Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:54 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 81 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next
January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" 
Author Message
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
James, have you considered methods for "monetising your content" other than the website? Given the RSS feed you already supply, it wouldn't take much to create an iPhone or Android app, for example, to access your reviews. Charging $1.99 or so for the app could offer a decent return; maybe a "Reelviews Pro" could offer your ReelThoughts blog postings as well as the reviews, maybe offline access too, and be priced accordingly higher. The Guardian newspaper here in the UK has taken this sort of approach, and their app works very well; it's more than worth the ~£3 (a little under $5) they charge. I'd love to have your reviews available that easily on my iPhone for quick reference on the way to/from the cinema. If I haven't checked out your review before seeing the film, I invariably check it very soon afterwards.

Syndication is another possibility, although I haven't thought through this idea as thoroughly :-)


Wed Jan 27, 2010 8:35 pm
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
BigScreen wrote:
I believe in offering readers a choice to see content for free and seeing ads and to see the content completely free of ads, in exchange for a small subscription fee. This is the approach we take with our VIP Service. Those that pay the fee do not see any ads on the site, and they get rewarded with extra features that are not available to non-paying subscribers. None of the base content on our site is hidden behind a subscription wall, and I think that's important to maintain. I think we do need to reduce our yearly fee to attract more people to it, which we'll be investigating in the near future.

I suggest that James provide an option for ad-free viewing in exchange for a small subscription fee. What that fee is set at is the challenge. $10 a month is completely unrealistic, and I think that $10 a year is also too high. Some sites take a more flexible approach, where they allow their readers to contribute what it is worth to them, no matter how much that is. We might just try that for a short time to see how that works out.


Sites like slashdot do this also. It's not a bad idea. All content is free, but ad-supported. If you subscribe, the ads go away. Not sure how difficult this is to implement though. This site is basically a one man show.


Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:14 pm
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
Hal_10000 wrote:
I think, in the end, we're going to have to go to a cable model -- i.e., you pay your ISP for access, your ISP pays fees to popular websites for access to them, just like they do with cable channels. Eventually, some bright boy at a site like the NYT is going to figure out that the ISP's are making tons of money of of *their* content and demand a piece. Or they will block every subscriber to that ISP.

That's the only business model I can see working.


I actually think the opposite might happen. At some point ISPs are going to realise that all their bandwidth is being sucked up by things like streaming Netflix and Hulu. At that point they'll either try to get a cut from bandwidth intensive sites or "unlimited" broadband will become a thing of the past. I fear the latter will happen at some time. In fairness to the ISPs, our telephone, water and electricity are already metered, so why shouldn't our internet use be?


Wed Jan 27, 2010 10:18 pm
Gaffer

Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 11:33 am
Posts: 17
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
Quote:
So you mean I choose the 10 websites I can visit rather than the ISP? "Man... I really need access to Rotten Tomatoes, but to have 11 websites, I need to pay an extra $5. ..I'm already paying $50 a month for the 10 websites I already have!"

Like you said, it's not realistic. Though for obscure sites I'd just pick something randomly informative on StumbleUpon (a service one would lose under this anti net neutrality scenario) rather than go down the road of pedophilia and terrorism.

The internet was intended to be open to everyone, and it should stay that way.


Read what I wrote again. You're mixing up the idea I proposed with something else. This would be a fee charged by *websites* for access from ISP, not ISPs charging customers (not directly, at least). Small websites would not have the traffic to demand such fees and would therefore remain free to any ISP that comes along. Most of the internet would therefore remain free. Seriously, if rotton tomatoes says "no access without money", Comcast will tell them to take a hike. And if Comcast demanded money from rotten tomatoes, what would they get? Ten cents?

However, if the NYT demands fees for access from ISPs, they will get them. This is not unreasonable, although you and I may disagree with it. If you are providing the content, why should the ISP be able to sell it without you getting a cut?

And $5 per website is reducto as absurdum. If the NYT got $.10 per month per ISP customer, they would be getting $10 million per month, at least. And that would probably be the *most* any website would be able to get away with.

Quote:
I actually think the opposite might happen. At some point ISPs are going to realise that all their bandwidth is being sucked up by things like streaming Netflix and Hulu. At that point they'll either try to get a cut from bandwidth intensive sites or "unlimited" broadband will become a thing of the past. I fear the latter will happen at some time. In fairness to the ISPs, our telephone, water and electricity are already metered, so why shouldn't our internet use be?


Difference. Netflix makes money from selling things (rentals, streaming). They already pay huge fees to their ISP's, so I'm certain the day is coming when other ISP's will demand a cut.

The things is, TV was once free and paying for access (cable) was considered a luxury. Now most people pay for that access and don't even think twice about it. We're already paying for access to the internet. So why does none of that money go to those who provide the content? Without the content providers, no one would pay a thin dime for internet access.


Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:15 am
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:51 pm
Posts: 101
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
MrGuinness wrote:
ChronoSpark wrote:
The internet was intended to be open to everyone, and it should stay that way.


That is a more recent intent. The internet was intended for universities to share information.

Now all of a sudden, everyone wants that information for free.

All art becomes part of the public domain. I wonder where that will lead.

Ok, let me be more precise: the world wide web is supposed to be open. But anyway... By more recent you mean since it became something that..um... everyone uses? Which didn't come much later than the publishing of the first web page in 1991. And it's interesting that Tim Berners-Lee, who invented it, seems to agree with me on the issue of Net Neutrality. But I guess his intentions for it don't mean much anymore. :|

_________________
Read my reviews and thoughts on movies on my blog, Cineviews.


Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:22 am
Profile WWW
Assistant Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:51 pm
Posts: 101
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
Hal_10000 wrote:
Quote:
So you mean I choose the 10 websites I can visit rather than the ISP? "Man... I really need access to Rotten Tomatoes, but to have 11 websites, I need to pay an extra $5. ..I'm already paying $50 a month for the 10 websites I already have!"

Like you said, it's not realistic. Though for obscure sites I'd just pick something randomly informative on StumbleUpon (a service one would lose under this anti net neutrality scenario) rather than go down the road of pedophilia and terrorism.

The internet was intended to be open to everyone, and it should stay that way.


Read what I wrote again. You're mixing up the idea I proposed with something else. This would be a fee charged by *websites* for access from ISP, not ISPs charging customers (not directly, at least). Small websites would not have the traffic to demand such fees and would therefore remain free to any ISP that comes along. Most of the internet would therefore remain free. Seriously, if rotton tomatoes says "no access without money", Comcast will tell them to take a hike. And if Comcast demanded money from rotten tomatoes, what would they get? Ten cents?

However, if the NYT demands fees for access from ISPs, they will get them. This is not unreasonable, although you and I may disagree with it. If you are providing the content, why should the ISP be able to sell it without you getting a cut?

And $5 per website is reducto as absurdum. If the NYT got $.10 per month per ISP customer, they would be getting $10 million per month, at least. And that would probably be the *most* any website would be able to get away with.

If websites want to do that, then fine. But ISPs should stay the hell out of it.

If you took my seriously about the $5, you obviously misunderstand the idea of using extreme examples to facilitate a point. ;)

_________________
Read my reviews and thoughts on movies on my blog, Cineviews.


Thu Jan 28, 2010 12:26 am
Profile WWW
Gaffer

Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:54 am
Posts: 25
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
calvero wrote:
Quote:
Perhaps James should consider adding a donation button.

I've see several sites that have such a feature.
Usually with something like this: "If you like this website please make a donation to help us defer the cost of maintaining the content."
It can be linked with PayPal to make it easy.

It is better than turning Reelviews into a subscription site and allows the viewer to make their own decision about paying for the content.
An option could even be included that would allow donors to make a single donation or make a donation on a regular basis.
Say, once a month or twice a month or every three months or so.
Then the revenue stream becomes continuous and to a certain extent even reliable.


I like this idea. And maybe you can get something in return if you donate a certain amount. Like James reviewing a movie of your choice.



I certainly like that idea of getting something in return. I do have a few films would like James to review, but if not then perhaps a copy of the movie on DVD or Blu-Ray signed by James himself.


Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:08 am
Profile
Gaffer

Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:54 am
Posts: 25
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
BigScreen wrote:
The problem with a donation is that it is going to be a one-time source of revenue per person, and the person donating gets nothing in return besides the warm fuzzy feeling from having donated. If the site owners asks for a donation again, it could be construed as being inappropriate by those who donated what they thought they should have the first time around.

I'm biased because of the approach that we are taking, but I think it's far better to give someone something in return for the payment. It introduces responsibility on the part of the site owner, and a reasonable expectation by the paying party that something will come of the money paid. It forms a normal business relationship between both parties, and there's very little ambiguity, whereas there is nothing but ambiguity with donations.

That's just my opinion, though...



Well, in a sense, keeping the site up and running is getting something in return for the donation. It is not exactly something tangible like a key ring or an autographed glossy, but it is something in return, nonetheless.

However, it is possible for donations to be made on an regular basis automatically. I've seen sites where you can set up an automatic donation on a preset schedule (once a month, every three months, six months or every year). This would guarantee a steady stream from "patron donors" over and above the one time donors.

And as a previous poster suggested, offering something in return for those who donate a certain amount or above.


Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:15 am
Profile
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
Not sure if I suggested this before, but you could have one of those ads that cover the entire page when you load a new page, and which allow you to "skip the ad" after about three seconds (don't know what it's called). As long as it doesn't appear every page, I'm okay with it - the three-second thing ensures that it doesn't get on one's nerves (at least not mine). I would also be okay with pop-under ads, which are slightly annoying, but if it was a choice between pop-under ads and less content/shutting the site down, I'd rather have the pop-unders.


Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:49 am
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
I guess one of the reasons ads don't pay as good as they used to is the growing nature of the web. More and more people start their own blog and such, and everyone thinks they could earn some money on the side. But of course, the overall amount of money the advertisers have to spend keeps the same, so the per-pageview-ratio has to decline. But whatever the reason is: if you can't make money with ads, there has to be another way.

I strongly support BigScreens idea of an adfree ReelViews version that comes at a small cost. Most of the ads annoy the shit out of me, not only because they are there, but because of WHAT they try to sell. I don't want to have to fake interest in any of it. Let those fools get out of business, for all I care. I want to reward James' work, not let anyone else pay him for it!

So here are some more suggestions how to make this site pay, without making it a paysite per se (which would not only drive away current readers, but also be a roadblock for new ones):

Take a look at how online games like Tribal Wars do it: you buy "Premium Points" that can be used to activate special features for a limited time. One of the options is turning the ads off. Other possibilities for ReelViews could be the use of the advanced search, or having some forum options (like editing your own posts, avatars, the use of BBCode) turned off for non-paying readers.

Or look at BoardGameGeek: they offer so called "microbadges" which are displayed with every post a user makes. Among others, there are badges for being a patron of the site in a certain year, like "Patron 08", "Patron 09" and so on.

How about a wishlist on Amazon? Instead of paying you money, people could make you a gift. Someone wants a review of an older movie you don't own? Put it on the list and let him/her buy it for you! By the way, the reason why I never buy something at Amazon using one of the links on your site, despite being a regular customer: I use amazon.de or amazon.co.uk instead of amazon.com. The shipping costs from the US are too high!

Lastly, put out some other stuff people can buy, like getting your book reprinted or writing (editing) a new one.

I really believe quite a few of your readers value your writing and opinion enough to make a monetary support. You only need to provide them with ways to do so other than clicking those stupid ads.


Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:37 am
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
One more idea:

TV Underground (it doesn't matter if you like the "service" they offer or not) operates on donations. The clue: they don't just simply let people donate, but they calculated the monthly amount of money they need to run the site. Donators can have their username posted on the homepage or stay anonym (given the nature of the site, a lot of people choose the later). Once the monthly goal is reached (and as far as I know, they always do), the option to donate is gone!

I really like the concept: where else does anybody say "thanks, we earned enough"?


Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:08 am
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
TheTexasTwister wrote:
I certainly like that idea of getting something in return. I do have a few films would like James to review, but if not then perhaps a copy of the movie on DVD or Blu-Ray signed by James himself.


Here here! I love when fans get celebrities to write their name on a piece of paper. Its such a keepsake.

James, do NOT implement donations! It won't work.


Thu Jan 28, 2010 6:48 am
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
Patrick wrote:
MrGuinness wrote:
And now for something completely off the subject (isnt there a single word for that statement?)...
maybe its time to change my avatar...


CHANGE IT BACK! CHANGE IT BACK!


Back, no... Ming has had his run. I'll keep this one for a while...


Thu Jan 28, 2010 8:04 am
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 6499
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
One thing that seems smart to me is to put more ads in the Forums themselves. After all the forum denizens are (by and large) bigger James Berardinelli fans than the guys who find his review through Rottentomatoes, and therefore more likely to click on the ads.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:34 am
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3212
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
MrGuinness wrote:
calvero wrote:
I like this idea. And maybe you can get something in return if you donate a certain amount. Like James reviewing a movie of your choice.



If I donate, can i get James to change his opinion of the Josie and the Pussycats movie? :P


I doubt you have enough money. :)


Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:24 pm
Profile WWW
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3212
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
A couple of things:

On the idea of a "VIP Section" where, for a small fee, one could get access to an ad-free version of the site plus a little extra content. Although this is a good idea in principal, it's a pain to implement. Having only enough html/php knowledge to be semi-dangerous, I would have to farm this out. Even with someone else doing the groundwork, it would be more labor-intensive on my part. My thinking is that it would ultimately be more work than it's worth. At $10 per year, I'd need over 1000 subscribers to make it worthwhile and none of my research has indicated I'd get close to that, even for a small fee.

On the idea of donations, I have been toying with variations on the theme. One would be, as indicated in a few posts, allowing review requests for donations. Another would be selling hand-bound copies of a novel for a little over the binding cost. There are options to explore if things get dire. Right now, they're not dire. They're just not as rosy as they were a couple of years ago. Hey, someone just offered to buy the site for $50,000. (I said no.)

As for shutting down ReelViews, I didn't mean that to sound as if it's a likelihood. It is a labor of love (most of the time) but it's also an incredible time-sink. With a baby on the way, some of the time that goes into ReelViews will have to be directed elsewhere. So there will be fewer theatrical reviews going forward, at least in the near future. (Many will already note the absence of reviews of LEGION, THE TOOTH FAIRY, etc.) My goal is to post four new things per week - a combination of new reviews, video reviews, and ReelThoughts.


Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:35 pm
Profile WWW
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 6499
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
James Berardinelli wrote:
With a baby on the way


Congratulations! I'm imagining a Little film-nerd running around the Berardinelli house with the pitter-patter of his little cinephile feet! Awwww.

In light of the baby, I'm impressed you didn't take that 50 grand

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:39 pm
Profile
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
You can always count on James Kunz to be up to date :)


George W. Bush:
JamesKunz wrote:
You know what? Don't like him. Yeah.



Michael Jackson's Death:
JamesKunz wrote:
'This.. is it!'



Cher having her first child:
JamesKunz wrote:
Not in THOSE fish-net stockings!




I jest you, sir :lol: But even James' worst detractors knew about the baby. In the immortal words of Gob Bluth - 'Come on!'


Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:59 pm
Critic
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2009 9:35 am
Posts: 6499
Location: Easton, MD
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
Har har. Some of us don't run regularly-scheduled contests about our film-reviewing idol's favorite color.

_________________
I'm lithe and fierce as a tiger


Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:23 pm
Profile
Post Re: January 26, 2010: "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime"
Colors?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwlMHJE82Mk


Thu Jan 28, 2010 3:31 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 81 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Guapo and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr