At FSNews, we take advertising and content monetization very seriously. Like any other business, FSNews must continue to generate a certain amount of revenue in order to meet the community’s expectations for free service. We want to be open and transparent with the public about the various ways we accomplish that.
Community is our top priority, and we have very strict guidelines about who is allowed to use our internal advertising platform to promote their goods. This gives us the option to limit the types of ads you see to those from reputable developers who are specifically related to flight simulation and gives us control over the total number of ads displayed on the website.
- We are not paid for our reviews and opinions. Our primary source of revenue comes from in-house advertisements that we hand-pick to represent our values, as well as third-party advertisements managed by our advertising agency.
- The fact that a particular company or developer pays for advertisements on FSNews does not grant them the right or privilege to control our content or our opinions.
- We reserve the right to remove any advertisement from the page if we believe it violates our rules or is the most viable option to solve an imminent problem. This can only be done with the CEO’s approval, and the advertiser must be notified of the action within 48 hours of it taking place.
- We offer our own membership as an alternative to donations. Prices range between €1 and €5 per month, or between €10 and €50 per year. Our supporters can choose to disable all or just certain advertisements on the website.
- Affiliate links and promotional articles must be clearly marked in accordance with our policies.
- We will always prioritise the developer’s or company’s store over resellers if the developer or company has their own store. This is subject to additional rules that the store and developer must follow. This is also not applicable if we have the option of including an affiliate link instead.
1. In-house image advertisements
Anyone can contact FSNews and ask for an advertisement spot on our website. Only trustworthy businesses make it through our selection process to have an advertisement on our website. The most valuable advertisements are those hosted directly by FSNews because they are tailored to our niche, which is flight simulation, and are not blocked by advertisement blocking extensions.
They are also very carefully hand-picked. All advertisements and businesses on the FSNews website must meet certain criteria.
- Developer’s reputation. The developer who decides to host advertisements at FSNews has to have a clear shield. They have to have a clear history, inflicting they do not use assets or intellectual property that does not belong to them without the consent of the original owner. They must be active in the community and respect their customer’s rights to receive support.
- Advertisement properties. Flashy or clickbait-style advertisements are not permitted. All advertisements should have a flight simulation theme and represent FSNews’ values as well as those of the business whose product or service they are promoting.
- Format. All FSNews advertisements must adhere to our format standards. We won’t host any advertisements that are obviously out of place on our website, overlap other content, or otherwise don’t fit in the allocated space.
2. Third-party advertisements
You can also find advertisements at FSNews that you might also see on other websites. FSNews collaborates with an advertising agency that has control over those. In order to increase the likelihood that you will see our carefully chosen advertisements rather than those we have very little control over, we try to keep these advertisements in areas that are less visible than those set aside for our in-house advertisements.
Based on the cookie settings you’ve chosen, these ads can be somewhat customised. You can find out more about how we and other businesses use the cookies we create to better understand community needs and expectations and to tailor advertisements.
We introduced memberships in 2022. Only a small portion of our income is generated by this, making it an alternative way to support financially our team, rather than to replace our primary source of income.
We decided to give our supporters the benefit of being able to choose to have some or all of the website’s advertisements hidden once they log in to their accounts. If we were to decide to accept donations through the typical channels like PayPal, Patreon, or Buy Me a Coffee, i.e., this would not be possible.
We are charging between €1 and €5 per month, or between €10 and €50 per year, because this was never intended to be our primary source of income but rather donations to our incredible team.
4. Affiliate links
Affiliate links are a great way to monetize content without affecting the user experience. Nonetheless, as with the in-house advertisements, we have a strict set of rules about whose store and websites we link in articles. In FSNews articles, links have following priorities:
- Developer. We always give the official store run by the developers themselves priority when linking to a website or online store in our articles. This is due to the fact that on their own platforms, developers are exempt from paying the store operators’ commissions, which can be as high as 30%. We must ensure that the developer’s store complies with all applicable laws and operates as intended before we link to it.
- Resellers. We always turn to one of the major resellers in the community, such as Simmarket, Flightsim.to, or X-Plane.org store, if the developer does not have their own store or if it does not meet our requirements for it to be promoted in our articles.
If we have the choice to include an affiliate link, the order of importance is changed to prioritise the affiliate link. Rest assured, though, that we won’t advertise an affiliate link for a business if it doesn’t adhere to our general rules for in-house advertising and link advertisements.
We are not compensated for our reviews (!!!). Now that that is clear, we do want to be open and honest about the options for written advertisements since we do provide one. We occasionally publish articles—not reviews—for which the company or developer pays us, though this happens very rarely.
These articles will remain at the top of our page for as long as the developer or business desires, subject to our internal timeframe limitations to avoid interfering with our readers’ experience.
- Format. The article can’t be a review. Such an article must be written with the intention of promoting a developer or company’s good or service. It must provide some useful information, not just extol the virtues of the good or service.
- Language. The article has to be written in a certain way, thus not contain any vulgarisms, cannot defame a competitive product or, in general, cause harm to any other parties, whether involved or not.
- Assistance. Such articles are written by the company or developer who orders the advertisement. Whilst we may recommend the author to make changes, as long as the article does not violate other, previously mentioned, and to-be-mentioned rules, we will not make any changes to the article without written consent from its author, or the responsible company or developer.
- Marking. Every article we do get paid for is clearly marked so in at least two places. Usually somewhere around the title accompanied by a mention in the text.
6. Promo Coupons
From time to time, we get offered promotional coupons by companies in the community. These coupons give our readers a certain discount on their purchases, which we are always up for. Usually, we are not compensated for the coupon’s uses, however, exceptions apply and we might get paid or compensated in a sort for every use of the provided coupon.
A word a the end
We have the right to remove any advertisement at any time. This, however, must be addressed with the developer or company within 48 hours of taking the action and is only permitted as a last resort or when considered the best option for both involved parties. This action is only done with the approval of the FSNews’ CEO.
The fact that a particular company or developer pays for advertisements on FSNews does not grant them the right or privilege to control our content or our opinions.
FSNews is operated by a VAT-registered company and pays taxes from advertisements’ revenue as well as from other income channels. We are still, however, primarily a community project for flight simmers, made possible by flight simmers. We make every effort to give our profits back to the community in some way.
While we cannot compel you to disable ad-blocking extensions on our page, we would like to thank anyone who visits our page without them. We do not intend to include those often-annoying “Disable AdBlock Now” banners because we frequently browse the internet and would not put anything on our page that we would not find elsewhere. We do our best to keep the page free of excessive advertisements, and we truly believe we are on the right track.
Last updated: December 19th, 2022