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David Heller
David Heller
Editorial and site information posted from the ShareCG Team

The Subscription Model – (Follow-up to “Letter from the Founder”)

 
October 1st, 2007 by David Heller

I just want to give you an update to my ‘Letter from the Founder’ post regarding the site’s subscription model.

Since we posted and sent email to users we’ve received more than 150 responses, which you can read by going to the site’s blog at http://tinyurl.com/8zfvy5n .  I’ve read every one of them and have been answering those that require an answer. If you were one of those who responded on the blog or sent email, THANK YOU!!

More than 90% of the respondents were up for the subscription model.  The remaining members have concerns that range from whether or not to include a social network, to opening an e-store, and more.

Since we don’t want to alienate anyone I had a meeting with Engineering to see if we could allow users to opt-in to an ad free experience.  We are able to do this, and here’s how the opt-in will work.

  1. If you opt-in to the subscription model your presence on the site (all your pages) will appear with no ads regardless of whether or not the visitor is logged in to the site.   Also, when you are logged in, you will experience an entirely ad free site.  Also as a subscriber:
    1.  Your presence on the site will be enhanced with new features as they are released. (The ability to present different types of related media in your View page is the first one you’ll get, as shown in these two examples: http://tinyurl.com/9futa62  – http://tinyurl.com/9td7x83 .  We’re also adding additional reporting functionality that will allow you to know who has downloaded your work.  We’ve got many more enhancements that we’re working on and that you will automatically receive.)
    2. By default you will be included in an upcoming site social network.  But, you will be able to uncheck one box and opt-out of this capability at any time.
    3. You will be authorized to sell your items in an upcoming e-store.

These new site capabilities including the subscription model will take time to engineer and deploy.  Here’s our roadmap:

November 15, 2012 – The site will accept subscriptions.  If you subscribe between November 15th and December 31, 2012 you will be considered a Charter Member, and as such your annual membership fee will never increase and will always remain at $9.99/Year—forever!  Members who subscribe after December 31, 2012 will be subject to potential increased subscription fees moving forward.

Between November 15 and December 31, 2012 the site will be engineered to offer:

  1.  An e-store with the same basic structure as ShareCG that will be a separate, but inter-connected, web site.
  2. A social media component that will allow members to communicate with selected friends, share assets, collaborate, instruct, learn and more.  You can opt-out of the social network at any time.

Both of these capabilities will only be available to subscribers.

Between now and November 15th the site will remain exactly as it is today.  After November 15th you will have the option of doing nothing and continuing to experience the site as it is now, or subscribing and taking advantage of a better experience for you and your visitors.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for your support.  Our job is to make SCG the best for you, so if you have any thoughts or ideas that can help, please let us know!

Enjoy the site!

The ShareCG Team

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33 Responses to “The Subscription Model – (Follow-up to “Letter from the Founder”)”

  1. mikedaddysmooth says:

    Well team, I for one an exited, and look forward to moving on w/you, I have some things in the works I would like to sell, and would welcome your help, and would like growing w/you.

  2. LmWolfSpirit says:

    LOL, pretty much where I guessed you would be going. When will we hear more about selling products on the site?

    Thanks for the update (and thanks for reinstating the donation option for contributors).

  3. pauthier says:

    This is very exciting and, need it to be said, seems to be very well- engineered.
    I am looking forward to Nov 15th.
    Thanks for the update and for the concept

  4. Tim Sczawinski says:

    I think it is super cool 90% of those responding value the site would to do what needs to done to preserve it. Your solutions are King Soloman-like. Options to please all.

  5. chaylastorm says:

    Yes.. this can only be for the better.. nothing good is free these days. 🙂
    I too would like to use this site to sell so look forward to hearing more about this in the future.
    Looking forward to the ‘new you’

  6. Marcelo Teixeira says:

    A lot more of good ideas to get the site to a next level! Waiting to be a Charter Member here now!

  7. LadySythe says:

    I need some clarification on this. I read the emails but the jargon can be a bit…eye crossing.

    Does this mean I can continue to be a free user, offering and downloading free Poser content? I don’t mind the ads at all, really since they don’t get in the way. I wouldn’t mind them as a free use either. And they would continue to help sharecg pay bills through the free user accounts.

    If this is not possible…then I’ll be relocating all my freebies elsewhere…somewhere… I’m a free user. I can’t afford any kind of subscription – even if it is yearly. I am unemployed and can barely scrape 2 pennies together.

  8. TMD64 says:

    I’m very interested in this but would like to know more about the e-store and how that will work.

  9. butterflyqueen says:

    Hi, can I say I think all of this is great. I was just wondering, if I pay for an add free subscription, and sell products in the up coming e-store, will I have to pay a percentage of every sale as a brokering fee?

    T-Mobile. America’s First Nationwide 4G Network

  10. Habatchii says:

    I would be interested in the ad-free opt in; it would be interesting to see how the storefront would work. Sign me up.

  11. David Heller David Heller says:

    Hi butterflyqueen …. The short answer is yes. A certain (still to be determined) percentage of the selling price will be deducted from each sale as a brokerage fee. We will be looking at what other CG stores are doing in this respect, but we will be offering a fair and generous split. (I’m going to be organizing a CG store advisory committee made up of ShareCG members who are knowledgeable about this to help make the e-store perfect for SCG users.) – David

  12. David Heller David Heller says:

    Just to clarify things …. If you like the site as it is, with advertisements etc., then you don’t have to do anything. However, after November 15th you will have the option to upgrade to Charter Membership status with no ads and many other benefits as I’ve stated in my letter to you.

    As we get closer to November 15th I’ll let you know how you can upgrade your account if you want to. — David

  13. David Heller David Heller says:

    Hi TMD64 — Please take a look above at the answer I provided butterflyqueen. If this doesn’t answer your question, please let me know specifically what you’d like to know and I’ll do my best to get you the info you need. — David

  14. Tomokatu says:

    Will you be accepting sub payments through Paypal or only credit card?

  15. Ivy Summers says:

    Hi Dave
    I’ve been with sharecg almost from the start and have watched you grow to the site it has today and help me be a better artist in the process. So this is an exciting direction too see you take. You can count me in. keep me up to date on the progress.

    ~ Ivy

  16. David Heller David Heller says:

    HI Tomokatu …. We plan to offer both Paypal and credit cards.

  17. David Heller David Heller says:

    Will do Ivy …. and Thanks!

  18. TARO_HIGASHI says:

    I think a good idea. I want you to tell me the method of payment you live in Japan.

  19. Medhue says:

    You are scaring me David. Let me quote you and explain.

    David
    ” A certain (still to be determined) percentage of the selling price will be deducted from each sale as a brokerage fee. We will be looking at what other CG stores are doing in this respect, but we will be offering a fair and generous split.”

    The other sites think 50% is fair and generous, so those words do not give me comfort. Basically, how I interpret this is that you want me to pay 9.99/year, and then give you 50%. Even the wording of your statement makes me cringe, as if the products we post are yours and you are splitting the profits with us. I refuse to sell on Daz and Renderosity for this very reason. I also fear there will be a lengthy quality control process, like those other sites, which only add costs to both me and you. I already have my own Marketplace site. If you are going to charge me too much, I have no reason to sell here.

    I started in the virtual world arena, where I have made my living for over 5 years now. It is very much an uber competitive, and completely “free market”. Probably the only truly “free market” in the world. Yes, there are scammers, but consumers learn fast. I’m not saying that ShareCG should work the same, but the more control you put on yourself, the worse it is for the consumers and the marketplace.

    Here are my suggestions:
    *Approve Merchants – A 1 time check to make sure they understand their field is a good thing.
    *Drop Quality Control – It creates the opposite affect, putting a wall between the merchants and customers. Plus, the merchant can put out updates quicker when problems do arise, making every1 happier. No site or team of people can keep up with QC.
    *5-15% commission – Keep the commission for ShareCG low, you will still make good money and the merchant can keep prices low. Plus it encourages merchants to keep making products.
    *Merchant control – Let the merchants deal with the customers. They will learn alot about what the customers need and want.
    *Rating system for products – The customers will rate and let others know who the best merchants and products are.
    *Drop the subscription – If you are taking commission, you won’t need to charge a subscription. The commission will be more than enough to pay for the site and advancement.
    *Let customers abuse report – This will let you know who the bad merchants are. Once they get so many reports, you can talk with the merchant and make good decisions.

    Just my thoughts. I want every1 to have a site that we can all enjoy and benefit from, in many ways.

  20. Jay says:

    I’m up for this change. It will be a great way to thank you for all your work and the many benefits that are offered by model, tutorial & texture contributors.

    With a subscription (and bi-monthly email):
    Would you consider highlighting & offering a commercial use 3d model or texture from a featured artist?

    I’d love any additional ideas for learning DAZ Studio, maybe compiling tutorials into a searchable user manual with PDFs and videos?

  21. David Heller David Heller says:

    Thanks Jay for your suggestions …. BTW, the first project we’ll be doing beginning in November is to build and offer a CG store so modelers, texture makers, artists etc. will be able to offer their work for sale. Stay tuned, and thanks again. David

    BTW …. The new e-store will be a separate but closely integrated new site … http://www.SCGStore.com 🙂

  22. David Heller David Heller says:

    Hi Taro … We’ll be offering subscriptions with all major credit cards and PayPal which should cover most countries.

  23. David Heller David Heller says:

    Yes, exactly, And this will begin on November 15th. We’ll be offering Charter Memberships which lock in the $9.99/Year membership fee for life! This offer will be good through the end of this year (December 31st) for all who have uploads on SCG and will be open for all others through November 30th.

  24. David Heller David Heller says:

    As I mentioned above, our first project for launch this year will be an e-store. It will be housed in a new site, http://www.scgstore.com, and will allow all members to sell their art, 3D models, photographs, poser and DAZ uploads, and more. Stay tuned 🙂

  25. DarkRider says:

    It’s November 15th, so I came looking for the subscribe button. Have you hidden it?

  26. Redphantom says:

    Well the 15thhas come and past. I don’t see any place to sign up for a subscription or an e store. the link posted for the scgstore.com takes me to an undeveloped site parked at godaddy. Am I missing something or was there a delay?

  27. SSfromM12 says:

    Can’t find any link on the site to subscribe – I am not so smart as to not need guidance. Any help would be appreciated.

  28. Jen says:

    Ok, we have Nov 19th, where do we subscribe? Any news about that? because I would like to have the $9.99 offer for a lifetime and don’t want to miss it.

    Let us know

  29. LmWolfSpirit says:

    Ditto

  30. David Heller David Heller says:

    Hello to all who are wondering what the deal is with the Subscription model — We had a number of internal meetings about this and came up with a way that we’ll be able to remove ads from the site early next year without having to ask you to pay for it. We are building a new home page for the site that will not only feature member’s latest and best uploads, but will also provide a place where companies can post information about their new products, offer trial software for download and a few other informational items — companies will not be authorized to do any ‘retail’ advertising at all on the site, but can present tutorials about their software, product videos, examples of work done using their software, post jobs etc. Most site users will find this information helpful so it should end up being a win, win situation where companies are paying the bills while each user’s experience will be enhanced with new site features and no ads. We are working on the new homepage now and at the latest it will launch on January 28th, 2013. Then, once we have sold a few companies we’ll be able to remove the ads. Oh, BTW we just introduced a new site feature called Grouping. Rather than explaining it here, please view the Grouping video that’s in the homepage right hand side video player. Thank you very much for your support and enjoy the site!

    David

  31. Medhue says:

    Any info on selling 3d assets on the site? I love the fact that we have so many free items, and I plan on making more free items available, but I’m more interested in selling daz and poser assets on the site.

  32. JaneB says:

    So this means that there will not be a subscription?

    I’m getting confused – probably because I’ve had a long day in front of a screen. I don’t mind a subscription as it’s a good deal and much cheaper for me than paying for bandwidth.

  33. LmWolfSpirit says:

    What it means is that there is no vendor store in the foreseeable future, and that this has even a big hoax. Shame on me for falling for it and standing in ShareCG’s defense.

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