By Kombat 148 Comments
Dave Snider sent out a call-to-arms just a bit ago via his Twitter account wanting to know what each of us would like to see in a Whiskey Media subscription service, and the idea sort of blew my mind. I know the community here has been discussing the possibility of such a thing off and on for a while now. I'm still a little iffy on the idea; I've never touched any of that weird give-them-money stuff that IGN and GameSpot have had going on for so long. But I have to throw some consideration Whiskey's way. This company is one of the most fluidly dynamic groups of people I've encountered with any organization within the greater media as a whole, and not just within the games press. They have been doing something genuinely unique over the last couple of years and I completely respect that. It even excites me that Whiskey Media could really take off and start a sort of shift regarding how people deliver and consume information, and it makes me a little nervous that there is still the very real possibility that they could fail.
The first thing I'd like to see from a Whiskey Media subscription service is quite simple: low cost. The problem with charging any site-visiting hobbyist any amount of money for web content is that dude, we're already paying for a lot of crap! We're buying games at $59.99 MSRP. Our internet costs us more every month than our car payments. We're paying for World of Warcraft accounts, Xbox Live service, Netflix, and extraordinarily overpriced AT&T wireless bills just so our iPod and phone can be the same device. Even the rich geeks are poor after all of these expenses, and the majority of us here are in college or high school, or working shit jobs just to get the bills paid. Money sucks, and so I hope whatever Whiskey has planned won't make in suck much harder.
My second pick is a feature I think the lot of us have been clamoring for since Giant Bomb launched. You guys need to get with the program and introduce HD quality to your video player here, and if charging me a modest subscription price every month or three months or year is what finally enables you to do that, then you have my money. It plays on my guilt-strings that I would rather hop over to YouTube and watch stuff like this amazing StarCraft II trailer in 1080p rather than service this site with an extra click. It would also do wonders for the fidelity of features like Quick Looks, where checking out the game is the primary objective of anyone watching.
Third, I'd definitely be interested in subscriber-only video downloads on Whiskey Media's original content. I think it would be all right for the downloaded files to be in SD, because we all know how expensive both streaming and offering direct downloading for HD content would probably be, and that alone might circumvent your subscription-collecting efforts. You might want to throw a brand-related watermark in the bottom-right corner (of the downloaded file only, not the streaming one) so dudes aren't throwing your videos up on YouTube or something.
A fourth feature that springs to mind is that paying subscribers could bypass the 5,000-point moderation barrier on Wiki Edits. This probably fits better with any new website prospects than the current line-up of brands, but I sure as hell don't even have 1,000 points on Comic Vine or Anime Vice. Getting past this limitation might spur more people to pay, and more people to edit pages. Then again, it could also inspire virtual graffiti all over your databases, so obviously this is one that would take require some serious consideration before implementing.
That's all that comes to mind for the time being. I'm anxious to see this company really take off, and I'm willing to lend a hand by whatever means my finances, waking state, or personal schedule (can I send you guys a portfolio and resume!?!?) will allow. Do this right and you've got my support. Do it wrong like, say, IGN of whatever, and you'll probably earn the scrutiny of many more users than just myself. Keep it clean, simple, and fresh, just like all of your sites are, and I'm sure you'll have done a good job.