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IGN's New Subscription Model
trog
AGN Admin
Brisbane, Queensland
1852 posts
There's been a bit of stuff in the online world about IGN's recent pseudo-annoucnement about their new subscription plan called IGN Insider. For US$30/year, they're offering a stack of features, the main one (I say main because its the only one in the feature list which is in bold) is:
Club IGN -- Special message board abilities. Post HTML, use hundreds of graphic icons, post links, images, and put up polls within a message -- all exclusive to Insider subscribers. Regular IGN readers can only watch in envy as you demonstrate your newfound powers.
Shugashack has some commentary on the matter, with many people indicating that they don't think that $30 is a fair amount for the services they're offering.

What sort of features would you guys pay for in a website? Let's pick a ballpark figure of AU$40 (that being roughly what an Australian gaming magazine costs). It would be awesome if we could come up with a subscription model that pleased everyone (please note there are no, no, no plans to do this; this is a theoretical excercise).
12:42pm 19/04/01 Permalink
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12:42pm 19/04/01 Permalink
sprayNwipe
Brisbane, Queensland
196 posts
I think pay-per-view defeats the purpose the way IGN are doing it. IGN is meant to be an up to the minute news site, yet they're hiding bits of their news in the insider label (like the Car Combat gamecube shots, for instance). Now, am I going to pay $30 to view it on IGN, or $0 to view exactly the same news on Daily Radar or Nintendose?

For subscription content to work, the website would have to offer something that no other site can offer. That rules out news, interviews and game guides.

Example? If PC Gamer had put USS Darkstar in a "Insider" equivilant, I would have considered forking out the money, since it was a PC Gamer commissioned mod that I wouldn't have been able to get anywhere else. If PCPP had put the free version of Tribes 1 downloadable through a "Insider" label, I ...well I wouldn't have joined on priciple, but if it was another magazine I would have forked over the money straight away.

Basically, if you have something really cool that no-one else has, I'll pay for it. It's Business 101, when you think about it ;p
12:52pm 19/04/01 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
807 posts
Just some things off the top of my head:

1. Deals with affiliate websites. Say for example the site you were subscribing to had affiliations with other websites that sold cds/dvds/whateva, and when you joined up, you got some sort of discount when you bought from those sites.

2. Members only forums. Dont know if they'd really need any extra special features, but just a set of forums only members could read/post in.

3. Some sort of monthly magazine detailing whats going on in relation to the site and covering general news/features/articles that would be of interest to the subscribers of the site.

12:53pm 19/04/01 Permalink
Tim Tibbetts
Brisbane, Queensland
134 posts
Well I've signed up, I've been looking at IGN for years and they are great......Eventually they are going to move virtually everything behind the "insider" label.....Just wait until E3, in my opinion IGN has the best coverage of E3 thats the main reason why I signed up.........mmm Gamecbue
01:02pm 19/04/01 Permalink
knoted
Brisbane, Queensland
38 posts
I'd pay for a good, quality site. $40 a year is d*** all really, compared to some mag. subscriptions.
01:17pm 19/04/01 Permalink
WarT
Brisbane, Queensland
2505 posts
i would only pay if they provide with lots and lots of good downloads
01:22pm 19/04/01 Permalink
trog
Brisbane, Queensland
1854 posts
Basically, if you have something really cool that no-one else has, I'll pay for it. It's Business 101, when you think about it ;p
Well, duh, the idea is you're sposed to be giving us all the ideas for really cool things that no-one else has so I don't have to think of them myself! :)
01:26pm 19/04/01 Permalink
Koopz
Brisbane, Queensland
563 posts
/me pops 50c in the slot

02:42pm 19/04/01 Permalink
Malthius
Brisbane, Queensland
27 posts
I dunno - it's the ongoing problem that almost anything you can provide is free somewhere on the internet.

Wireplay typified this well. I'ts game servers were only available to subscribers (and for this exersise, I'll ignore the direct dial component of their service. Also, I only can go on a "users" view - I have no knowledge of the inside workings/decisions made by Wireplay).

This model worked while BPA was pay for downloads but internal stuff was free, because they had a captive audience. As soon as BPA had an "all you can eat" plan, the servers emptied out. The wireplay servers weren't that bad - but there were other servers that were free AND had a bigger variety of gamers on them. Wireplay did finally open their servers to the world, but for a long time thier severs were still empty (excepting CS of course) because they weren't registering themselves with the master servers.

Basically, you have to come up with something that is not only exclusive to your service (or better than anyone else can do it) AND doesn't suck when only 10 people are using it, because then you'll need to work hard to get it off the ground.

That being said, I can't think of much off hand. The obvious thing that QGL could offer is "right now" news etc focused on Australian Gaming - but that would mean BigKid was competing with you and giving it out for free, right?
02:52pm 19/04/01 Permalink
kuffs
Brisbane, Queensland
21 posts
Well trog how about lots of porno, lots of cheap games and maybe a nite club gold card thrown it for good measure... and not for your type of bars :P

Dylan/kuffs
03:17pm 19/04/01 Permalink
shad
Brisbane, Queensland
142 posts
I like khels idea of cheaper games/dvd/cd's. People are gonna hate this but door prizes that are given out to the subscribers. I mean i woudlnt mind seeing stuff going to people who really do contribute to AGN.
03:44pm 19/04/01 Permalink
new
Brisbane, Queensland
12 posts
i'd pay $40 and more for a qgl-style version of this.

bloody hard to follow the stories, but i'm sure if qgl hired a few enterprising young lassies to do game reviews ... well, let's say you'd probably have to change ur business description from "non-profit organisation" to "making a fortune and loving it".



05:47pm 19/04/01 Permalink
PeaceKeeper
216 posts
LoL nah we want trog! ;)
05:56pm 19/04/01 Permalink
new
Brisbane, Queensland
13 posts
speak for yourself :)

no offence, trog, of course ... :)
06:01pm 19/04/01 Permalink
Pixem
Brisbane, Queensland
15 posts
haha, typical new post / idea :)
06:20pm 19/04/01 Permalink
Scuzzy
Brisbane, Queensland
226 posts
i hope it doesnt get to the point like porn sites with 100 links on the main page that all direct to the "sign up page", dammit, i thought i was going to get free teens in my mail!
07:20pm 19/04/01 Permalink
Silent Remorse
Brisbane, Queensland
43 posts
It's really only a matter of time before Content providers like IGN will eventually offer subscription based services, but the thing is that the stuff IGN is offering really isnt bringing me to fork over $80/ year for.

Maybe if they SENT ME IGN Insider, added a lot more features (such as local news stories, that focused on Australian releases etc..) and some otehr stuff, it might bring me to do it. At the moment though, I'm saying its only worth about $20 AUS for the year.

I get press releases and s*** anyway (I work for nintendoweb.com) so its not really targeted at me, but if other services (such as gamespy) start charging, I might fork it over. At the moment their free content is great, and a lot of the new free stuff the periodically add is also good. They offer 5 daily comics for free - IGN offers one. Great.

ATM I dont have the money to waste on "Enhanced Message Board Services" even though I never thought I'd ever have to.
.. Plus paying for subscription services overseas sucks..but i know a stack of 12 yr olds who die on IGN will pay the fees.

- sR
10:41pm 19/04/01 Permalink
cdRegn
Brisbane, Queensland
1931 posts
A website would have to be f*****g good before i started paying for it.

And then, another thing worth mentioning is as soon as you start locking off something, you have people trying to hack back in.

if the content inside is good enough, you'd have the f****s that brute force for passwords.
11:01pm 19/04/01 Permalink
natslovR
UK
123 posts
I'd pay a subscription to a site if it provided expert advice. I don't have time to search through all the resources on the net, cut out the bulls*** and make my own opinion as to what's best for me.. that can take a long time and I'd be prepared to fork over money for unbiased time-saving advice of this nature.

In the case of AGN that could be telling me what CPU & motherboard to buy and when to buy it, and even where from. I'd have to feel they were independant of retailers/produces, and I'd like written justification as well as links to their sources.

I.e. Hey AGN I wanna upgrade becuase it's 2005 and TeamFortress2 is about to be released.. i'm thinking MB & CPU, don't want to spend more than $900 unless i have to, what's the go?

And AGN say buy this chip and this mobo, sell your ram to this guy here and buy think about replacing your GF4 with a newer version. Here's why we say that, and here's links to reviews on the net of the stuff, and click here to buy it delivered or buy this from here and then go pick that up from there. I don't have time to be an expert on hardware, so to have some be my expert would be worth paying for.

This works for other things too, i.e. it took me ages to work out what DVD player to buy, but it was only when i received advice from the friendly MPU forum that I realised there was a DVD player out that had features I didn't even realise I'd want a DVD player to do (play burt VCDs, play SVCD, play MP3). I could have spent days searching the net to find a dvd player, and then not even realise that this one existed, whereas a subscription service would know what I'm interested in an recommend that system.

I wouldn't pay money to write in colours, or receive news 10 minutes before any one else..
02:33pm 20/04/01 Permalink
new
Brisbane, Queensland
14 posts
but there's a difference between getting advice from AGN, and getting advice from a friendly forum ...

02:41pm 20/04/01 Permalink
natslovR
Sydney, New South Wales
124 posts
Yeah, but what i'm saying is I'd be happy to pay to not have to go find that friendly forum. Especially when I don't have an interest in the subject until purchase time.

I guess it's a lazy thing. I need to rewire my car's stereo system, but not only do i not want to have to go find where the latest version of the FAQ from rec.audio.cars is currently stored, but I do not want to then have to read all the technical arguments in the FAQ discussing which wire is better and why, and I also don't want to even have to know that the FAQ exists.

ME: I got to re-wire my car stereo, what wire should i use?
AGN: Well according to various discussions in the Rec.Audio.Car newsgroup current thinking is 45c a meter blue k-mart wire is best for your piece of s*** 121, and here's where you can read why. you can score 20 meters of second hand stuff from Dodgy Joe's here, or just pop in to K-Mart between 9-5.

Read their RAC faq if you haven't and you'll see what i mean. The net is full of great information of a technical nature for consumers, put together back b4 people where here to make money... I just don't have the time to keep up to date with it all.. i've got better things to do, like trolling msg boards.. so would be prepared to pay for an all-in-one service to have someone find out for me.
03:06pm 20/04/01 Permalink
VRBones
Brisbane, Queensland
465 posts
/me pops 50c in the slot

Or a 50p in my case ... bloody leech sucking Backpacker internet kiosks :/

03:25am 22/04/01 Permalink
DeePer
Brisbane, Queensland
744 posts
I tend to agree with natslovR (?!?), I'd pay for the service, provided it had the features.

For example, if Ausgamers had say a $40 subscription service and this included their own reviews/previews/interviews of both hardware, games and various applications, as well as providing the services that they offer (lans, news etc) it'd be a good thing...

...particuarly if paying the $40 meant pissing off some of the s***ier smaller sponsors that advertise. I think there's a lot of companies out there that are taking advantage of such events, realising that these events need all the help they can get, and then either don't come through with the goods or contribute some lame amount of cash or lame prize. It's the companies like WebCentral or say Cisco that I respect (in regards to QGL anyway) - webcentral provides the hosting at no coast, and cisco keeps our lans running.

The thing is, I can't see many gamers going out and purchasing Cisco-related products (I'm sure they'd get their money back from it, but it's not like they NEED the advertising), but the fact of the matter is that they're there and helping out.

I believe that QGL and ausgamers have succeded as a company because they truly are a company setup for gamers - by gamers. If Ausgamers did go subscription-based, I wouldn't object - and I'd pay for the service. I think hiring some writers to do product reviews and evaluations, then having a small printed magazines/newspaper would be an excellent way to set it up.

Anyway...:)
01:10pm 23/04/01 Permalink
Superform
Cairns, Queensland
36 posts
mmm wtf ever happened to "by gamers for gamers" stuff paying 10-20-30-40 or any amount...

screw you and your vision that everything has to involve fleecing ppl of money... screw that... the world cost way too much money...

ok if you want to make money... these are my ideas...

how about make an online shop and sell stuff to gamers really cheap... duh.... gamers get what they want you money hungry leechs get what you want... everyone wins...

to charge for the privlage of visiting your site and viewing your adds is just ^%$#ed up... wanna make money?? find a way that benifets gamers...

DONT JUST GARNER A FOLLOWING BASED ON FREE CONTENT THEN TURN AROUND AND CHARGE PPL FOR IT!!!!!

if you do this i hope you lose your entire following...

look at napster... look at the damn newspaper article about this site...

corparations look long and hard at how to "corner" the market... so far they cant do it with young ppl... they spend millions ... and they get nothing...

my idea is the best... offer free online content... make money in other ways that help the gamer community... like LANs online shops advertisers...

LANS give something to the gamer
onlineShops which offer huge saving due to large buying power offer something to the gamer
advertisers sometimes offersomething to the gamer...

charging to use a web site and bulletin board???... thats just lame ass and i hope you burn in hell if you do it...

01:25pm 23/04/01 Permalink
Superform
Cairns, Queensland
37 posts
when i move to bris i will be happy to offer my services to help set up an online shop... it is BADLY NEEDED BY US GAMERS
01:34pm 23/04/01 Permalink
Superform
Cairns, Queensland
38 posts
o and i also trade shares ... i use HSBC... they offer a professional service with ALOT of features... and i make alot of money from they...

they are there to help the trading community to make money...

how much do they charge to use there site??

$0

how much do they make??

$billions


this is a very good analagy... you really should learn from it...

they have a worldwide market commentry with thousands of paid staff doing analysis of companies... god damn.. .that must cost tons... how much do they charge for this content??

$0

what am i willing to pay for??

1. commision on sales

you can do the same...

have indepth coverage of what computer games and hardware is the best...

then sell it and live off the commision... buy in bulk... pass on the savings to gamers... they will love you... everyone will want to keep up with the Joneses you make money we get good advice on what to buy and cheap gear...



sorry but this topic really gets to me... do not be money hungry merchats... offer us something...work with gamers... don't fleece gamers


PLEASE!!!!!!!!




01:46pm 23/04/01 Permalink
DeePer
Brisbane, Queensland
755 posts
Superform: it's not even a suggestion that they'll be having a pay-4-usage system. I'm just saying that I don't disagree with the idea of it. Many things in life don't come for free, but taking advantage of the ones that do is also pretty sad.

Many places that make money leech off volunteers - people who are keen an enthusiastic and devoted to what they're doing/learning. They make the best workers. If you enjoy your job, you're better at it. Sure, the online shop is a good idea, but paying for something that's worth it also is.
02:40pm 23/04/01 Permalink
Superform
Cairns, Queensland
40 posts
mmm just remember made by gamers for gamers...

not made by corporations for gamers

i bet alot of ppl you use this site and attend lans etc would love to volenteer... i would...

and i wouldn't mind 1 bit if 1000000000 people used it and didn't pay...

"but paying for something that's worth it also is"

who are you going to pay... me?? i'm a gamer... this site is for me... ffs this is the whole point of this site... it is made by people who share a common interest... its here to help those people out... dont turn it into a buisness just cause you can...

if it does go that way... i would then love it if every gamers who uses this site... would stop using it and form another gaming site...

same thing that is going to happen to napster same reason y this site was built in the first place... dont forget the people who made this site what it is...

04:16pm 23/04/01 Permalink
Superform
Cairns, Queensland
57 posts
whats going on here>>??
05:28pm 23/04/01 Permalink
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