In December 2016, I changed Screencaps.US over from a subscription-based system, to a pay-as-you-go system. Here I’d like to provide some information on why I made this change, and what the consequences are for current members. :)
Under the old system, you picked a package for the website you wanted to download zip files for. For example, $5 for a Star Wars package, $20 for the Movies screencaps. If you wanted a few movies, and a few Star Wars, then you had to purchase both packages, or go for the $50 package that included everything. For these fees, you could download every zip file available to you, but it was only valid for 3 months. After that, you had to renew at full price again, even if there were only a few new movies you wanted. The problems with this approach mainly were:
- No flexibility. You pay the full price for all zips for a site, even if you only wanted a few. There was no option to download only, say, 3 or 4 Disney zip files; you needed to pay for the whole shebang.
- Your access only lasted 3 months. After that, you needed to renew at the same high price to get access again.
- Only very few members actually wanted to download hundreds of zip files. Most members only wanted a handful of zips.
- Some members abused the all-you-can-download style of access, and downloaded everything, multiple times, or shared links around. This cost me a LOT of money in S3 bandwidth costs.
So, I decided I needed to switch to a system that would suit everyone’s needs better – I ended up with Easy Digital Downloads. Each and every zip file is now available to purchase on its own, perfect if you are only a casual user or are only after 1 file. Yet for the power users, I have points packages available that will allow them to pre-pay for a certain number of downloads at much lower prices. Hopefully with this approach, I will fix the problems I outlined above.
What does this mean for current members?
Anyone who had an active subscription on December 5, 2016, has been given a points allowance based on their current subscription. Everyone with a $5 package has 5 downloads added, $20 has 20 downloads added, and so on. These points will not expire and can be redeemed for downloads at any time.
I hope I explained OK why I decided to switch – please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions about this!