After receiving over 450 comments on this article and reviewing discussions all over Reddit and Discord, our team has put together several proposals based on your feedback that we'd like to get your opinions on. Please check out our latest article along with taking the survey it links to:
This week, we rolled out Clubs - a new feature for creators who’ve been running exclusive memberships on platforms like Patreon. Clubs is our way of letting creators offer more awesome content to their fans. It’s also a space for club members to share their creations and chat about how to make the most of those exclusive goodies. We thought this would be a perfect fit, considering the trend of similar Clubs popping up in our community. Our goal? To provide an even better experience for creators offering exclusive content and to pave a path towards sustainability for us all. But, surprise, surprise – we’ve hit some bumps and seen some backlash.
So, let’s brainstorm together! Here are some ideas for making things sustainable for both us and the creators who make the resources and content we all love. Maybe a mix of these could be our future recipe for success?
Once you've had a chance to review the options, be sure to vote!
A. Ads + Pay for Ad-free
What if we put some ads here and there (think feeds, sidebars, little breaks in content)? Creators in our Program could earn $ from the views on their content. And for $5/mo, Supporters could enjoy an ad-free experience. But, will this really be enough? Considering you might download a model and spend hours offline… I'm not sure that creators would get enough views to earn a meaningful amount :(
B. Paid Generation
This one involves charging Buzz for generation. Creators earn $ based on the use of their resources. Sure, you can still earn Buzz by being active on the site, but we might need a sprinkle of ads to cover those real GPU costs.
Yup, this is the one we just launched. It’s all about direct engagement with your favorite creators. Plus, our sustainability is linked to their success – which I personally think is pretty neat. However it’s on this list because it’s on the chopping block. Even if ultimately, it turns out that people really think this is the worst option, maybe we could keep it for community building purposes and just have a max Buzz cost? 🤷♂️
D. Paid Commercial Licenses
Here’s a twist: creators set their own licenses and prices for commercial use. Imagine a top model creator offering their latest creation for a cool $1k to companies for their own services. I like the idea of it, but it’s not clear how feasible it is and if there would be enough interest, especially since enforcement is a challenge.
Got a killer idea? Something that could keep Civitai thriving and support creators’ awesome work? Let us know!
F. None of the above
Currently, our 2.5k supporters (just a tiny fraction of our user base) are helping keep the lights on. But sticking to this path means we’d have to cut back on a lot in the future – like no more unlimited free on-site image generation, full-time moderation (risky), new features, and way less community events and prizes. It’s a tough call, as growth and relevance in the rapidly evolving Stable Diffusion world are key. We’ve got lots of aspirations for Civitai over the coming year and I’d really like to be able to pursue them with all of you for as long as possible.
So, what do you think? We’re all about building this space with feedback from the community, and your feedback is gold.
Things the community has suggested:
Nexus Mods model (slow download for free, fast downloads for paid)
Nexus Mods is a site that hosts mods for video games. It allows users to download mods for free, but limits them to 3MB/s if they have ads enabled and 1.5MB/s if they have ads blocked. Users can then pay $5/mo to have fast downloads. This model works great for mods which can be a few MB, but with SD 1.5 checkpoints being 2000MB on average and SDXL checkpoints clocking in at 6000MB on average, this would mean that downloads would take 20-60 minutes to download since we don’t currently have ads
Edit: This option isn't listed in the poll because we added it after the poll was made and this article was published. It's been added here since after publishing so many people suggested it.
Edit 2: After discussing this in the comments, I'd like to propose something similar to this model but with total download limits like 10GB/hr and 240GB/day or something like that. That's roughly how much you'd be able to download with Nexus Mod's 3MB/s speed, but you'd get the benefit of not having to wait 60 minutes for a download to complete. What do you think of going this route? What do you think would be good limits for the free tier? Does an hourly GB limit make sense or does a download count limit make more sense?
Earning Real Dollars From Earned Buzz
As part of a Creators Program that we're currently trialing with a small portion of creators, we aim to treat Buzz as a measurement of engagement. Based on the amount of Buzz that a creator banks and other measures of engagement, a creator will be compensated with dollars. Buzz doesn't have a fixed value, but instead will play a part in determining how much a creator earns.
Edit: Similar to what we've done here, we'll be sure to lay out our ideas and take input from you all before anything is set in stone.