information just didn’t exist. And with newspapers in decline and prep coverage oftentimes on the chopping block, we’re here to fill a void.
Great coverage comes at a price.
The long, slow decline of newspaper circulation due to loss of ad revenue has been well documented, and the elimination of journalists from the staffs of established outlets has put a premium on top talent. There are less journalism jobs to go around and the best writers are more highly sought. Thorough, well-written coverage comes from great contributors, and great contributors require compensation.
Prep Hockey is not the first-ever outlet attempting to provide this depth and quality of coverage on high school hockey. Recruiting services have existed as a resource for college coaches for years, but with a sticker price that can be 10 times that of Prep Hockey, with less depth and no content. Because of our consistency, reliability and depth, Prep Hockey has become the most trusted resource for college hockey coaches. We cover more players and publish more hockey related content than any outlet in the country.
Our content is specifically designed for the players, parents, and coaches who aim to be the most informed.
Our model is not about appealing to anyone with a modicum of interest in high school hockey. We exist for the parents who are invested in their children’s high school careers, the coaches looking to gain an edge in their recruiting and the flat out junkies looking to get their high school hoops fix. We’re not trying to maximize traffic to our site by any means possible. We’re trying to add value and grow the game among the communities in which we’re active. When you’re relying on traffic, quality is sacrificed.
Quality is of the utmost importance to us – something worth paying for.