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Cost Of Name Changes Out Of The Bag

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22 hours ago, Solar Legion said:

From all other information the surnames will be available to all newer signups once everything is finalized.

Incorrect I'm afraid. New accounts will not select last names - they will continue to be created as 'Resident'.

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1 minute ago, Oz Linden said:

Incorrect I'm afraid. New accounts will not select last names - they will continue to be created as 'Resident'.

That's rather unfortunate news, especially seeing as part of the very reason this feature was requested at all had to do with abandoning the original system in the first place (existing users wanting to change their account name having jumped on this, seeing a benefit for them).

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Is there any kind of science to pricing of features like this? I'm sure it's been decided by folks with a good solid Marketing background -- and that's definitely not me.

Just pulling stuff from thin air here, I'd suppose the objective is to maximize total profit, which in this case must be pretty much the same as total revenue. (Not that it didn't cost anything to develop, but that's all sunk cost at this point, and per-unit cost must be negligible, so whatever price maximizes revenue will maximize profit, too.)

So then it's really an exercise in somehow predicting the demand curve: We'd sell this many more at a price this much lower. Maximize price * volume. Right?

If it wouldn't generate mass appeal even at the low low price of free, then it's kind of a luxury good anyway, and that select group of prospective customers may be quite price insensitive. Maybe?

But how do people who really know what they're doing predict that curve? To me it may as well be Experimental Theology.

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1 hour ago, Oz Linden said:

Incorrect I'm afraid. New accounts will not select last names - they will continue to be created as 'Resident'.

 

1 hour ago, Solar Legion said:

That's rather unfortunate news, especially seeing as part of the very reason this feature was requested at all had to do with abandoning the original system in the first place (existing users wanting to change their account name having jumped on this, seeing a benefit for them).

As I understand it: If creating a NEW account and during that process, if you subscribe to Premium then you get to choose a last name at no additional charge (because it is not technically a name change, but a first time name) - so you get the last name and premium for the price of the premium itself.

Is this incorrect, Oz?

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Looking through the list of existing last names ( http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Current_Last_Names ) there are clearly some that have been very under-used - terrific options such as:

UnitTestAsserting UnitTestAvatar UnitTestBands UnitTestBanks UnitTestBashfully...

I quite like that last one... but there are dozens more like it. Someone didn't proofread that list of names, I suspect, though I can't say that I blame them.

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4 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

 Every organization should have diverse funding sources and strategies. Human laziness is a strategy, and it pays off.

some time ago, I read a study that shows that over 50% of those who accept one month free offers at the beginning (as in online games, netflix, etc.) forget or do not know that they need to manually unsubscribe .

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5 minutes ago, Kweopi said:

some time ago, I read a study that shows that over 50% of those who accept one month free offers at the beginning (as in online games, netflix, etc.) forget or do not know that they need to manually unsubscribe .

Absolutely. I'd say that number goes down after people see that first billing on their credit card, especially if it's something outrageous, but in a lot of cases, people never even notice. The companies certainly aren't going to send out reminders saying that "Oops, your free month is almost up and you'll be billed unless you cancel!"

These companies also go out of their way to make it difficult to cancel the subscription as well. 

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9 hours ago, Mollymews said:

... what I think would be useful is if Displaynames could be a non-transferable wearable asset, 250L a pop - must buy from Linden.  We could then have as many Displaynames as we want. Different ones for different outfits/scenes

We already have this for free!  Titlers.

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21 minutes ago, Lindal Kidd said:

We already have this for free!  Titlers.

yes there are titlers. And yes there are group tags also

how would I use interchangeable displaynames ?

my display name is 'Molly' in plaintext. I use plaintext because in some situations it helps to make other people's lives a bit easier. For example: merchants and hosts, and tutors and helpy people who are often in a group view situation and needing to be able to reference everyone in the view easily. I do this (plaintext) for other people, not for myself

in other situations not like these I would be able to change my displayname 'Molly' to include unicode symbols.  Switching between the styles of 'Molly' as I want for myself

 

 

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6 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Again... lol. 

Yes, they most certainly do. We can go back and forth about this all day and night, but companies and charities absolutely work that into their business strategies and budget certain amounts based on subscriptions, automatic debits, etc., that people sign up for and pretty much just forget about. Their entire business plan isn't built on it, but it's absolutely a viable strategy because it works. Every organization should have diverse funding sources and strategies. Human laziness is a strategy, and it pays off.

Budgeting a certain amount of potential income from people forgetting or adding diverse incomes is different to relying on an income or relying on a certain aspect to be taken up by new users because of x perk. With the user name change being tied to a subscription model and the high cost yes, there is the potential for customers to forget to unsubscribe. I don't argue that. However you are dreaming if its going to be any form of substantial income in LL case or any more than those that already forget to cancel their sub.

This is also the case in all those business models you state. Do they put into their business plan that x users will forget to cancel? Sure, they may as it is a by product of a subscription model, but I highly doubt those organisations wake up in the morning and think, hey lets start a subscription model and rely on all those that don't unsubscribe for our money. Maybe the word rely where you come from means something different but where I am from rely means depend or in other words a necessity you cant live without. You stated:

Quote

There are thousands of subscription boxes who rely on a business model that involves people forgetting

They would have a larger income pool stated within their plan as well as a method of ensuring people stay on that subscription as long as possible (for positive feedback and word of mouth marketing) without the need to cancel (or forget to cancel) such as new updates etc. The business strategy of people forgetting to cancel would be the same strategy of the repeat customer. Can it happen sure, but you don't pin, rely, depend etc. your income on that. It is a possibility or a by product of a genuine revenue stream not one in itself as your statement quoted above implies. 

In LL's case they do not have a method of keeping people on their subscription model other than a house and the subscription model as of yet hasn't been updated in any reasonable form since its inception. Additionally if you pay for 3 months subscription in SL knowing that you have budgeted for that and to not forget, cancel your subscription a day later after signing up you loose your house or land the day you unsub meaning the very perk most people sign up for is taken from you despite paying for that perk for 3 months. I suppose this is LL's crutch to hope when people realise that they continue, who knows. In many countries such practices are illegal though and would have a high risk.

That all said, my post was in relation to LL anyway. They want new users onto their subscription model. Do new users of SL sign instantly up to a premium membership? No. Are new users going to use a name change at $40 on top of premium to sign up to a subscription straight away? No. Therefore as I stated in my original post, LL relying on that income or they hopes new users will be drawn into premium and forget to cancel is ridiculous.

Additionally any existing person solely without a sub currently wanting a last name change will sign up to premium, change name and cancel once that is done all in one swoop. There might be the few that stay on but given the high cost and responses to that cost in this thread it wont be many.

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6 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

Is there any kind of science to pricing of features like this? I'm sure it's been decided by folks with a good solid Marketing background -- and that's definitely not me.

Just pulling stuff from thin air here, I'd suppose the objective is to maximize total profit, which in this case must be pretty much the same as total revenue. (Not that it didn't cost anything to develop, but that's all sunk cost at this point, and per-unit cost must be negligible, so whatever price maximizes revenue will maximize profit, too.)

So then it's really an exercise in somehow predicting the demand curve: We'd sell this many more at a price this much lower. Maximize price * volume. Right?

If it wouldn't generate mass appeal even at the low low price of free, then it's kind of a luxury good anyway, and that select group of prospective customers may be quite price insensitive. Maybe?

But how do people who really know what they're doing predict that curve? To me it may as well be Experimental Theology.

By the looks of it perhaps they aren't doing it for profit and its more of a system security feature.

In this particular case and given that if you change your name and then think the next day you don't like it and change it again to another one the old name is technically removed from the pool however is still associated with your uuid (unless I read that wrong), perhaps this is the reason for the high cost.

If it was free to premium users or too cheap, perhaps trolls who have a large amount of disposable income or time could remove all the names from the pool by doing the above.

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1 hour ago, Drayke Newall said:

In LL's case they do not have a method of keeping people on their subscription model other than a house

Are you joking? There are lots of benefits that have even overlapping effects depending on what you want to do in SL. Events in general are super popular, which is an experience almost all of the perks give a significant boost to.

  • Weekly stipend. 300L might not sound like a lot, but a steady trickle of pocket money helps. The 1000L bonus is there to keep people subscribed for at least two months in a row, or buy more than one month as a bundle. Gives them more time to learn about the benefits of Premium.
  • Priority entry to full sims. Doesn't it suck when you wanna go somewhere but "Teleport has failed because the region is full." This perk alone can sell Premium memberships.
  • Premium Virtual Gifts & Exclusive access to Premium areas and experiences. It's another form of events, getting a steady stream of "exclusive stuff" is exciting and this tactic has become very popular in gaming.
  • Increased cap on missed IMs. If you're on SL to socialize or you become a merchant, this too can be very valuable on its own.
  • Increased group membership limits. This is just a universally good perk, doesn't matter if you're just an event addict or have lots of different interests.

Sure, there haven't been any new perks added (before name changes), though Premium content keeps getting new stuff in the form of gifts, games, events, and homes.

1 hour ago, Drayke Newall said:

Additionally any existing person solely without a sub currently wanting a last name change will sign up to premium, change name and cancel once that is done all in one swoop. There might be the few that stay on but given the high cost and responses to that cost in this thread it wont be many.

As someone who has never been Premium before in my 10 years of SL, and as someone who wants to change their name... as far as I know, unsubscribing from Premium makes you lose all perks immediately. I'd let my month run its course and cancel near the end, but maybe during that month I really end up liking everything you get with Premium enough (unlikely) to let the sub keep going.

But for me, the reason why I don't want a subscription is unrelated to what you get in SL. I don't like any subscription models in entertainment. The only exception is Youtube Premium, because that allows me to (wait for it...) lock my phone while listening to a video. It's the most stupid thing to put behind a paywall -- but they did -- and by god do I need it.

I still don't think name changes are something that are aimed towards new users. I think it specifically targets people who have already invested their time into SL and are unlikely to leave anytime soon, and entice them towards a subscription. Name changes might be a tipping point for some, and that's good enough.

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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5 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

.. as far as I know, unsubscribing from Premium makes you lose all perks immediately.

I'd let my month run its course and cancel near the end,
 

Totally agree with your post, i never got premium "just" for the house, but for the package, and in special, the extended support. And not to forget, as a sign for my connection with the world of SL, mainly subjective i know.

To the quote :  when downgrading you only immediately have to give up the land/house upfront, the other perks stay in place till the subscription ends. For this is indeed cancelling close to the end is best to do.

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8 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

But for me, the reason why I don't want a subscription is unrelated to what you get in SL. I don't like any subscription models in entertainment. The only exception is Youtube Premium, because that allows me to (wait for it...) lock my phone while listening to a video. It's the most stupid thing to put behind a paywall -- but they did -- and by god do I need it.

That reminds me that Spotify had me a paying subscriber for a time, solely for the ability to Cast to a "Group" of Google Cast devices, back when that was a new-ish feature. That was so niche, but it was important enough to me.

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8 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

But for me, the reason why I don't want a subscription is unrelated to what you get in SL. I don't like any subscription models in entertainment. The only exception is Youtube Premium, because that allows me to (wait for it...) lock my phone while listening to a video. It's the most stupid thing to put behind a paywall -- but they did -- and by god do I need it.

I don't care for subscription type things either. I was shocked when I went into a Best Buy while back and they were selling a printer with a subscription ink plan.  I'll pass.

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22 hours ago, Alyona Su said:

As I understand it: If creating a NEW account and during that process, if you subscribe to Premium then you get to choose a last name at no additional charge (because it is not technically a name change, but a first time name) - so you get the last name and premium for the price of the premium itself.

Is this incorrect, Oz?

That is incorrect. New accounts will always be Resident whether Premium or not.  New Premium accounts will have the same ability to change the last name that an existing Premium account has, and will pay the same fee.

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Whether I do or don't like, or even care about, the answer, I always appreciate hearing a definitive "this is the way it is" answer from a Linden. This is one great thing the "new" Forums have over the old ones. I am not a LL cheerleader or apologist OR a hater, just an average resident who likes real answers over endless speculation.

Edited by Seicher Rae
Can't even write a few sentences without an error any more. Yeesh.
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18 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

Budgeting a certain amount of potential income from people forgetting or adding diverse incomes is different to relying on an income or relying on a certain aspect to be taken up by new users because of x perk. With the user name change being tied to a subscription model and the high cost yes, there is the potential for customers to forget to unsubscribe. I don't argue that. However you are dreaming if its going to be any form of substantial income in LL case or any more than those that already forget to cancel their sub.

They just need to make it so you have to maintain Premium to keep your name, just like the Linden Homes. Bang, done.

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17 hours ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Are you joking? There are lots of benefits that have even overlapping effects depending on what you want to do in SL. Events in general are super popular, which is an experience almost all of the perks give a significant boost to.

  • Weekly stipend. 300L might not sound like a lot, but a steady trickle of pocket money helps. The 1000L bonus is there to keep people subscribed for at least two months in a row, or buy more than one month as a bundle. Gives them more time to learn about the benefits of Premium.
  • Priority entry to full sims. Doesn't it suck when you wanna go somewhere but "Teleport has failed because the region is full." This perk alone can sell Premium memberships.
  • Premium Virtual Gifts & Exclusive access to Premium areas and experiences. It's another form of events, getting a steady stream of "exclusive stuff" is exciting and this tactic has become very popular in gaming.
  • Increased cap on missed IMs. If you're on SL to socialize or you become a merchant, this too can be very valuable on its own.
  • Increased group membership limits. This is just a universally good perk, doesn't matter if you're just an event addict or have lots of different interests.

Sure, there haven't been any new perks added (before name changes), though Premium content keeps getting new stuff in the form of gifts, games, events, and homes.

We all value different things, so this is just a single data point, but while the 300L/week is a nice rebate, really none of the things you mention are important to me personally in the least. Not at all. I went Premium after 12 years in SL solely to get a houseboat, then found out they were going to be almost impossible for me to get for quite a while. It worked out well for me, as I found a piece of ocean I liked and put a house there, and the Premium also paid for my tier. That is really all I personally got from Premium.

I extended my Premium when they did the discount, but have since found a rental I like really well, and am hardly at my house. It will be almost two years before my Premium runs out, but unless something significant changes, I almost certainly will not renew. Maybe I am the only person in SL with this particular perspective, but at some point LL might need to consider something different than the current perks as incentive. For me that would be some particular things related to the overall experience, which is almost certainly impossible to restrict to Premium members, but they will need something else to keep me on.

FWIW...

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1 hour ago, Oz Linden said:

That is incorrect. New accounts will always be Resident whether Premium or not.  New Premium accounts will have the same ability to change the last name that an existing Premium account has, and will pay the same fee.

Thank you for clarifying this. Though I''m all set myself, I wanted to ask for the community. :)

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19 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

In LL's case they do not have a method of keeping people on their subscription model other than a house and the subscription model as of yet hasn't been updated in any reasonable form since its inception.

Not so!  See my blog post, "Premium Benefits Creep".  I've had to edit it three times since I first wrote it, which shows the benefits keep on creeping on.

Edited by Lindal Kidd

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1 hour ago, CaerolleClaudel said:

We all value different things, so this is just a single data point, but while the 300L/week is a nice rebate, really none of the things you mention are important to me personally in the least. Not at all. I went Premium after 12 years in SL solely to get a houseboat, then found out they were going to be almost impossible for me to get for quite a while. It worked out well for me, as I found a piece of ocean I liked and put a house there, and the Premium also paid for my tier. That is really all I personally got from Premium.

Of course. I wasn't implying that all the perks must be worth it for everybody. I was pointing out that exactly that different people value different perks differently. Even in my own example I said that the only reason I'll get Premium is because of a single perk, which is name changes. I don't personally value any of the other perks.

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7 hours ago, Oz Linden said:

That is incorrect. New accounts will always be Resident whether Premium or not.  New Premium accounts will have the same ability to change the last name that an existing Premium account has, and will pay the same fee.

Il be honest with you Oz. That is something you should really consider. Perhaps added to the yearly payment option when creating a new account. Might tempt more people at account creation into becoming premium and added on at that level for new accounts means they would stay premium for a whole year and possibly extend by another

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9 minutes ago, ItHadToComeToThis said:

Il be honest with you Oz. That is something you should really consider. Perhaps added to the yearly payment option when creating a new account. Might tempt more people at account creation into becoming premium and added on at that level for new accounts means they would stay premium for a whole year and possibly extend by another

Personally, having been around when you just automatically got a last name as part of signing up (though with crappy choices), that too would seem pretty shifty to me. They still use last names as part of the system, just with no choice. I would be like, "Wait, I have to take Premium and pay $40 to get a name??? Wow, what else am I going to have to pay for?" I have to admit I say this in total ignorance of other games/online world experiences and stuff, probably all of them require a subscription or something. Times do change, I know, but wow, this seems pretty parsimonious. Of course, noone has to engage in SL, and in fact, the vast majority of people are making just that choice. All this kind of stuff doesn't seem conducive to changing that, though.

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