SquidGuild Bridge is a new TurboSquid program where artists who have binding commitments with other distribution channels can enjoy limited SquidGuild benefits. With SquidGuild Bridge, any 3D models an artist has that aren’t bound by a currently existing outside agreement become exclusive to TurboSquid, and these models get SquidGuild royalty rates and CheckMate eligibility. All new models published by the artist will be exclusive to TurboSquid. Those 3D models bound by outside agreements remain non-exclusive to TurboSquid, and aren’t eligible for a higher royalty rate or CheckMate Certification.
Posts Tagged ‘SquidGuild’
In August 2009 TurboSquid introduced the SquidGuild, a loyalty program with higher royalties for our artists. Since then, there have been occasional instances where other sites have posted SquidGuild members’ models for sale without their permission. Dealing with such offenses can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we’re offering our assistance in case it ever happens to you.
For SquidGuild members only, TurboSquid has prepared a short legal document that gives us permission to contact such a site on your behalf and ask them to remove your 3D models from their offerings. If you’re interested in taking advantage of this service, please open a support ticket with the subject “SquidGuild Assistance Document”, and we’ll send you a copy of the document for your signature.
SquidGuild adoption continues to grow quickly. In the first 4 weeks since launch, over 50% of the Diamond sellers have joined the SquidGuild, with over 1500 sellers total now signed up.
We worked hard to get this program launched and the response has been gratifying. I want to offer thanks to all of the participants and say that we will continue to improve our business in every way we can. We appreciate all of the constructive feedback and engagement from the community.
We’re now focused on patches and fixes to this recent launch, and preparing for a total rewrite of the publishing system in the next release. That will include a full file system and many other new features for all sellers on TurboSquid.
We promoted a big series of updates to the site yesterday, and they were almost exclusively aimed at our community of sellers. Here’s a quick breakdown of the new features that were launched:
- The SquidGuild is our new seller exclusivity program. Join today and learn how you can make up to 80% by selling your products exclusively with TurboSquid.
- SquidLevel – All artists have been broken down into a tier based on their lifetime sales. The more you sell, the faster you’ll increase your SquidLevel and the more benefits you’ll receive. All sellers will have access to new reports at each SquidLevel.
- Affiliate Program – we’ve implemented an Affiliate Program to reward any of our sellers who send traffic to TurboSquid. If traffic that you send ends up buying something, you get a cut of that sale in addition to any traditional royalty.
Every TurboSquid seller is now eligible to join the SquidGuild. If you join today, you’ll immediately enjoy any increase you’re eligible for. Rate changes for artists who choose not to be exclusive will go into effect on September 1st. You are still eligible to join if you don’t decide by the 1st – that is not a cutoff date.
We’ve updated and expanded our affiliate program so everyone can earn additional royalties on their products (and even commissions on the sale of other models and textures). These links and images were added to the “External Marketing” section of the Member dashboard. This is live as of today, with Guild members earning 20% and Standard members earning 15%. Not a seller but interested in participating in the affiliate program? Submit a support ticket for details on how to get started.
Both sellers and customers will notice the changes to the member dashboard immediately after logging in. The seller dashboard has been completely redesigned. Your SquidLevel and lifetimes sales are displayed in the top banner. You’ll also see a progress meter that shows you how close you are to the next SquidLevel. Your current benefits are shown (both the standard and SquidGuild benefits), and the benefits you’ll receive at the next SquidLevel are also shown.
Check out the “What’s Selling on TurboSquid” area, and you can see some of the new sales reports that were added. Things like top keyword searches, top selling file formats and more were added. Again, both exclusive and standard artists will have access to new reports and sales data.
If you’re interested in signing up, check out the SquidGuild Info page. You’ll also notice a “more info” in the top banner of your member dashboard – that will take you to the same place. Before joining, please confirm that you comply with the terms and conditions of the program. Once you verify that you’re exclusive and click the “join” button, you’ll be immediately accepted.
Not currently a TurboSquid seller? If you’ve got 3D models or textures on your hard drive, take a look at our Getting Started page for some tips on making some money on your products.
Over the last while we’ve been been discussing the SquidGuild exclusivity program with individuals as much as we could. Now that it is formally announced, I wanted to give some more color about what we’re thinking and how we came to this conclusion.
First off, we did a lot of homework and “market research”. TurboSquid spends a significant amount of time trying to understand our business, and 3D in general. From all this research, the number one request from sellers is to earn higher royalties. The reality of the situation is that we couldn’t just give up a significantly higher share of the royalties without cutting staff, and in particular during this economic period. To give more money, we needed to get a commitment from our sellers, and compete more vigorously with the copycat sites out there.
Through our research and doing some test programs, dozens of sellers (with millions of dollars of sales among them) gave us their actual sales information on other sites they had tried. One thing we learned was that TurboSquid’s sales were at least 10 times the next biggest site for products sold on both, and as a whole significantly more than that because of the size of our catalog.
One of the all-time top sellers commented recently to us that “we did our homework on the rates”. We picked 60% as the top rate for just that reason — it was enough to immediately increase the earnings of the people that had aggressively published their product catalogs. And of course, any new customers you bring to TurboSquid will make the increase larger.
Something worth noting is that there’s some randomness to the way this shakes out for sellers with lower sales amounts. For some people, for some products, and in some months, they will see different trends than TurboSquid as a whole marketplace. Every month somebody writes in and says that they had a terrible month, and somebody says they did incredibly well. We picked a rate that we thought would help the most people, but we know we could never set a rate that help everyone because of the nature of statistical distributions. The top sellers have less of this variation, and that’s why the biggest sellers have signed up.
Another part of our calculus is that 60% of products on TurboSquid are de facto exclusive and not published elsewhere, so for these sellers it’s a great deal. Overall, the vast majority of the 18,000+ sellers are going to improve their earnings, reduce their publishing workload, and get better information about what to sell and how to sell stuff. We expect to have a high sign up rate for the SquidGuild, which will cost us money. Some of that will come back from business we take from other sites, but we have still projected a decrease in our commissions from sales.
The exclusivity does have several important other effects for us, though. One is that we can assemble a group of sellers that are truly dedicated to us, have a vested interest in our success, and with whom we can share a lot more information. Something that happened to us when competitors brazenly copied our site is that we became more secretive about sharing things. I can’t tell you how unnatural this feels. For example, we have the new designs for the product manager UI basically done. I want to present them to the sellers so they can see the actual design work and give us feedback before we code the UI (the API underneath is almost done, too). Right now, there’s some small number of people who would forward that on to our competitors which would give them a head start on copying us, or at least taking anything they think is interesting and releasing it. With exclusivity, it’s less of a threat that the information will be shared, and even if it is, I’m less concerned because our defenses against copycat sites are stronger.
The second effect helps us deal with what I think is the major barrier for the growth of our industry — standardized quality for the models. This is part of what allowed the microstock photography to take off. The 3d industry is poised for huge growth, with direct rendering in browsers (started by Google Chrome), and the general proliferation of 3d hardware. Although we review models published now by eye for quality and other aspects for the search engine, that needs to change. We need to directly certify sellers and their work, and make sure that the quality is there for every model and reject the ones that don’t meet the standard, and also focus on open standard file formats and make sure models are converted properly and render correctly.
This is costly, though. I’ve done a lot of research, and even made friends at some of the stock photography sites to discuss their review policies and what worked and didn’t work. For example, one of the top sites pays a couple dollars per image for review and 3d models are obviously more complex than the images. The bottom line is that the economics for direct review of models don’t work if a model is published a dozen times at a dozen sites and needs to be reviewed a dozen times. There isn’t enough profit to go around the industry to do that review, and there’s no doubt it’ll be expensive. Also, what is most likely to happen is that when TurboSquid certifies a model, other sites will automatically give it a certification if it isn’t exclusive.
Our vision is that TurboSquid will evolve into a much higher quality content site. People just starting in 3D whose work is of lower quality will be refused and they will be mad at us, but there will be sites that cater to these people and they will have their part of the market, which is fine with us. This is what we wanted to do originally starting in the year 2000, but there were legal issues preventing us. Our team (called “editors”) are already removing stuff from the site and major features of the new publisher include a way to suspend that content from the site in an orderly way, and an integrated certification process.
Another aspect of this focus on quality you’ll see on the August 13th launch is that all sellers now get a ranking on how well they’ve done selling on TurboSquid, from Clear through Gold and ultimately to Diamond (this is outside of the SquidGuild). The new search interface has a specific filter so that customers can choose only the highly ranked sellers. This alone will place a significant emphasis on quality products and high quality artists selling on our site.
Hopefully this helps you understand our thinking, and there’s a lot more information I’ll share in the future as the discussion progresses. Having personally joined the 3D industry in 1993 on a 100 MHz Silicon Graphics computer, I can’t believe how far we’ve come. The best part of course, is how much farther it’s going to go.
Matt Wisdom, CEO