Moises H. said: To the roll20 developers and owners: If money is the issue, which most of the times it is, then I can tell from a customer perspective This is really kind of an insane issue that's more complicated than I go fully into, but I'll try to summarize why streaming media in general has been undergoing lightning-fast policy changes (often causing train wrecks) in the past year below here. It's kind of interesting how the dominos have fallen. Soundcloud's aggressive policy changes are likely 50% because of what I'm writing below and 50% motivated by their lack of profit / dreams of Spotify glory rather than advertising their own strengths. --- To back it up, I have to begin with the single most important thing to happen to the tech sector in years: ESPN under performed by a few % in their yearly earnings. This turned the industry upside down and in some indirect way is likely why we're here. It was a watershed moment, because it was when analysts realized that cable TV is on life support. Up until then, most investors were kind of out of touch - new media was "emerging" and not worth serious investment, while old media was "reliable." This upset that balance. Now the line of thinking of most people who invest the millions that drive the whole sector is new media is *here*, while old media is on life support. They are, of course, not incorrect: ESPN was the straw that broke the camel's back as cable companies lose more and more subscribers, and digital services gain more. Things like Netflix are outperforming old media, and those that finally took a step up like HBO and made HBO Go unassociated with a cable package saw huge boons. Now we get to the problem: More money means more eyes on what was "new media." I mentioned Youtube earlier; much of what's been going on is Youtube looking at their situation and going "Oh, hell," when they see how many "non-desirables" are on their site, in particular when they are bleeding money. Advertising companies are still playing by old media rules and refuse to pay as much money for ads on Youtube, so Youtube has been trying to "clean up the site," and homogenize everything. Soundcloud will likely be going the same route, though it is chasing Spotify's model instead. Thus niche things that could even veer anywhere near a potential DCMA issue even on a remote possibility, or are taking bandwidth while circumventing ads - something I am sure many people were NOT HAPPY with about Roll20 on their end - the new policy will most likely be "Shoot first, ask questions later." It wouldn't surprise me that if in a year's time Soundcloud was primarily a mainstream music service (the deal earlier this year where they signed artists and have paywall music paved the path). I also wouldn't be surprised if they are bankrupt in two years, because like Youtube, Spotify -bleeds- money; both are an example of "too big to fail." What could have maybe saved the arrangement? Two things. If Roll20
required the GM to actually have a premium subscription -to Soundcloud-
(not to Roll20 then paid to Soundcloud), or if Roll20 agreed to run
full on minute long advertisements for Soundcloud at multiple points
throughout a session. Neither option is acceptable, I think you'll all
agree, so in their eyes everyone here was a leech - the fact we'd often go to the site itself, or the fact I was taking to using their service a lot on my phone, is overlooked. The fact I actually, ironically, was going to go for Soundcloud premium this week because their app is good on Android - all because of Roll20 - says a lot. Anyway, this is a big of a lengthy ramble and there's a lot of cause and effect left out but this is why the whole climate in the entire sector has changed and will continue to change, probably for the worse. For those that just want a tl/dr: Streaming media was ignored by serious investors, big industry shakeup happened, now serious investors are looking DIRECTLY at streaming media and are dictating changes, starting with eliminating anyone who does not gain them direct profit. (This is short sighted and stupid, as I have gotten a lot of people on Soundcloud BECAUSE of Roll20, but greed is blinding). ED: In case you're wondering why this is different than previous Old vs New Media issues, i.e. record companies trying to stay relevant as they are less and less so, it's because we're not just talking the companies looking at this stuff anymore. To use TV as an example again, Time Warner is powerful. But the people who are the largest investors in Time Warner are *more* powerful, really. The former would tell you their industry is fine, but the latter knows it's not, and the latter can hit them right in the wallet. Expect an odd several years as the transition happens, across -all- modern media.