The State of Premium

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InStInCt666

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#1  Edited By InStInCt666

I love Giant Bomb, i really do.

i started watching GB back in 2013, didn't really know anything about this site before that other than Totalbiscuit (may he Rest in Peace) referenced that Giant Bomb was a big inspiration for him.

two years later, i was a proud Premium member of this community. Watched All of the Mario Party Party, Kerbal Space Program, Game Tape, Demo Derby and obviously Playdates and UPF to only name a few. Best way to spend my money, premium content was awesome.

Today, not so much. I don't want to be Gatekeeping but, right now i don't know why someone would join the premium membership...

Me, personally, will continue to pay the premium, with no discount, because i want to support what i love. Looking at the Premium section of the video pages, it seems that UPF is the only thing people will buy into. Run for the hills was Great, but now it seems that the second season won't be premium. I'm not counting the Bombcast for the premium obviously.

i'm left here wondering, what is happening ? don't get me wrong, I loooove Arcade Pit, Bak 2 Skool and The Very Online Show (not a fan of albummer though, what a bummer). But all of theses are now available for all. So my question : other than me who clearly will pay for premium because i want you guys to keep doing awesome content, what is the incentive for someone new to consider buying into Premium ? I feel like, go watch previous shows, while being true that those are still really good today, isn't a good way to bring people in.

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Broshmosh

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#2  Edited By Broshmosh

There have been ongoing problems with the in-house Giantbomb video stream setup, and this has meant more things have been streamed on Twitch than usual. I don't think it's meant to be a permanent thing.

The archive is still a selling point, even if you don't think it is. There are quite a few very good shows that are worth watching that you can't access any other way - Steal My Sunshine and Metal Gear Scanlon are just two that spring to mind. You may have already watched the archive, but people new to the site have not.

Surely this question makes more sense coming from a new site user? Are you asking the community to justify to you, someone who does not want justification to stay subbed, why someone should sub?

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marsd96

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This is my first time ever posting on the forums here, I have been listening to the bombcast for over ten years now its been hugely influential on the way I thought about and played games. I'm going to EVO this year because when I was 13 or 14 I heard Jeff G talk about fighting games and was inspired me to give them a try and found a love for a genre I wouldn't have otherwise.

With that being said, despite the podcast being hugely influential on my choice of games to play I never really interacted with the site despite having premium for parts of that time. I just didn't have time/interest to watch long videos but when we all had to stay home in 2020 I found myself looking for content to watch which lead me to exploring the catalogue on giant bomb. I regret not doing this sooner because I have loved most everything I have watched, from Mario party to ranking of the fighters to kerbal space program.

With all that being said I really like the direction the site is going in now. There might have been a bit of a low period after the departures but I feel like they've turned it around and are on the cusp of something great now. I think Jess has been a great addition and I have been enjoying the dynamic of the bombcast which has and will continue to be my favorite thing they do.

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FacelessVixen

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I'll take this over the "why I canceled my sub" threads that would periodically show up over the past few years.

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Broshmosh

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@facelessvixen: I man, it is a strict upgrade on those threads for sure, but it's still pretty perplexing.

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MindBullet

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I dunno, I don't think OP is alone in wondering what the plan for Premium actually is going forward. Unless the crew has talked about it somewhere that's been completely buried away for most people, the best we've really gotten is a vague gesturing at "tech issues" and not much else.

I think asking "will the stuff that was previously locked behind a Premium subscription continue to be put on YouTube or streamed on Twitch in their entirety for free" is a fair question that hasn't really been addressed in a satisfying way yet.

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Humanity

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@broshmosh: Someone is asking very politely what is going on with Premium content that was a big push when they announced their new format of “premium shows” that would be the new core of Giant Bomb. I have been around for as long as anyone and I always find it more perplexing when people basically say they would keep buying premium even if GB would broadcast pure static for 3 hours a day.

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mellotronrules

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#8  Edited By mellotronrules

mmm pay for premium, or alternatively: don't?

i don't mean to be reductive, but at the end of the day you're either happy spending the money or you're not. if you're not sure where your money is going- i suggest stop forking it over. but if you're ok with supporting for the sake of supporting (and not caught up in the transactional aspect)- then no worries, right?

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goosemunch

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If I had to theorize, they're just testing to see what type of content jives with the public at large. It's impossible to accurately gauge what types of show people want to watch when you only take the premium viewer numbers into account due to selection bias.

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AV_Gamer

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Here we go again... but no matter how some people may not like or get tired of these type of threads, people have a right to express how they feel about any website. With that said, I'll repeat what I said on the last couple of threads about this site; Either you like this site enough to support it, or you don't. Things are going to be how they are going to be. The choice is yours to make.

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superslidetail

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Wouldn't be a bad idea to get another discord pod from Rorie and Bakalar about how things are going.

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monkeyking1969

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@humanity said:

@broshmosh: Someone is asking very politely what is going on with Premium content that was a big push when they announced their new format of “premium shows” that would be the new core of Giant Bomb. I have been around for as long as anyone and I always find it more perplexing when people basically say they would keep buying premium even if GB would broadcast pure static for 3 hours a day.

Why would that be perplexing. We want them to get paid for what they make? Some people think that paying people for what they produce should be normal, and that the system of advertisers making content "appear free" is not ideal or all that stable. The arguments that Red Ventures pays them and that in turn advertisers pay Red Ventures, so why give them subscription money misses some facts. CBSi brought Giant Bomb in 2012 because they did generate their own income. And, thereby when CBSi was selling off those units, any calculation Red Ventures did of what Game Spot and Giant Bomb is worth was based on income in 2015-2020 - useful, long range subscription data.

Make no mistake if the Giant Bomb community just stopped purchasing subscriptions Giant Bomb will be gone. And, this is not just and issue in gaming. If you want truth and honest news reporting you should be supporting local newspapers that do original reporting and news creation. What news reporting we would have in the United States would be absolute garbage fun by Rupert Murdoch, Robert Herring Sr., and Mark Zuckerberg.

Pay for original reporting sources in you town, regions and nation for news; and pay for the entertainment media you love...or you will lose it.

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MindBullet

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A lot of y'all are jumping way too quick into writing this off as another "GB aint what it used to be" thread when OP is pretty clear that they love the current content and will continue to pay for it, but is wondering what a Premium sub actually is now.

I'll reiterate that I think it's a fair question, and having someone actually lay out what the plan is would help put a stop to this weird discourse that keeps popping up.

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FinalDasa

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#14 FinalDasa  Moderator

A lot of y'all are jumping way too quick into writing this off as another "GB aint what it used to be" thread when OP is pretty clear that they love the current content and will continue to pay for it, but is wondering what a Premium sub actually is now.

I'll reiterate that I think it's a fair question, and having someone actually lay out what the plan is would help put a stop to this weird discourse that keeps popping up.

Ditto. I think the mod team would be the first to give a heavy sigh and think "oh look, another one of these". However I think it's totally fair and right to ask what premium is now and what it'll be in the future.

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BisonHero

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#15  Edited By BisonHero

@mindbullet: “What *is* a premium sub and what does it get you” seems like a fair question, though to some extent I think that is answered if you browse around the front page. It’s just the answer is confusing because so many features labeled as premium are being freely streamed to Twitch and archived to YouTube at the moment.

As an extension of that question, I still think there’s a bit of missing link of like a “vision statement for GB” article that could’ve been posted either back when Bakalar came in with whatever his job title is, or when 3 long-time staff left.

I feel like that’s somewhat common practice in publication when editor-in-chief changes or the format/structure changes significantly. Jeff G is obviously still here, but Bakalar clearly has a big say in the “content strategy” of the website to the point where he seems like co-EIC, and the content focus in the last year is something of a departure from 2012-2020 GB.

But any overview communication has been absent and most of the statements are like “Wait and see what we’re going to release in the next few months, I think you’ll find something you’ll like.” Which thus far has been a true statement, there’s stuff to like, but the audience is left to their own devices to reverse-engineer what the site direction is based on piecemeal rollout of new features.

But maybe this falls in the same category as “a write up of 2021 GotY sure would be nice” but the written word is dead on GB. As others point out, maybe some of this could be addressed in another Bakalar/Rorie Discord podcast addressing questions about the site.

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csl316

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#16  Edited By csl316

GB's humming along pretty well these days with its mix of stuff, but the premium question is valid.

Feels like this thread was also up last month and had plenty of good points in there.

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Broshmosh

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@mindbullet: I definitely read it as "Tell me what I'm paying for", and gave my answer as that. I also countered with my own question of why this isn't coming from someone who needs to be sold on premium. It's probably more of a me-thing to downplay the importance of curiosity and transparency, but I didn't take it as just another one of those threads, despite how my response came across.

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bobafoot17

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@av_gamer: that's a bit reductive, don't you think? OP is clearly stating they're going to continue paying and is only asking what do we get out of it, and what would make a potential new subscriber decide to pay for it. It's a very valid question to ask, if you're paying for something then you expect a product to be provided, and there currently isn't much of one that you can't just get for free. It kind of feels like we need a big ole Giant Bomb State of the Union so we can get an idea of what the future looks like for premium members.

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deactivated-647f76b346730

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I too (as I've chimed in elsewhere) am curious about what Premium actually is at this point. As others have mentioned, most live streams marked as a Premium live show stream out to Twitch. I'm likely down for whatever they want to do going forward, but just curious.

They've been pretty upfront about the encoding issues for VODs etc but I haven't seen too much in the way of a statement on Premium vs. Free etc. I know folks have mentioned tech issues, but would appreciate Staff actually chiming in at some point.

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Undeadpool

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mmm pay for premium, or alternatively: don't?

i don't mean to be reductive, but at the end of the day you're either happy spending the money or you're not. if you're not sure where your money is going- i suggest stop forking it over. but if you're ok with supporting for the sake of supporting (and not caught up in the transactional aspect)- then no worries, right?

People seem to treat their premium membership as so much more than "I'm interested in that video, here is some money for it, and more."

This one seems less...aggressive than those "HERE'S WHY I'M CANCELLING!" threads, as said above, but it is, indeed, perplexing. It's like people think they MUST create one of those threads if they cancel, and are desperately trying to justify it. Not to themselves, but to the rest of the site??

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clagnaught

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I think they’ve been open about experimenting with what’s Premium and what’s not. I’ve been busy with IRL stuff so I’ve only been watching Run 2 the Hills lately. That said, it seems like they flipped the switch on making a lot of premium stuff free. Not sure what’s exclusive outside of UPF now.

As other people have said, the backlog is huge. I watched the Fortune Street TNT like 2 weeks ago just ‘cus and have rewatched entire series here and there (some of those ended up being 10-20 hours easily). There’s also stealth benefits I forgot about like ad free videos on the site and being able to download stuff.

This isn’t a post bemoaning premium. I’m still good for like 2023 or something as is. I’m just saying it’s a little confusing and have thought the same thing separately. It seems like they would make an occasional episode of something free on YouTube, but some specific premium content seems to now be all on YouTube. I’m not sure if this was a case where something was too good, like GrubbSnax, to keep behind a paywall. Maybe there’s other premium content coming? If not, it seems like there’s only 2 true exclusive premium features now with an assortment of benefits.

Again, maybe I missed some explanation for why that is, but I just don’t have time for most Giant Bomb stuff at the moment. From the outside looking in, it seems odd.

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AV_Gamer

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@av_gamer: that's a bit reductive, don't you think? OP is clearly stating they're going to continue paying and is only asking what do we get out of it, and what would make a potential new subscriber decide to pay for it. It's a very valid question to ask, if you're paying for something then you expect a product to be provided, and there currently isn't much of one that you can't just get for free. It kind of feels like we need a big ole Giant Bomb State of the Union so we can get an idea of what the future looks like for premium members.

Hey, I personally think there shouldn't be a premium in the first place. And this is coming from someone who had premium for some time. But at least they do have premium sales, so that's something. Back to you, Jim!

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citizencoffeecake

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I still love this site, the people, etc. I came to the forums today to see if this was being discussed. I’m fine with hiccups and format changes but I just wonder what the plan is or if there is one.

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belgo

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Premium seems to have very little value now.

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Eribuster

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I've enjoyed the sillier long plays and exclusive hang outs.

These days, I've accepted that I'm just helping to pay for the staff's salaries and getting some nice site perks (i.e. no ads) as a result.

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swordstruck

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I asked pretty much the same question last week and got no staff response. It's unfortunate because I don't think it's an inappropriate question to ask what the subscription gets you these days. Because it's absolutely changed and hasn't been communicated.

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apewins

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They're putting more shows on the free tier to attract more viewers, that's standard practice for any subscription service. And what needs to be said is that with inflation being what it is, the price of Premium is effectively dropping every year.

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Efesell

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@apewins: So is that why there's not much of it too?

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Gyratyne

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This seems to be one of those "why pay for the cow when you can get the milk for free" situations. Some people will pay to keep the cow alive. Some want to listen the cow's podcast without ads. Others will be happy to drink the free Youtube/Twitch milk. This unflattering metaphor got mangled in hurry.

I think this is another opportunity to clear the air with a clarification from the staff, like in Discord chat as previously suggested, or a statement on the schedule page. Is this due to the recent technical issues or a pivot in strategy to reach a wider audience?

As someone noted before, when all the new shows started popping off, there were complaints that too much was premium and there wasn't enough free content like Quick Looks anymore. Now the pendulum has suddenly swung in the other direction. It'll probably never reach a fully motionless state of balanced equilibrium. But maybe it can oscillate more smoothly in the future.

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Humanity

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@monkeyking1969:They already are getting paid, by the giant corporation that owns the site at the moment. Subscriptions are obviously an incentive for that giant corporation to keep the site around and Premium content is what incentivizes users to continue subscribing. As many people have pointed out, this is not another thread whining about the "good ol days" it's a genuine question about the current state of their premium show lineup. If some want to continue subscribing even when they aren't really getting much out of it that is their choice, but it is not completely outlandish for people to question what the plan is going forward.

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TehBuLL

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All of that Janina stuff fell off. Same with Danny stuff.

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goosemunch

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@gyratyne: I might also add that the kind of person who have enough disposable income to pay for their own milk is ironically an adult who's lactose intolerant and can't consume milk in large quantities.

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Efesell

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TheManiacsGnome

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What is internet? Why is internet? Are you internet? Can I pet internet?

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Gyratyne

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@efesell: @goosemunch: It's a catch-22. Generally, the young have more time than money and the old have more money than time. At the point where someone earns enough to pay for the entertainment they couldn't afford before, they no longer have as much free time to enjoy it. Of course, that's not the case for everyone, but that's the conventional observation.

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sicamore

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They obviously know that the Premium offering is currently thin. Subscriber pushes come in waves(unlike some Patreons where it's constantly shoved in your face) and now is a low point in the cycle.

If you feel cheated when shows aren't for you, stop subscribing yearly and teach them a lesson by going monthly instead so you can cancel ASAP. It's a weird move for how cheap $35 a year is, but that easy exit option has always been there for those that cling to the paying customer defense as if they're prisoners.

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styx971

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@sicamore said:

They obviously know that the Premium offering is currently thin. Subscriber pushes come in waves(unlike some Patreons where it's constantly shoved in your face) and now is a low point in the cycle.

If you feel cheated when shows aren't for you, stop subscribing yearly and teach them a lesson by going monthly instead so you can cancel ASAP. It's a weird move for how cheap $35 a year is, but that easy exit option has always been there for those that cling to the paying customer defense as if they're prisoners.

while your not wrong persay its also very valid to ask these questions when you were sold on X and given Y instead. cost amount isn't necessarily a factor in said current case so much as reason.

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zeldaking2001

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It's very odd that Run to the Hills is on the website as Premium but can be watched on YouTube for free.

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Rakete

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I still enjoy the bombcast and UPF and other content made by the core team. My issue has nothing to do specifically with GB, it is just that after 2 years I am a little tired of watching people streaming from home. That is nobody’s fault obviously.

it would be great to get some update from Jeff on the way forward.

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suzukagongen

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#40  Edited By suzukagongen

@goosemunch: If I had to theorize, they're just testing to see what type of content jives with the public at large. It's impossible to accurately gauge what types of show people want to watch when you only take the premium viewer numbers into account due to selection bias.

I think this is the correct answer. If I didn't already have Premium, "Run for the Hills" would have peaked my interest when they mentioned it on the Bombcast.

But without getting a sample of it, I wouldn't know if I wanted to invest. The Persona 4 Endurance run was free and hooked me into Premium.

(edited to add original post I'm replying to)

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Efesell

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Just seeing what works is going to be the new just settling into the office.

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htr10

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I think Giant Bomb, like several of the other podcasts I support, benefit from having a fanbase that has a lot of members who just want to give money to show gratitude and support the team. For that reason, it seems like providing anything substantial that you couldn’t just get for free has become a secondary issue.

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CharAznableCustom

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@zeldaking2001@: A lot of premium stuff is free right now because of difficulties with transitioning to the new hosting site. I'm honestly not entirely certain which series are actually long-term premium and which aren't right now.

Honestly, I paid for my yearly when the Danny and Dan projects were going strong and the content I specifically like has thinned since then. Run to/for the Hills and GrubbSnax are both great, UPF is good, and the occasional Playdate videos are nice so I don't feel totally burned or anything. If any of them end without something replacing them then maybe I won't renew but it's not like there's nothing going on.

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NickM

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#44  Edited By NickM

@efesell: I thought “they’re getting used to working from home” was the new “getting used to the office”. Or was it “they’re getting used to staff changes”? I forget.

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htr10

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@nickm:

Well, everyone thought “Brad is leaving” was fake and it turned out to be true, 13 years later.

So, the “getting used to…” might still pan out as accurate.

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Tempa777

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May 8th will mark 1 Year since Brad,Vinny and Alex left.

I feel like something else might happen...

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JayPee

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#47  Edited By JayPee

Did I miss something, or is the only recent premium content now variations of the Podcasts and UPF?

Some previously-premium shows are now appearing the the general feed (e.g. RFTH), perhaps I missed a memo, or don't check-in with the site enough due to... life?

Been a premium member since around when it was introduced, but feeling the pinch financially (as I think many are) and really starting to wonder about the value proposition.

Genuinely sorry if I have missed something obvious.

(Edit - I do still listen to the premium Bombcast each week, but nothing I can remember mentioned there.)

(Edit 2 - whelp, should have read the thread a bit better. Perhaps there is/was no memo.)

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Tempa777

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@jaypee: I see think it was because Giantbomb has Video Player issues since they changed something.

That is also why the Bombcast is on twitch as far as i know.

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cheeseholidays

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Would love to see more premium gaming streams, but I get it with the situation and the wfh stuff.

Run for/2 the Hills is great.

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deactivated-647f76b346730

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@jaypee: as far as I know Staff has not addressed this particular question. As far as I can tell the only premium marked stream not going out to Twitch is UPF. Everything else seems to go to Twitch whether it's marked as premium or not. They've been selling the premium version of GrubbSnax as the ability to ask a question in chat, but not sure why other live streams are marked as premium when they're out to Twitch.

Otherwise, the only shows that seem to be premium when archived are UPF and the ad-free Bombcast.