UPDATE: Thank you to everyone who volunteered to be early adopters on this. We now have enough early adopters to see how things go. If everything goes well, we will open up subscriptions to everyone in the near future. Thanks again.
For a while now, Marisa and I have been trying to figure out how we can offer the most possible value to people who support Pixel Scrapper financially (people who donate). We want to offer as much content and inspiration as we can to everyone, but obviously there's a limit to what we can give away for free, when it costs us real money to operate this site from day to day.
A while back we came up with our download credit system as a way of metering downloads, and our donation system as a way of saying thank you to people who help the site exist.
Unfortunately, that system hasn't been ideal for us or our members: we've struggled to get enough donations to keep the site going, and at the same time some of our supporters have felt like they aren't getting enough value for their donations. It's hard to provide really significant value to donators on a site like Pixel Scrapper, because we give away so much for free. Marisa and I are committed to giving away as much as we can, but we also want to give supporters value that's far beyond what everyone gets for free.
One option we've thought of is a subscription system for unlimited downloads. In the past, I've thought that the best we could offer is unlimited downloads for $10 per month. But after going over the numbers some more, I think we can do better than that. So today I would like to introduce a tentative plan to offer a subscription for unlimited personal use downloads for just $5 per month--or unlimited commercial use downloads for $10 a month. That's for completely unlimited downloading (and re-downloading) of everything currently on Pixel Scrapper, and everything that's added every month, all under our flexible attribution-free licensing terms: once you download something, it's yours to keep and use forever.
Our hope is that $5 a month for unlimited downloading (or $10 for unlimited commercial use) gives our supporters the best value for their money that we can possibly give them. The pricing is going to have to be up for experimentation, and I cannot currently guarantee that we will be able to keep the subscriptions so cheap--but if we can, we will. And I can guarantee you that we will absolutely honor any subscription that you buy: if you buy a subscription for $5 a month, and we later have to raise the prices because the finances aren't working out, you will absolutely keep your subscription for $5, until you cancel that subscription.
It will be a little while before this new system is rolled out to everyone: we need to test some things, iron out some things, see how our servers hold up under the stress, and then gradually roll the system out. Right now we are looking for some established community members (people with 50 community points or more) who are interested in subscribing, who are willing to be early adopters, and help us make sure everything works as intended.
You will be able to pay for your subscription month to month (with a 3-month minimum), or one year at a time (and get two months free). If you have 50 or more community points and are interested in becoming one of our first subscribers (and locking down a $5 per month price--or $10 for commercial use--no matter what happens later), please let us know via our contact form. More detail will be provided (you won't be locked into anything ).
Q: Say I decided to sign up for the personal use d/l option. If I wanted to d/l something for commercial use down the road (because I'm participating in a train or something), how would that work?
People on the unlimited personal use download plan will still receive free daily download credits which they can use on commercial use downloads. They will also be able to donate discreet amounts for additional download credits (the donation setup that we have currently) that they can use on commercial use downloads.
Q: Also, if you signed up for commercial use does that mean you get both commercial & personal use for $10 or would that be $15?
Well, the commercial use license subsumes the personal use license . In other words, if you download something for commercial use, you can always use it for personal use as well.
Q: And how would the monthly fund system work? Would an automatic payment be set up via credit card?
I know some people like to use Paypal for that, but in my case I could not (close to reaching eBays limit without attaching your bank acct - something I don't want to do to avoid it from possibly being hacked).
For now, the monthly payments will have to go through PayPal. In the future, we hope to offer direct credit card payment as well...
Q: Would the current system still be in place for people who can't afford to sign up for a monthly fee?
Yes, the current system will stay in place.
Q: Would the CU subscription be for 10 months with months 11 and 12 free, or $120 for the 12 and months 13 & 14 free? It might be more complicated to do the later as it would end up rotating when the annual subscriptions would come due. (Just something you're probably already thinking on.)
Months 11 and 12 would be free... so a full year (12 months) for $50 unlimited personal use downloading, or $100 for unlimited commercial use downloading.