I love weeks like this. The team is incredibly hard at work launching deviantART's Premium Content Platform, and simultaneously managing our huge sponsorship of Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego.
^That's me in the middle there, writing this Journal.
^ Check out the intensity of endosage
. Diligent, even intense. That's because they're hours away from a massive release that will reach millions of deviants worldwide. They are right to be this tense. You would be, too.
In everything we do, we aim to change the world for the better. And we aim high. This Premium Content Platform you can read about here
has no limits as to what it could achieve for the arts, from my perspective.
I haven't heard of another place where an artist makes 80% of the profit on the sale of digital content.
Even in places where it might be possible, you start at between 30-50% and you have to earn your way to 70% at best. Even if there is a place that matches this move we've made here, it certainly won't be within the confines of the most highly trafficked arts platform on the web
(Yar, that's us!)
running the show as we work to release.
I recently read a comment on deviantART by a member who had been around for 2 years or so that read something like, "Yeah, I hate to say it but this Points thing is a borderline scam. You can't do anything with them but buy deviantART products. It doesn't help me as a professional artist."
It's true -- and for a CEO, sometimes the truth really hurts. By design, the Points system was launched in order to make the Premium Content Platform possible -- something that most certainly helps professional artists and was the core intent behind Points! At the time, we codenamed it "Marketplace." The idea was to strap points to download buttons and let artists sell digital files. As clever as this sounded, and as successful as this would have been for deviantART, our team refused to do this without the ability to allow artists to earn real money from transactions like this. We could have, but it wasn't aligned with our mission to Entertain, inspire, and empower the artist in all of us.
So we worked for 6 months to revamp our backend accounting systems from the ground up. For example, our Prints Earnings program paid artists quarterly, and for a real Premium Content Platform offering, payments had to be much quicker than this. We got it down to 2 weeks -- a requirement of our fraud detection systems more than anything.
We also realized our actual accounting department couldn't handle processing payments quickly. So we hired new positions and grew the Operations team. At the same time, we worked on fraud protection systems and upgraded security all around deviantART to brace for this big change.
By March 27th of 2012 we released a new method to receive print profits
. This revamp was partly triggered by the need of a much more powerful Earnings systems for deviants, necessary for the release of the Premium Content Platform.
And today or tomorrow we are releasing the Premium Content Platform.
^ Here's a photo taken about 2 seconds before people thought the photo was being taken. lol
It seems very simple. All it does is add an option to the Submission Process of deviantART (only via your Sta.sh, for now) that permits you to set a price for download of a file. It works out so that your royalty as a seller returns $0.01 (USD) for every 1 Point. (80 Points = 100 cents, you earn 80%, so a 100 Point transaction returns 100 cents ($1.00) to you, while the buyer is spending $1.25, which is equal to 100 Points.)
In reality this was a massive effort over the past year that we believe is an incredibly important step for the online arts.
What does this mean? What will this do to deviantART? What happens now?
We're in this together, folks. It's what we make of it. It's what we do with it. We're putting our best foot forward, and we hope our vision for Premium Content collides with your ambitions. I'm sure you have many questions, and the team is ready to answer them on hq
with each Site Update.
We will move immediately to v2 upgrades for Premium Content, making it easier to facilitate common work flows that we predict Premium Content Sellers will want to follow. And we'll be adding viewing technologies and upgrades for buyers, too, so that the Premium Content buying experience is improved.
There's a massive community signed on to deviantART. This is terrific for posting your work and getting feedback, participating in community activities, meeting people, enhancing your network as an artist, etc. Consider something that I think about often: There's an even bigger signed-out community browsing
deviantART. How do you as artists take advantage of this greater mass of people to build a career right here on dA?
Time will tell. One thing is for certain, our team at deviantART and I know in our hearts that this is a right step for us all. And it pleases me to no end to be here, serving you for 12 years now, to ensure that this type of innovative progress is occurring in the arts.
It's our hope that anyone in the world, armed with either the talent or vision within any artistic medium or creative endeavor, along with tools like this one that we are releasing soon, can achieve the most modest or grandest of goals.
Co-Founder & CEO