Did'ya hear the one about TSR?
I use ad-block so I've never seen ads on TSR, but if their new policy attracts better creators then I might subscribe as I did like what I remember of their cart system. I still almost never go there though, so I dunno. Let's see what happens when sims 4 comes out and folks start creating for it... if TSR can rebrand itself as a fan-friendly community then I think it will definitely survive the next generation of simmers and remain a popular site.
TSR used to be free, and hosted lots of fan sites as well back in the sims1 days. They were the go-to site both for good free content, and as a portal to other fan sites (others were WDS, Mall of the Sims and Killer Sims). All that changed when the price model of server sites swapped to cost of bandwidth. Then they continued down the subscriber model and things got out of hand. TSR did some very dodgy things in their latter days and has become more and more dodgy to protect their income. And to be fair to TSR, part of their movement into dodginess was because of the acrimony from MATY. The harder someone is attacked, the harder they will defend.
In the meantime, Server providers in the last few years have swapped from bandwidth back to storage, which has made it cheaper for small fan sites to do their thing, or to go blogging and use download sites so as not to host anything at all, and therefore not to cost anything either.
While I accept that TSR are changing back to the free model, I have to wonder why. There is something that they are not telling us. I doubt that the owner of TSR has had an epiphany. If he has sold TSR that would explain a lot.
But I AM hoping that this movement back to a free model will also include also the cessation of dodgy behaviour. And that makes me see this as a very good thing.
TSR is really going to have to rely heavily on must-have content if they are crippling downloading for free users. I don't know if that is even possible considering the high levels of talented creators who post everywhere but TSR.