disclaimer: this is not a fundraiser post!

You all know that the only social network I really like is deviantArt. It’s also one of the two sites that I have ever paid for a “premium” membership because hell, a) I could; b) I wanted to support the website and not get to see ads (sure as hell I use AdBlock; I even donated to the author because, well, I could).
// okay, I also paid for no-ads on NexusMods, but that’s just that, no-ads… and I’ve been using NexusMods since the days of yore, and you may’ve already guessed I like to give back whenever I can; makes me feel to be a better person than I really am //

Now that all of a sudden, without public notice (which is the worst thing of all), dA have increased the membership prices, I don’t know what to do. $50 per year is kinda too much, really. People in my line of work don’t earn as much here as in the Western world.

And… Yes I’ve been spoilt by regional pricing on Steam, iTunes, Google Play and now GOG.com, let alone local legit resellers of licenced content like books and music. Hell, I was delighted and astonished to see the Cakewalk store finally give Russians a steep discount; otherwise there’s no way I would’ve been able to afford Sonar Professional.

That other site I paid for, it’s a Russian blogging platform. The good thing about their business plan is that you can pick and choose services you need (like, more image space, custom CSS yadda yadda; not unlike here at WP.com, I think).

If only dA could take a page out of that book and do something along these lines. There are similar suggestions posted on their forums an’stuff (tiered membership); but given that the dA stuff is frellin’ silent on the whole matter… I don’t know if they will (or are even able to) listen to that.

For one, I would just pay to get rid of the ads in a legit way; then I’d love to keep custom gallery subfolders (I haven’t been able to figure out if they remain after the premium runs out and if I will be able to submit to them), custom widgets (like my freebie list) and polls (since dA started to count journal posts among deviations, I have switched to polls as my ‘interacting with the audience’ – hell, whom am I kidding? What audience? A couple of friends, that’s it). I could well do without journal skins, and I never used CSS customisation for my gallery. All the other “perks” of the premium, well, I don’t sell anything on dA neither do I buy anything there (snail mail delivery from the US? Hah), so I don’t need them.

The worst thing. If I cuss out loud about that (which I have done, in the comments to a journal that opened my eyes about the price thing), it’s not directed at dA even, but at myself. I was on the fence about getting a multi-year “till Hell freezes over” premium when it was available, and I decided against it. Although I’d suspected there would come a time when I´d kick myself for that… First, I kept hoping for better rouble exchange rates (stupid me), and then, I was wary of the effects of that weird update to the local Personal Data law that comes into force this September – because nobody knows yet what exactly it will entail; I have read the law itself, and lemme tell ya it could be twisted whichever way the subordinate normative acts get written (I don’t know the precise English translation of this law term). The worst case could mean that Russians could get shut out of non-local services who won’t move their storage holding the “personal data” of Russian citizens to Russian-based servers (which is a bad enough thing because I am paranoid for all the good reasons, and if anyone like Vitaly Milonov ever gets elected President here, I am frellin’ doomed here). So that investment could’ve been in vain. My current premium (which I got two years ago, in bulk cuz cheaper that way) runs out early October.

I guess I’ll just wait and see, but I needed to get this off my chest. Sorry for rambling.

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6 thoughts on “disclaimer: this is not a fundraiser post!

  1. Most sites that base their ‘income’ on ad revenue are in for a rude awakening. It’s going to be the late 90’s all over again. The European ‘cookie’/privacy regulations…the general feeling of ‘enough already’ and the fact that idiots in governments all around the globe want a bigger piece of the pie are going to drive a bunch of places to higher subscriptions…or fold.

    1. European legislative stuff is peanuts as compared to what this Russian latest craze could become.
      DA stated their ad revenue is measly; premiums were apparently the primary source of money. But just how many will renew at these rates? This might well be bad business sense. There ain’t _that_ many pro artists with premiums there; the majority seems to be hobbyists and students.

      1. A few years ago, the local county fair raised the gate fee, by 25%. They saw a 50% drop in attendance. The next year, they cut the price, to half of the previous increase…and returned advance ticket sales. There was a net INCREASE in attendance over the before the original price increase of about 30%.

        Moral of the story: you make more money with more people at a lower price than you can with a large price increase that fewer people will take advantage of.

        1. It’s what I have seen happen IRL a lot, as well.
          I can only hope they figure that out in the end. Or find a Russian oligarch interested in buying them out. The latter worked for livejournal, after all.

  2. I just found out about the increase today. Holy crap, dA, what a huge increase! That hurts. I’ve been assuming the price was the same, and it wouldn’t take a significant amount of effort to set aside the membership fee, which comes due in a month or so. But fifty bucks is definitely noticeable. I’ll still do it, although I might do the short-term-cheaper, long-term-more-expensive three month at a time membership, because I really like the extra gallery folders and still want to find a new user name and make a cool new journal style, blah blah blah. But I don’t like the price jump.

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