STATE OF THE UNION
￼Hi ya there folks! How are you all doing? We sincerely hope you are well. Sit down and brace yourselves. This is going to be a LONG one!
Most of you are probably aware that we are about to launch our second Season. We have great things in store for this season and we cannot wait for you all to discover them!
First things first, to celebrate the launch of the second Season, we have decided to do a complete overhaul of the website. We wanted to simplify and focus things a little more, make things easier to find and see. And we think we have achieved that goal. If you have not already, please visit www.heroesofthenorth.com and let us know what you think!
Another thing we decided to do is put our best foot forward - that means showcasing one of our strongest asset: the fantastic visuals we have accumulated over the years, be it photographs or illustrations. That is the reason behind the magnificent slide show you will find on almost every pages of the menu. On the lower left of every pages, there is a minus sign which allows you to hide the menu so you can watch the pictures in all their splendour. To get the menu back, just press the plus button. What is not to like?
The STORE was the most complex part of the revamp, besides the Members section. By the way, we found two Hornet figurines cleaning up the warehouse. They had fallen behind a shelf! We put them up in the store today and one already sold barely an hour after the update! So there is one left for some lucky visitor! There is also one Fleur-de-Lys left! Grab them while you still can! You will also notice that we have put Black Terror, Madame Doom and the Canadian Shield figurines back for preorder - we should receive them VERY soon so we feel confident to put them back up there. Oh! And Nordik is on sale at 50% off!
Another new thing available from every pages is the small red Members Login button on the right. That’s right, we finally got around to do that darned Members section.
Now that is something we have struggled with for a long time. We always wanted to keep the show free as much as possible. But it is just not realistically possible. We tried to raise funds through Indiegogo - several of you actually contributed and did a fantastic job of spreading the word. But it just was not enough in the end. That meant we had to find the funds somewhere else. And those funds have a cost.
The show manages to finance itself somewhat with the merchandising sales and especially the conventions. Conventions get so crazy sometimes that we wish there was one every weekend - the show would never have cash flow issues and we could improve the production values to near Hollywood levels. But reality is otherwise and while we do thrive in the spring and fall, winter and summer are harsher periods. If we hope to repay the funders monthly interests, we need to generate a consistent income. Hence the membership idea.
We made three plans, the description and advantages can be found in the MEMBERS section of the site. They basically break down like this:
BRONZE - $4.95 a month: Lets you watch all the videos and read all the comics, full screen, no ads. You also get to join the community forum in the members section. You can unsubscribe anytime. There is a button to that effect at the bottom left of the MEMBERS section.
SILVER - $9.95 a month: same privileges as Bronze plus a few added bonuses and access to behind the scenes materials.
GOLD: $14.95 a month: This is the whole enchilada! It is like buying the super duper limited edition Director’s cut DVD! You will get all the nitty gritty and behind the scenes information. You also get a copy of the DVD at the end of Season at no charge (as long as you remained subscribed for the duration of the season, of course!).
For those who want to only watch episodes or read comics, we also created a $2.99 a month VIDEO PASS that will allow you to watch all the episodes of Season 2, with no ads either on the video or on the site itself - a privilege for all subscribers. For those who only come to read the comics but want to read them on site, not download them, there is also a $1.99 per month subscription that allows you to read all our comics online, again with no ads. Both plans also allow you to join the Members community but with limited access.
The videos themselves will be Pay-per-view outside of membership: .99 cents for the minisodes and $2.99 for the ten longer official Season 2 episodes, allowing viewing for a 24 hours period. It allows people to give it a whirl and decide if they want to subscribe or not.
We think that these amounts are reasonable and that there is sufficient choices for all budgets and interests. Please let us know if you think there should be more or less options.
There will still be free content along the road, tagged with ads on the public side of the site and always without ads in the Members section, regardless of the plan taken.
We know that some of you will not be happy with the changes. We tried hard but we did not meet our goals. We want to do the best show we can and move forward, not backwards. We have already given away tens of thousands of dollars of free content. And we will continue to give some of it away. But in order to secure a future for a show we love to do, we have no other choice but to take this road for now. That being said, if someone has a better idea, please manifest yourself. We are ALWAYS open to suggestions.
Let us know if you think we have failed or not with the redesign or with the membership concept. We love to get your input.
Like you all, we are looking forward to a fantastic year 2014! And we hope to see lots of you online this Friday night for the launch of our first minisode, JACKPOT: ROYAL FLUSH introducing Dominique Arganese as the titular character. Can't wait for you all to discover the newest femme fatale of the Heroes of the North Universe!
Enjoy the Second Season!
The Heroes of the North Team