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Premium Membership; Upload benefits?


Tommy Rampal
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So the guys at Linden Labs are trying to make premium membership worthwhile, while their recent efforts are cute, it's really just a novelty; not enough to buy me into it I'm afraid (I'm just your casual builder).

For one, why not make premium memberships worthwhile by adding an upload allowance (adhering to a fair usage policy of course)? That's a real appeal to creators, compared to sandboxes that really don't appeal to everyone (land owners for one).

"Premium Members; you could build for free, and now you can upload for free!"

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or a similar increasing value concept.. you get 1 prim of extra free space a fortnight, up to a certain level/time say 2048?. If you miss a premium payment, you go back to 512 lol. So at almost three years I would have approximately 620 space to use as a creator. I could do amaaaazing things with that many.. :-/

Now that would be cool.

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Actually, the upload fees that they charge exist as economic 'sinks' to counterbalance the stipends that pump freshly-minted L$ into the economy. If they eliminate upload fees, they would need to 'tax' something else, or we would have rampant inflation. Stipends paid out are money from nowhere - the Lindens printing new L$ that never existed before. Fees collected are L$ destroyed. The Lindens don't sell them - they just go into the bit bucket.

I'd much rather see an incrementally larger allocation of 'free' land tier based on how many years you loyally remained a Premium Member in SL. Something that directly rewards people for longevity, and can't be 'farmed' with disposable accounts, like the old First Land program was. Imagine if for every year that you remained a Premium member in good standing, you could get free tier on an additional 512 M2 of land? You still have to buy the land, but you can keep it, tier free, as long as you keep paying your dues. So at 2 years, you get 1024 M2 free tier, at 4 years it's 2048 M2. Soon it becomes a very strong incentive to keep active and keep your dues paid.

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Increasing land prim allowance, in my opinion, would cause mass confusion and varying server stress. I'm unsure how LL treats dud assets (uploads people aren't happy with, or no longer use) but it would definately encourage more creating and more in-world hours (compared to jump shipping to third party/beta grids).

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overall it's an interesting idea, but my two main concerns would be that it might not offer enough general appeal to the average user, and would be a pain to implement on limited basis (x amount/value of uploads). thanks for reminding me that there is another premium side benefit that I forgot though....

ETA:
I like Ceera's tier idea, although as she noted for upload costs, it's also one of the very few L$ sinks for the economy....it would probably be helpful if LL tweaked lindex so that Premium membership stipends and bonuses were actually bought out of the Lindex at the going best rate, but that will likely never happen. currently Transaction Fees, and abandoned/frozen accounts are the only two other sinks in place to offset L$ creation through premium membership.

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Tommy Rampal wrote:

@Ceera. Can't LL treat a % of premium payments as a static upload cost (e.g. an automatic US$ to L$ transfer, then instant L$ payment), but the user doesn't see it?

The money you pay for Premium dues never goes into the in-world SL economy. That goes straight into Linden Lab's profits. What they give you as stipend isn't 'paid for' by anything. They don't buy those L$ from residents cashing out, and recycle them. So there needs to be a steady "L% Destroyer" that removes money from circulation as fast as thge Lindens "print" new L$.

The only time that LL buys L% or sells them is when they are managing the rate that the L$ is selling for ow being bought at in Lindex, and they only do that when the value of the L$ sharply nosedives or sharply climbs for too long a period.

Upload fees are a drop in the bucket for most people, even if they create content. I'm a texture artist, and I upload hundreds of textures at a time when I am releasing new texture packs. But that set of upload fees is nothing compared to my cash flow. I wouldn't even notice if they weren't being charged any more.

However, a lot of 'drops in the bucket' can add up. There are a LOT more non-Premium residents than there are Premium Members. The majority of SL residents don't get a stipend from LL at all. But they sure do take like to take snapshots, and those are also upload fees. 

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Probably not a popular opinion, but here goes anyway 136.gif

Premium membership costs $72 if you pay it yearly.

Current stipend of 300L is $62.40 for the year (+$4 bonus the first year)

Which leaves $5.60 for the year, for which you get full support & tier free 512 (or Linden Home)

If you get the older stipends of 400L or 500L, LL  is actually paying you to be Premium!! 0143.gif

So why do people gripe about the lack of benefits???

If you choose to pay monthly or quarterly, with the 300L stipend,  then yes it will cost you a bit more, but that is your choice, its not like LL doesn`t have a really good deal available to you or that they are charging some ridiculous amount for Premium membership.

So now on top of the support & land benefits, they are giving us grief free sandboxes & token monthly gifts, sure its not the Hope Diamond, but I don`t get why people think that LL owes us more.

If I was going to ask for something, it would be that LL improves the support system, because that is getting to the point where it can`t really be called a benefit lol

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Peewee Musytari wrote:

Probably not a popular opinion, but here goes anyway
136.gif

Premium membership costs $72 if you pay it yearly.

Current stipend of 300L is $62.40 for the year (+$4 bonus the first year)

Which leaves
$5.60
for the year, for which you get full support & tier free 512 (or Linden Home)

If you get the older stipends of 400L or 500L, LL  is actually paying you to be Premium!!
0143.gif

So why do people gripe about the lack of benefits???

I certainly would gripe about the "Benefit" that if for any reason a Premium member is unable to make their dues payment (overdrawn credit card, LL banking error, whatever), you could lose your account and all your inventory. That is a risk Basic members don't face.

I have two accounts that are old enough that they would both get L$500 a week stipend, if I made them Premium. (They never have been). Let's suppose I cash out once a month, getting $7.50 per month for the sale of those L$, minus a dollar per month for sending the money to PayPal. So I can get back $78 USD over the course of a year, if and only if I cash out all of my stipend, and never spend any of it. A profit of $6 USD over my $72 USD dues fees.

Odds are very good, however, that I would actually spend some of that, instead of cashing it out.

Risking permenant loss of the inventory I have accumulated over the last 6 years for a paltry profit of $6 USD a year seems a pretty bad deal to me.

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Not sure how is that related to Premium benefits.

If you don`t pay your fees in SL & you let your account go deliquent it will get put on hold until you pay, what do you expect to happen? 

At least in the case of Premium membership, you should have the sense to downgrade to basic if you know you don`t have the money when your subscription comes due, before you let your account go into debt.

ETA: The same rule does also apply to basic members, if they own a sim & don`t pay the tier fees.

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the problem is, it's not always user error that causes non-payment for an account... LL is notorious for billing errors, and credit cards can reject malformed billing requests (your address changed perhaps) or even kick in fraud detection if a completely different person reported fraud via LL billing.

 

My expectation would be to temporarily downgrade the account, send out both inworld and e-mail notices, and wait a month... locking out any premium services (land gets locked down, etc). NOT the entire account, which in many cases could be used to pay for the premium services.

 

because of those factors, and because I have accounts that are as old as Ceera mentions, I do have premium on those accounts, and what I do is conglomerate their stipends on another account automatically, so that if there is ever a problem, (or even if I just forget), then I can still access all that potential cash to pay for those accounts. of course this is much more difficult that it needs to be.

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There is no denying that shite happens, I just lost a load of stuff in a coalesced object that failed to rez & apparantly can`t be recovered & we hear all the time of strange disappearances of inventory & accounts where deliquency or admin hold weren`t even a factor. So I`m certainly not saying nothing ever goes wrong.

With the crappy payment system over the last few months, LL have caused dozens of accounts to go into deliquency & onto automatic hold, so that they can then remove the hold after the event, as apparantly they can`t stop it before it happens. But I haven`t heard that this causes inventory loss, if putting accounts on hold automatically caused inventory loss it would be a ridiculous system.

I'm not sure that automatic downgrading is a good fix for deliquency, that would mean if your CC screwed up, instead of just fixing the payment & getting your account back, you would have lost all your land & probably had all your stuff (and others) returned....and lost as coaleseced objects lol

Maybe I missed all the reports of inventory loss due to accounts being put on hold for temporary deliquency, but seems to me if that was a regular event we would be hearing a lot of people screaming about it.

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