Should SM organized a Vault-style content?



  • I love my Origin Vault. That's a subscription-based service; you pay $32 per year, and you have access to some 80 games or so. It's so simple!

    The problem, I think, with buying Poser Content (and DAZ Content, for the matter) is that there is a risk in buying it. I bought Victoria 3, Victoria 4, Terai Yuki 2 and several others toons, and I use every single bit of V3 and TY2, but I never really liked my investment in V4 and many other toons; so I get good return in may 10% of my purchases, the rest just sits unused in my library, so I'm not really very keen in buying many more. It's not a matter of the money (I have the spare $ to buy content), but the matter that I'm not really sure if I can use them until I have my hands on them, so whether it's a $5 or a $50 toon, the risk is the same to me.

    Enter a Vault-style content site; pay say $50 per year, and use as many toons as you want, and the content developers get the money based on the number of downloads they get.

    It costs really nothing to set up and maintain, only takes one person to negotiate new content adds, and for the content developer that's a constant source of income. Heck, every time I log in Renderosity I see 3,000 people online, so there must be a market of at least 10,000 potential customers for this, or at least $500k per year to split across developers...



  • I think the restrictions on IP from Daz3D would preclude storage in this manner.



  • I think we should leave DAZ out of the discussion. They are a company with a specific (and very different) business model.
    Question of OP is if such a vault could be a suitable system to facilitate and enhance the flow of money from users to the content creators.
    The model apparently works on games. It also works on museums, public transport systems, gyms. In ' all you can eat' restaurants the model even works on food.
    One common essential thing between all these is a limit in persistence of the deliverables. Consumption is under full control of the system at that place on that moment by that person. The moment you stop the subscription, you can no longer play any of the games, you can no longer access the museum and the bus and gym. The 'all you can eat' restaurant does not provide doggybags to take your leftovers with you. You cannot pay one meal and once you are in get in collect food for the coming week.
    A second thing these systems have in common is that you cannot make derivatives of the deliverables to carry away unless they are in very diluted form like pictures you made. ('Ceci n'est pas une pipe'). The system does not 'leak'.
    There is only one way to stop leakage in digital systems and that is using encrypted proprietary and undisclosed file formats. The files are outside system control but outside the system they are useless.
    For that reason I do not see such 'vaulting' happening for Poser. Communication through open public standards has always been key.



  • For that reason I do not see such 'vaulting' happening for Poser. Communication through open public standards has always been key.

    Hmm... that's a great point... when I was signing for Origin games, I had this doubt: in order to play, I need the subscription, and I'm one that hates subscriptions for anything. I hate hate hate subscriptions as a devil. But it was only $35, so I thought... hmm... thirty bucks per year is no problem, I can keep this forever. Meanwhile anything that is going to cost me $200 per year, oh I'm never ever signing, whatever it provides. So if the service is cheap enough and there's a constant inflow of new products, the subscriptions will be retained.

    Now, it's true that the user may continue to use the product if he cancels the subscription; but the seller gets money when the download happens, so he gets the money in the same way as a sale. In either case the customer will keep the product forever, and depending on the format he can distribute to his friends - that's a weakness of the OBJ file format, not of the sales model.

    So I think the main factor is this: consider 10,000 potential customers, and you have a product to sell. If you can sell to 10,000 people for $30, then you'd never want to get in any shared vault thingie. But say your product will sell to 100 people for $30. That's a fixed $3,000 in the pocket. Now compare that by going to this vault you'll get instead 500 downloads, so which share of the profits will you get for these 500 downloads? That's a variable thing, so it may be more than $3,000 or less than that. May be more, or less, but I suspect this benefits smaller vendors more than large vendors. Large vendors will want to sell directly, of course.

    I think it's the same conundrum that subscription-based eBook sites have. You write a book - will your publisher make more money by selling it directly or by offering through Kindle for subscription customers? Really a fascinating question, indeed.



  • @fbs7
    Hmm you may have seen Biscuits on Patreon exploring a similar offer.


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    @fbs7 said in Should SM organized a Vault-style content?:

    For that reason I do not see such 'vaulting' happening for Poser. Communication through open public standards has always been key.

    Hmm... that's a great point... when I was signing for Origin games, I had this doubt: in order to play, I need the subscription, and I'm one that hates subscriptions for anything. I hate hate hate subscriptions as a devil. But it was only $35, so I thought... hmm... thirty bucks per year is no problem, I can keep this forever. Meanwhile anything that is going to cost me $200 per year, oh I'm never ever signing, whatever it provides. So if the service is cheap enough and there's a constant inflow of new products, the subscriptions will be retained.

    Yes, one could see Patreon as a vault subscription, pay what you like minimum is $1 per month.

    I agree I dislike subscriptions with a passion.....however I cannot get a perpetual license for Photoshop so I must use the subscription.

    The advantage for Patreon, you can cancel subscriptions anytime and it gives creators more freedom.

    And the more goodies Creators create, the more the vault will be filled.



  • It's a good idea, but the problem is still how much content would actually be available for such a project? We still come back to the old problem that the majority of content creators make their stuff for D|S, it comes down to how many contributors of products to the vault, how many paying members of the vault, what content do Poser users buy and will the vendors make enough to warrant their time and effort put into creation of said products.
    I hate to sound so negative, but one has to be realistic, just as a quick example - how many of you were members of the Platinum Club?



  • @tastiger said in Should SM organized a Vault-style content?:

    I hate to sound so negative, but one has to be realistic, just as a quick example - how many of you were members of the Platinum Club?

    You mean DAZ Platinum Club? That was useless to me... it would give one freebie per week (gah) and a discount on items I'd have to pay for anyway. Meanwhile I'm the one that bought quite a bit of stuff that he doesn't use, so my problem with buying stuff, even for $5, is not for the $5 but with the guilty feeling of spending money on childish impulses for stuff I don't know if I'll use. So after a couple of years of buying spree I really stopped.

    But it's true what you said. I think that Renderosity, rather than SM, would be the best one to organize one such thing, as they work with Poser, Blender, DAZ, iClone, etc...

    Renderosity would become Paradisity if they could get a subscription of say $10/month, and then you download whatever you want (from a selection). What's the market for that? Say, how many people go from time to time to Renderosity to browse and download stuff? Like, 10,000 people? 30,000?



  • @fbs7 said in Should SM organized a Vault-style content?:

    ...Renderosity would become Paradisity if they could get a subscription of say $10/month, and then you download whatever you want (from a selection). What's the market for that? Say, how many people go from time to time to Renderosity to browse and download stuff? Like, 10,000 people? 30,000?

    This is the business model Poserworld used, and they were constantly on the edge of insolvency until they finally closed.

    For this to be successful, I think it would would require some sort of DRM...


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Initially, all those different initiatives are fresh and full of productivity.
    Then they reach their peak.
    And sooner then snow melts, they run out of idea's, productivity slows down, and customers abandon.

    it is like : What should bikini 15.001 look like? Or little black dress 9.999? Or hair style 4.511?

    Starting is easy, reaching a peak also, but then what?



  • Oh, I didn't know PoserWorld used that model. I see.

    Maybe the product is really just too open to use that approach, and short of adding digital rights management the only way to control piracy is to control the downloads. It's a pity, really, for I love my games vault.

    By the way, I don't advocate DRM. I despise DRM. I don't have any single song or movie that has DRM - I just buy the CD or DVD. I owe my gut feeling about DRM due to the totally undemocratic way that the Digital Millenium piece of crap legislation was pushed down our throats. But I don't have anything against a proprietary encrypted format that includes a personal license (even if that's really just DRM with another name, haha :) )



  • Poserworld was, to my recollection, a pay once, enjoy forever offer. That is a model that can survive only by growing. It is not sustainable.
    A model in which participants pay a monthly, quartely, or annual fee would generate a constant flow of cash.
    It is all Utopia, so we are free to dream. Let me sketch something.
    To prevent pay one month/load all type membership one could initially limit what new members can access, scope widening with time of membership, and option to 'buy in' for higher levels. And of course: gone is gone. New start is new start. (Keep trump card of re-instatement of rights to convince people to come back for the black Friday offer)
    Money:
    Artists could get contribution points per (new) download. Big product =more points than small product. Point value: If it would sell at Rendo for $5 product is 5 points, if it would be $10 at Rendo 10 points. At end of month: (fee income minus cost) divided by total number of points issued that month is what artists get for each point.
    When justified complaints about product points earned for product are nullified. Points for a product are issued only once for a user: re-downloads do not count.
    Quality control:
    New products need review and approval by at least 2 other members. Approving members are rewarded for their review work with points: 5 times the point value of the product for initial review. Process: Artist announces product for review; candidate reviewers have 7 days to express interest; when less than 2 reviewers have present themselves the product is rejected. When more than 2 reviewers apply a random choice is made. Reviewers have [7] days to complete the job. No response in time means points otherwise gained are deducted from reviewer's account and given to artist to compensate for the time lost. Failure to identify errors that should have come to light in the review can have consequences for the reviewer. Artist gets first review and short second one to confirm issues are resolved 'on the house'. Repeated reviews are on artist's points account.
    Review/QA is serious business not to be taken lightly.

    OK, unfinished and many loose ends there, but in Utopia Castles in the Air are exempt from building directives. 😇



  • @fverbaas
    In this utopia, I would suggest that QA is extremely important, and the best QA I have seen is the the system used by RDNA, where testers got to keep what they tested and in addition could request up to 10 products per month (if you tested for the complete month, They also had a 2 tier system of testing, vendors used alpha testers prior to submitting the product and if they gave it the go ahead (which seemed to be some private arrangement) it was then submitted to Beta Testing which was usually a panel of 5 or 6 testers who really tested the product as much as possible before declaring it suitable for sale.

    Why I feel this is a great setup for QA is I have bought products from DAZ that have had silly things such as the nipples misaligned, the product should never had made it through QA and even worse the issue still wasn't fixed 6 months later, I don't know to this day whether an update was released or not.

    So if vendors want to move Poser content then a really stringent QA process needs to be in place to ensure the products are top notch.



  • @tastiger I may be wrong in this assumption, but I'm guessing you haven't made any purchases at HiveWire 3D. They have a very good QAV team, and all the vendors in their store have beta teams (OK, alpha if you wish), so their products are very good. I happen to do testing for several of the vendors at HW3D, and I ALWAYS put their proposed products through the mill before they're uploaded to QAV for final testing.

    I also know several folks who do testing for other vendors in the store, and they're as picky and particular as I am.



  • @tastiger
    Letting testers keep the products they tested and give them somr more is not a reward if the products will be available to them anyway under the subscription. There needs to be something else.
    The initial 'filter' is of course the tendering process for the testing. If an artist has bad name when it comes to 'quality' no testers may turn up in the first place. 'Alpha reviewed by MissB' in the call for review will certainly boost the interest. 😁



  • @miss-b
    My bad - forgot to mention Hivewire simply because their products are top notch and it is obvious that their QA works. Unlike some other places, such as DAZ which I mentioned



  • @fverbaas said in Should SM organized a Vault-style content?:

    @tastiger
    Letting testers keep the products they tested and give them somr more is not a reward if the products will be available to them anyway under the subscription. There needs to be something else.
    The initial 'filter' is of course the tendering process for the testing. If an artist has bad name when it comes to 'quality' no testers may turn up in the first place. 'Alpha reviewed by MissB' in the call for review will certainly boost the interest. 😁

    Thanks for the vote of confidence @fverbaas, but everyone makes mistakes now and then, even me.

    As far as testers "keeping" the products they've tested, that's how HiveWire vendors thank their testers. The vendor will give the tester the "final" version of the product once it's made it into the store. HiveWire encourages their vendors to do so.

    Oh, and HiveWire doesn't have a "subscription" service, so the testers wouldn't "get them anyway".



  • @fverbaas said in Should SM organized a Vault-style content?:

    @tastiger
    Letting testers keep the products they tested and give them somr more is not a reward if the products will be available to them anyway under the subscription. There needs to be something else.
    The initial 'filter' is of course the tendering process for the testing. If an artist has bad name when it comes to 'quality' no testers may turn up in the first place. 'Alpha reviewed by MissB' in the call for review will certainly boost the interest. 😁

    Sorry, I may seem greedy, but quality testing isn't done in 5 minutes, a complex model can take sometimes a couple of days, and I can't see myself testing products and also paying a subscription as well.
    I believe you mentioned giving testers points for their work - if I spend 4 hours testing a product and Joe Blow spends only 2 hours testing the same product, how do you work out a points system that is fair?



  • @tastiger said in Should SM organized a Vault-style content?:

    Sorry, I may seem greedy, but quality testing isn't done in 5 minutes, a complex model can take sometimes a couple of days . . . .

    I just completed one the other day that took over 2 weeks. Of course, it wasn't a simple product, but included a character, poses, and clothes, so no, quality testing isn't done in 5 minutes, that's for sure.



  • @miss-b said in Should SM organized a Vault-style content?:

    @fverbaas said in Should SM organized a Vault-style content?:

    @tastiger
    Letting testers keep the products they tested and give them some more is not a reward if the products will be available to them anyway under the subscription. There needs to be something else.
    The initial 'filter' is of course the tendering process for the testing. If an artist has bad name when it comes to 'quality' no testers may turn up in the first place. 'Alpha reviewed by MissB' in the call for review will certainly boost the interest. 😁

    As far as testers "keeping" the products they've tested, that's how HiveWire vendors thank their testers. The vendor will give the tester the "final" version of the product once it's made it into the store. HiveWire encourages their vendors to do so.

    Oh, and HiveWire doesn't have a "subscription" service, so the testers wouldn't "get them anyway".

    Same as RDNA was, except the final version was in your account anyway - which I think was very fair and rewarding, because there was quite a few times we were under time constraints as well as many new releases to get approved and "out the door"