New Brunswick — DLC, or downloadable content, is a way for video-game developers to extend the life of games by offering players the ability to download extra content for a fee via the Internet.
It has generated some controversy in video-gaming circles, with gamers claiming that companies are using it as a way to extract more money from customers for features such as extra levels, characters or costumes that were once included in the game at purchase. Controversy aside, the practice has been an enormous financial success for video-game companies, as DLC has proved tremendously popular.
Despite this, many were still surprised when Canadian news broadcasters CBC, CTV and Global announced that they would be following the games industry’s lead by introducing what they are calling DLN, or Downloadable News.
Adam Patterson is the president and CEO of Makzimize, a company that builds revenue-generating systems for companies looking to adopt this model. In yet another unorthodox move, the 3 news outlets decided to contract with the Halifax-based company as a unit, in order to make sure the transition was as inexpensive and seamless as possible. Patterson believes the transition will follow much the same pattern as in the video-game industry.
“People are very passionate about news, just as they are passionate about video games,” says the 32-year-old. “So naturally they are resistant to change, especially when that change hits them in the pocketbook. But we all know that traditional news organizations have been struggling to survive in a saturated market, and we believe that this new model will provide the same level of news that we’ve come to expect from these institutions while offering a whole new level of engagement.”
CBC, CTV and Global are all pledging that they will continue to offer much of their news content online for free, as has been the case for most of the Internet era. However, some aspects of news will now be provided for one-time fees. This is different than a regular subscription, stresses CTV spokesperson Diana Lane-Corey.
“Instead of having to subscribe to an entire news network, people are going to be able to really dive into the stories they want,” said Lane-Corey. “It’s really putting the power in peoples’ hands to be able to choose their news.”
While the networks have been reluctant to divulge details until the new system launches, The Manatee was able to get some information on how this new system will work:
- A news event happens, for example, a local sports team plans to relocate. All visitors to the site can see this story;
- Anyone interested in updates to the original story can pay a set fee, say $2.50 for each update OR buy a season pass for $10 that guarantees access to all future updates;
- It is possible in the future, if they follow the video-game model, that other story features like quotes and possibly even some facts will only be available via DLN purchase.
The Manatee will keep you updated on this important story as it develops, unless we choose to adopt the same system, in which case we
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