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CAGcast #213: The 2010 Tokyo Game Show Show


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#31 figcoinc

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 12:28 AM

I would like to comment on the Giantbomb issue as well.

When they did their major event, "The Big live live show...LIVE!" it was their way of introducing a lot of things. The first was the inclusion of their subscription system.

They said from day 1 they wanted minimal ads on their site. They were never against ads, or anything like that. It was just a overall philosophy that ads could hinder the experience of the user. So they wanted to make sure the ads they put on the site were not intrusive. Once their live show aired, they implemented many more ads to the website. No where near the amount that are on many sites, and not as frequent but they are there.

Also, they have quests (little games within the site that earns you points for use of the site similar to achievement points) that are sponsored. The subscription service was a way to subsidize the lack of ads. The subscribers have no ads whatsoever. Non-subscribers, which would be the majority of users get ads. So either way they are getting paid.

They actually have a ad sales team, and the rest of the things like most major websites like Gamespot. Giantbomb is actually a section of what is called, "Whiskey Media". They entail; Giantbomb, Anime Vice, Screened, Comic Vine, and Tested. Giantbomb being the largest. Their live event also introduced the ability to have one user/pass for all the sites. Giving users the ability to visit, comment, get updates, and view all the content from all the Whiskey Media sites.

What does this do? Gives the sales team more opportunity to put ads on each site by showing demographics of growth of all the sites. Is it a way to show somewhat artificial growth by the others sites...yes. Though, what has happened (the gamble is paying off) is that Giantbomb users have flocked to these other sites. Actively using them. Which before they knew of the other sites, but honestly did not feel it was apart of the Giantbomb family. Now, all the sites are treated by the users as equal sister sites with great content. Some sites have grown from 1-2 comments per article to 100-200 per article. Which is a great tool for any ad salesman.

So while subscriptions are a one time payment for any upgrades across all the sites (yearly or monthly), the ad revenue can be split amongst each site. That way they can have a great amount of ad revenue, coming from different areas of Whiskey Media, but still going into single Whiskey Media site. So instead of Giantbomb being a lone wolf in ads they all support each other. Obviously the biggest load to keep this going is Giantbomb because they are the premier site.

Things have grown dramatically for Giantbomb, and all the Whiskey Media sites since then. Heck, they may even have a chance of having Ice-T (Yes...THAT Ice-T) participate in the Giantbomb podcast.

So, while is it a very risky plan it is actually showing signs of success. It puts more emphasis for the sites to keep cranking out the content, and being a site for all types of geeks but honestly I think they like it that way.


#32 Curufinwe

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 01:48 AM

Shipwreck's views on the new Dante seemed a bit inconsistent. First he says the new Dante looks like David Bowie, then he says the old Dante was the androgynous version. Surely if the new Dante looks like David Bowie then the new Dante must also be androgynous?

In any event, the new Dante actually looks more like the bastard love child of Robert Pattinson and Herman Munster.

http://www.gamezone...._dante_anymore/

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#33 usickenme

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 01:58 AM

Good Stuff.


very well done. Look normally, I like the 'off-the-cuff' conversation but Cheapy and Wombat sounded like morons in this discussion. Ship was wise to remain quiet.

#34 Wombat

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 10:26 AM

I would like to comment on the Giantbomb issue as well.


I have not seen any evidence of an ad team, so i'd like to know where you got that info. Also article comments are not helpful to a salesperson. Most major ad contracts stipulate that ads be in areas where comments are not allowed. My main concern was maintaining the revenue stream. Once you get the t-shirt and satisfaction of donating the 1st time, what reason do you have to renew that subscription?

I love Giant Bomb and I want them to succeed, but I just don't think the sub model should be their main source of revenue. Of course this is an outside observation, so really what do I know. But it is apparent you know as little as I do.

#35 drew327

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:45 AM

I think WhiskeyMedia was planning something like this all along. They have their suite of connected websites, now you have a unified log-in for all of them, and the dedicated users can pay for an ad-free experience (implying that more ads are coming) and some other bells and whistles. I don't think they ran out of money (they all just moved into a large building in SF), like any website they are just trying to figure out the best way to create some revenue.

So glad they dumped their new podcast idea, that sounded brutal.

#36 figcoinc

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:46 AM

I have not seen any evidence of an ad team, so i'd like to know where you got that info. Also article comments are not helpful to a salesperson. Most major ad contracts stipulate that ads be in areas where comments are not allowed. My main concern was maintaining the revenue stream. Once you get the t-shirt and satisfaction of donating the 1st time, what reason do you have to renew that subscription?

I love Giant Bomb and I want them to succeed, but I just don't think the sub model should be their main source of revenue. Of course this is an outside observation, so really what do I know. But it is apparent you know as little as I do.


They have mentioned a few times in their videos they have a partnership with a group that handles ads, and I believe they mentioned a few times in their video where they showed their new office. Of course only in passing because they rather speak about videogames/shenanigans. You can see a overview of what I said if you go to the marketing and advertising site.

http://whiskeymedia....advertise.shtml

The Ad Sales partnership is with Six Apart.

http://www.sixapart....x-apart-an.html

Six Apart brings them possible Ads, or markets for them but the Editors of each of Whiskey's site approves which ads that appears on the site. I know of Six Apart because a personal friend used them for a now defunct site (not Six Apart's fault).

If I remember right Wombat your job relates to Ads. Specifically a online ad groups. So it is understandable that this model makes little sense to you. To be honest I see the possibility, but it is a huge risk. Not the model I would embrace.

I honestly wish them the best. I did sign up for the yearly membership mainly as a supporter. They did state they have many more benefits coming to members very soon. I am sure they had ideas planned for quite some time. Just wanted to get this put forth to the community to see the reaction, and adjust accordingly. Now the hard work comes in keeping those subscribers.

So they do have Ad Partners, Ads, click-through revenue (similar to what Cheapy uses in terms of Amazon/Gamespot), and of course growing demographics on individual sites (especially now with multipass). So the comments statement I used was a basic example of something to show growth on each individual site. I am sure demo-graphical traffic data shows five rapidly growing user bases via their five sites. I just used the comments item as a representation that those sites traffic has risen. Which it has.

On a personal note, "But it is apparent you know as little as I do." was not needed, or appreciated Wombat. While I may not know the exact business model of Whiskey as do you; I was simply trying to do a analytical look at their business model based on what I seen, heard, and read while following the site. Very similarly to what you did, and do with many business plans from in other videogame subjects over the years. That was a back-handed insult that reeked of denigration considering I was not disrespectful to you, nor your analysis of their situation on the CAGcast.

Not every post on a message board is a invitation for argument, but at times a way for great conversation. If you had information, or a great point that may change may way of viewing a situation that would be great. I do not post as if my statement is the end-all-be-all, nor as nothing more than conjecture in hopes of learning more through discussion. If you did not mean it that way that is fine, since nuance of speech does not translate well via text on a message board. I just wanted to mention it.

Edited by figcoinc, 22 September 2010 - 02:10 AM.



#37 Wombat

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Posted 22 September 2010 - 01:00 PM

Lots of stuff.


First, I am sorry you were offended and I apologize. Having some experience, I will say that using an ad network can be great way to add additional revenue to your site. It works best when used as addition to an internal sales person. Nothing is better to attract sales then someone who needs them. So I stand by my point that investing in an internal sales person is a direction they may want to consider. Again I apologize if I came off like a jerk.

#38 SilverPR

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 12:18 AM

Great Cagcast like always.

I must say I admire CheapyD as a father, being a parent and knowing how to let his son Tai to gaming is a great responsibility. Also I like how He keeps his privacy around his family, people wanting to see Miss CheapyD on photos after hearing her voice on episode 200th is just disturbing. (like Wombat said back then, rewinding, listening, finishing, going to sleep)

Keep the good work and keep the podcast free, because is one of the best sources on promoting a site.

#39 figcoinc

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 06:00 PM

First, I am sorry you were offended and I apologize. Having some experience, I will say that using an ad network can be great way to add additional revenue to your site. It works best when used as addition to an internal sales person. Nothing is better to attract sales then someone who needs them. So I stand by my point that investing in an internal sales person is a direction they may want to consider. Again I apologize if I came off like a jerk.


It is OK Wombat. I was just confused by the reaction. I assumed that it was not your intention. I just wanted to bring it to you attention.

I do agree with you on this point. It is not a model I would adopt, but it is a very interesting concept. I would like to see how this works out, and if it does work out could it work with others?

Even it does work for Whiskey I honestly do not see it working with any other type of site. The more traditional method of gathering ad revenue is a more secure bet for income. Especially if you trying to design a site that is bigger than a just personal blog.

Great Cagcast like always.

I must say I admire CheapyD as a father, being a parent and knowing how to let his son Tai to gaming is a great responsibility. Also I like how He keeps his privacy around his family, people wanting to see Miss CheapyD on photos after hearing her voice on episode 200th is just disturbing. (like Wombat said back then, rewinding, listening, finishing, going to sleep)

Keep the good work and keep the podcast free, because is one of the best sources on promoting a site.


I agree SilverPR. I have always been disturbed by the desire of people insisting on seeing Mrs. Cheapy. Why subject yourself to hordes of statements (insulting, perverted, or odd) to a group of people who view their anonymity as a badge to be inappropriate. If she ever did decide to show herself great, but that is a personal decision she would make.

I do agree with the rest of that statement, but I would pass that on to Ship and Wombat as well. They work hard, do their best to gives us information and entertain us. Yes, it has opened doors to connections most of us will never obtain in the gaming world, but it is not their career (with obvious exception to Cheapy unless he sells this website).


#40 kashwashwa

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 09:31 PM

The discussion about the Giant bomb stuff on the cagcast seemed really ill-informed.
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#41 ianoid

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:08 PM

Nice work squeezing out a podcast this week. Thoroughly enjoyed.

Not a lot of turdie talk lately. Cheapy, have you heeded your critics? Say it isn't so.

Still my favorite gaming podcast. Best sound quality, best pace. I tried listening to gam3r's Hit Points, and although it has potential, there is too much laughing into the mics (glad you're having a good time, but it's annoying to listen to) and mixed production/quality is too annoying for an hour.

Game Informer's up to 40 episodes, and there has been clear improvement. When the topic is interesting, I listen to that one.

Plus other podcasts have an issue with pacing. I don't know if it's intentional, but it makes for a more pleasant 'cast if you don't spend 10 minutes talking about BFBC2 without covering any new ground.

So what podcasts are you guys listening to and liking lately?

CAGcast- still the beast!
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#42 FriskyTanuki

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Posted 26 September 2010 - 05:36 AM

TGS is probably a bit more expensive of a show to attend as a publisher/developer since you have to travel all the way to Tokyo if you don't have a Japanese branch and then any Western games you could show probably aren't worth showing to the audience due to their lack of interest. At E3, you'll see a ton of companies from Europe, North America, and Japan since the audience is a bit more broad and full of the media with less of the general public there.

Giant Bomb and the other sites has more ads around the video pages from what I've seen. I don't think they're out of money since they wouldn't have moved to new, bigger offices and added two new sites with their own new staff members earlier this year. They'd just rather get money/support from their userbase than from advertisers just for the sake of being able to keep doing what they want to do. Now they have the opportunity to just add new features and content just for their users to keep them happy rather than just for having more places for ads so their advertisers are happy, which leaves the users as second fiddle. It wouldn't work for many sites since the staff has to make most of the content, but the users fill in the wikis on Giant Bomb, Screened, and the other sites so that they can focus on reviews, videos, podcasts, and other content that they want to do.

The podcast "perk" was one of the two dumbest moves they've pulled with the subscription, as they held the podcast hostage to try to get more subscribers when they had to be sure that they'd hit the target anyway. Not touching Screened, Tested, or any of the other podcasts shows that they weren't serious about it. The other issue is the complete lack of detailed info on what the subscription has to offer, as I've seen bits and pieces in the podcast, the Whiskey Media Blog, the Big Live Live Show, and their twitter account, but nothing in one place.

I found out about the podcast being held hostage on the podcast and was really disappointed until I found out about them offering the chance to get it freed with their Big Live Live Show, a seven hour streamed show on justin.tv, and that they reached that goal when I eventually saw links to their twitter account. None of this information was on Giant Bomb, Whiskey Media's site, or any kind of central Whiskey Media sub page that explained what your $50 got you. The closest I could find was a subscription FAQ that was all about the shirt and billing details.

Good show.