That's tricky because as you said or alluded to, absolute numbers isn't anything that would ever happen.. I'm sure players or GM don't want people to know concrete numbers. Just look at how streamers and youtubers already are when it comes to how much money they make. that is private info to them, and if that money was easily figured out maybe some wouldn't be comfortable coming on Rollplay... Im not sure? I haven't thought about it deeply enough but it's what came to mind reading your post.
Really disappointed to see you went through with the $1 tier change.
This lack of transparency about income on Twitch has always been interesting to me in a curious sort of way. I come from a family of public servants, (including myself) so all of our incomes are a matter of public record. Which makes perfect sense to me; tax payers should know how money is being spent, but means I'm so far removed from having that privacy it's hard to connect to the purpose.
More on topic: I think this graph could be extremely general. X amount on show personnel for the year, X amount on support staff for the year, X amount on art/design, X amount on hardware, etc.
An annual summary on a few big categories could give some information without revealing individual details. For the more touchy issue of salaries, I can see not separating GMs and players, just an overall amount for manpower.
On the other hand, we already have a good impression of the total amount of Patreon money coming in month to month. There's no way to hide this. It's not impossible to try to back-of-the-napkin particular costs, but there are elements (do players get anything?) which still aren't clear. I'm not thrilled with this situation. Similarly to some other commenters, one of my primary reasons for paying into the Patreon isn't actually access to additional content. I pay in because I enjoy the content and want to see it continue being made. I don't even pay on Twitch, in fact, because they take a much higher cut of the sub money.
It's hard to parse out how much goes to "core content"- the shows, GM, players, graphics, equipment, etc., and how much goes to the live shows particularly. For me, I'm usually unable to watch the live shows because they're so time-consuming. After what everyone admits has been a less than optimal year for core content, it would be nice to have a rough impression of where everything's going to lend additional confidence for the next year.
I totaly missed it myself, some how. I've been looking for news of Blades in the mews thread.
Thanks for posting this missed it myself.
Thanks for the response, I went to be more specific but it looks like the goals are gone now; I assume they'll be back as they're our best guide to what we're supporting. I suggest a summary post that goes goal-by-goal just like the tier changes, as tweets and stream comments (and even forum posts) can easily be lost in time ... LTIR.
Thrilled to make the jump to $10. I was previously in the $5 tier as an mp3 only consumer of the shows, and would jump to $20 every few months to grab the pdfs as I didn't feel comfortable committing to $20 every month. So looking forward to paying around the same now without feeling bad about gaming the system a little bit :p. Also, maps, hnnnnnnn. Making maps has never been my favorite GM thing to do, looking forward to indirectly reaping some of the benefits of Adam's blessed position (boyyyy I hope you say thanks everyday for that full roll20 library access!)
Also excited about the DM hangout being lowered to $50. I've toyed with pulling the trigger to do one of those for a long time and now I feel much more inclined to one of these months. Shit, even considering doing the PAX one. Was planning on visiting Philly soon anyway and never been to PAX, hmm.
Keep up the great work JP and the rest. Know things have not been ideal lately but there were always going to be roadblocks in the first few years.
Just spittin ideas out, but a neat thing for the patreon could be if Adam did an Office Hours show with budding Rollplay GM's (of one shots or otherwise). Would be in a similar vein to the hangouts he has done with Dodger, which I also liked as I enjoy reflecting/listening to others reflect on how to improve as a GM, but a bit more structured. Not sure if this would be crossing a boundary if there is an intent for Adam to keep his personal shows/products seperate from Rollplay but thought I'd toss it out there.
Love the shows, hope it works out, but I have a family and a mortgage. I know it seems small but the 1 to 3 dollar increase just isn't worth it. I'll still be a sub, but I can't afford to do both that and patron. Sorry. Though I'm sure it won't matter if I leave. It's all just a drop in the bucket.
I seriously cannot believe with the results on Patreon that the 1$ to 3$ change was made. Here are the results, by the way, for those that missed it or who were not pledges at the time:
I like the proposed changes! 686
I would unpledge if you made these changes! 616
I'm not affected by the changes 268
1570 votes total
I do not have formal education in statistics to speak of, but over 40% of people who voted on the poll voted that they would unpledge if these changes were made. This is not accounting for the poor choice of options (what about the people who wouldn't unpledge, but do not like the changes? That was my personal opinion, but I was forced to choose between liking and unpledging).
Now, one might assume that the 1500 votes can be extrapolated to represent the 4600 or so pledges and that if you only lose 40% of pledges, but increase the price of that tier by 200%, that you're still making money off of the change. I would not agree with that, for two reasons:
Out of the 3000 or so pledges who didn't vote, a vast majority of them are just people who pledge the lowest/lower tiers and only really care about the content. Since they are a part of the group that is only seeing a price increase, they are possibly more likely to not like the changes or possibly unpledge.
If you lose fourty percent of your pledge base, that is a LOT. The amount pledged to patreon a month might not change much, but the overall customer base has been changed quite a bit. People becoming disenfranchised with the brand can lead to lost subs, lost views, lost pledges, bad press, and more, which will have a much more drastic effect on the bottom line for both RollPlay and your personal channel, JP.
I also think it's kind of a dick move based on how pledges tend to repledge automatically to keep the 1$ tier around. There will be a decent amount of people who will keep repledging without realizing it and wondering where there content went. It might not last forever, but the 1$ pledge tier is essentially a ghost tier, preying on people who aren't paying attention right now.
I'll leave my personal opinions on whether I'm unsubbing or unpledging for another post, because this is all about just how flabbergasted I am about how RollPlay has decided to react to the data presented to it by its pledges.
Edit: a typo
First off, I just want to say I have loved the content so far on twitch, and the behind the scenes content that have been in the $1 tier.
Second thing, I laughed so freaking hard at your new $1 tier, I almost fell out of my chair. "We heard your feedback, so the $1 base tier will remain. You'll still be able to access any content that was published during Year One at this tier." I don't think that's what we were saying at all. You're still moving all the content we loved to the $3 tier. It just seemed like the way you worded that was kind of a back-hand.
Alright, so what is it that we get in the new $1 tier. Feed Access which is basically a preview to try and convince us to move to the $3 tier? Really? That's a thing? The Monthly Q&A seems like something we would kind of get before in the forums that Adam would start up after every show anyway.
Sorry, I mentioned before that I'll probably get rid of my support on patreon if this was to happen, but not like that's probably going to change your mind. I see a lot of people are doing the same, but it seems like you're really trying to get this move from $1 to $3 tier pushed regardless, and I'm going to assume you knew this backlash was going to happen.
I did mention that I'd be fine maybe having a $2 tier instead for behind the scenes. I think that's doable, but you have to expect that everyone who is only supporting $1 doesn't have a whole lot of money to support, and are not going to increase their amount.
Here is my suggestions, have multiple low $ patreon tiers. Have a $1, $2, and $3 tiers. Maybe even one for $4, and $5. Give each tier something of worth. You have post shows, Character creations, and some other different behind the scenes videos that happen every once in awhile. Put each of these behind at least one of the tiers, and people are going to have the incentive to possibly raise up more as time goes on for just that 1 dollar more.
I hope this new tier system isn't final, but I guess time will tell.
I cancelled my pledge. The 3$ tier change is raking me over the coals, along with the 5$ charge for accesing the VODs. I think ill just stick with the Twitch Subscription for now. Real unhappy with the change.
Just my two cents but don't mind the changes. I was already in the 5 dollar tier so I feel like I actually get more bang for my buck.
What I do want for Year 2 is more replacement content when other content is canceled for some reason.
Say for some unfortunate reason there's a week with no Rollplay shows, I'd love it if JP and Adam did a Patreon video similar to the Volos video where you just discuss something TRPG related. It doesn't have to be long or complicated, just something to give patrons something for their money spent.
This channel produces some very good content so I will up my pledge to 3$, but now that we're paying that much more for that behind the scenes content, I think it's extremely important we actually get that content. In the past many post-shows have simply been dropped or had cast members missing, and I hope you make an effort to make sure this doesn't happen as much with the price increase.
Excited for year two!
Like a lot of other people here I did drop my pledge. Soft cancelation of Blades paired with CoS vacation was not a good position to charge more money for apparently the exact same content. Sadly, I never really got into Neb-Jazz may be that would offset some of the bad. Also, I find the DM Prep videos from Adam way more interesting than Char-creation. (Probably should not have said that so they won't disappear behind a patreon paywall as well) I also already give up 5$ for instant VOD access on twitch.
I would immediately switch from my twitch subscription to a 5$ patreon pledge if it would include instant VOD access. As far as I understand that would be more money for you.
Updated my pledge to the $10 tier from the previous $5. I completely understand why a lot of people are unhappy with the current state of Rollplay and the changes, but I also feel the end of year 1 was a good point in time to do that and move forward.
For me, supporting creators on Patreon will always be more about the general idea of the content being produced and me just liking what they do, than about the frequency or exact amount. But I also come from a financial position where I can just drop this money and don't have to care about it whatsoever and I am very aware of this privilege.
I think RollPlay would GREATLY benefit of a bit more transparency and regular (monthly show?) updates on the state of things. At the moment updates are far too infrequent and it often feels like they are being dropped randomly on Twitter or in some episode of a show and even more often (at least to me) it feels like they are in reaction to something not working out instead of proactively announcing / discussing all the good things.
I know JP doesn't feel comfortable discussing the inner workings of scheduling because reactions of some in the community tend to get completely out of hand and result in finger-pointing and blaming cast members and talking about money also can bring out a lot of stupid comments from people. Being left in the dark has had similar effects in the past though.
Sitting down with Adam on a Skype call for 30 or 45 minutes each month following a fixed agenda (e.g. state of production gear, state of scheduling, upcoming shows, upcoming cast members, what you spent money on to improve RollPlay, new things being in the works, etc.) could a) be really fun to watch and b) get people a lot more informed and involved in everything. Just needs to balanced correctly.
As with all comments everywhere on Internet the negative comments are always much more present than the positive mostly because those of us who agree with the price change from 1 to 3$ will just up their pledge and go back to their life. This is Internet so for once I would like to state why I think this modification is a good thing and makes sense.
1$ was I think an error from the get go with the content it provided. When we had the 2$ tier I directly switched to it as it made sense to me. In many other patreon, the 1$ tier is just a small help to show the content creator that we like his job and most of the time we get nothing in return other than a thank you. This is why I think that giving such content for 1$ was an error this not having an issue with the increase to 3$.
People saying that the increase is too much for their financial stability should indeed drop the pledge and maybe work on their budget as if 3$ per month is a financial struggle then you need to seriously work on your financial and drop those non essential costs.
Regarding the shows erratic schedules, I can easily undestand as we play D&D with some IRL friends and it's a nightmare to schedule a session to play even if everybody is always very happy to play. For me, I do not have the time to watch all those long running shows so I noticed that I mostly started to watch the live shows (my favorites) and the one shots so I would be happy if we had more one shots or two shots if more time is needed.
Regarding the behind the scene content, I like the player creation but as I do not follow the long running shows I usually don't watch the end of session stuff. I however really like the extra stuff you did with the technical videos with Sir Scoot and the monster manual session with Adam. Not being a content creator or in the streaming or event business I find those technical videos extremely interesting and would not be against seeing more of them. Having something interesting explained by someone I like to see and hear is a plus.
All in all I'm looking forward to see what year two will bring and thank JP and the casts for providing us with great content.
I was at the $20 tier which dropped to $10. So thanks for $10 that is now going to feed my impulse buying of toy figures
I see no reason to be upset with the changes in the patreon from my point of view and wish you and everyone involved continued success.
Thank you for all the content this patreon was able to fund and I am glad that my small contribution was able to help fund the table and the live shows etc.. The animations have been fun to watch as well.
I was on the $10 tier and I've got no use for the mp3s anymore or any interest in the zine, so I'm happy to do the $3 tier as I love the post show talks and char creations. I do understand why people at the $1 tier would be unhappy though, you are losing access to something you once had access to at a good price, nobody would be happy about that.
I can only hope whatever drop in the patreon doesn't discourage you all too much, and you work to make everything even better with all this feedback!
Personally I always thought the old $1 tier was oddly cheap so I don't see an issue bumping up to $3.
To be honest the most promising thing for the future was JP mentioning that he hired a scheduler (presuming he followed through on the tweet about it). It's not like that's a flashy, headline grabbing use of funds but, man, a good line manager is a wonderful thing. At the very least it shows that it's not an issue that's being ignored or just given lip service.
Getting another DM in is obviously another concern (there's still a massive Stephen shaped hole in RollPlay content, after all), but it also seems clear that it's being looked at. Plus we have all these one shots from a bunch of new DMs - it seems like a good way of finding new blood.
So yeah, it's definitely been a tough year (for the most part unavoidable - the issues with Blades, the house move etc. Not much can be done about that stuff) but there's good signs for the future.