We have been developing a new site for the last 6 months. Sort of entertainment news, reviews and media. I guess a bit like IGN but with a movie focus and less geared towards only males.
Now our programmer has developed a soquisticated (I guess) user system. Really we have three classes of user. Public, members and subsribers.
THis week we have been setting up the file permissions based on the user classes. The site holds a lot of files for download. From trailers and interviews to patches and demos.
Each media class can have a different permission for each user.
Currently our delivery is either No Access, Peer to peer only, web server, or peer to peer and web server. We are using Red Swoosh as the peer to peer system.
Now our intial thoughts were to block all media, bar images, to non members. Essentially requiring registration to download anything large. With the members (free) being promted to use the peer to peer but for small files defaulting over to the webserver if they decline. Large files giving a notice that only avialbe via the client.
Subscribers would have broader options. Including peer to peer and webserver at once which gives very fast downloads.
What do you think. I mean requiring registration can be risky..then again there are distinct advantages to having people in the system.
On our current 'fan' site we do not ask for registration. But given this new one is a commercial venture we really need to be gathering demographics etc.
The peer to peer client really just lets us serve media in a way we could never do via traditional web server, due to cost. Same thing that Ifilm, IGN, gamespot etc do. We can even predeliver content transparently.
I guess we will package it in more sellable terms than just peer to peer, due to the negative associations. :-)
BUt what do you think, require registration for just about everything or not? I have been tryin gto balance the annoyance factor vs the benefits to us comercially.
I should add the actual site content will not be restricted. SO news review etc will be public. Other benefits for members are the usual forums, personal page/profile, as well as item tracking and such.
I didn't read your whole post, I just got the jist of it in the first paragraph.
If your userbase is big enough, and loyal enough, a subscription service is wise, as it brings in extra revenue. When you're considering limiting certain areas, remember that it's usually a forum that builds a strong interest and community for these types of websites, IGN has hundreds of thousands of loyal users, which is why their forums remain active even after a subscription is required.
I would highly recommend keeping the forum free and available, as well as news, reviews, previews, etc.. etc.. -- Subscription only features could be editorials, certain downloadable content (files, movies), a certain amount of images (or give small size images and give subscribers access to higher resolutions). Basically, don't burn your bridges, keep the things that people can find anywhere free, and the more exclusive and sought out stuff paid.
Same goes for regular free registration. If I have to register at your site to download screenshots for Rainbow Six 3 when I can go anywhere else on the net and get it, I will leave your site and go to the next on the list.
As I said things like reviews,images, news, etc will be public. Same with forums and such being free.
Though the site is setup such that you join the site rather than register for just the forum. So that ties up user homepage, forums, newsletters admin, user reviews etc.
But with larger files we do have to make a decision. Either allow the public access or require registration. I think most very large site now require registration. So we should get away with it.
Obvioulsy we have no users at the moment. But we should be pretty busy. Out other site gets hundreds of thousands of uniques a month so hopin gto launch it on the back of that as well as some other advertising.
Subscription wise they will get pop mail, forums extras, addtional tracking options, predeliver content options and more than one way to get the larger files. So they can refuse to use our client and get from our web server instead. As well as some other benefits. BUt I only expect subscribers after the site has been live for a while.
BUt would you expect to register on a site to download say a movie clip, interview, demo etc?