Building something that people love, is extremely challenging yet rewarding at the same time. At Littlstar, we try to not only continuously innovate, but also listen to our community and build things they want. It’s a delicate balance, and when innovation meets products that work, magic starts to happen. With that, we’ve been quietly building some new things, working on new content deals, adding new features, and all the while creating things that the community has suggested. In addition, we’ve been building the next wave of technology to give consumers and publishers alike a better and more transparent experience.
We’ve done this work for years, for free, and the time has come for us to make what we’re doing a business, so we can continue building innovative products for our community. As a result, we will be offering some things for free, and including some new paid features, and we hope our years of hard work and trust building with the community means that our fans will support us!
We are working on a number of things to grow the ecosystem in VR, AR, traditional content, gaming, music, cryptocurrency and blockchain, and beyond. Here’s an overview:
- More cross platform support (Xbox, Main PS4 (non-VR), TV app updates, mobile, etc)
- Premium content deals for flat content (non-VR) like Movies and TV, AR, and Games (see Ara below).
- Better sideloading, RSS, and local server streaming support. Better Video Navigation, Search, Filtering, Auto Thumbnail Support, Environment/Themes, Remove the need for specific file naming, better codec support, etc.
- Integration of the new Peer to Peer content platform Ara : https://ara.one and its currency / rewards token ARA. The Ara platform supports ALL content types, like games, movies, music, text, software, photos, trading cards, or anything digital. Think of this like a decentralized Steam or iTunes, where you can buy and own your content (instead of rent it from Spotify) using ARA tokens or traditional money, and you get rewarded in tokens for helping host the content for your neighbors.
- AR hologram support in partnership with Microsoft in our mobile apps.
Building a quality global service is expensive, and here are example of some of the challenges:
- Premium content. We want to aggregate great premium content, but media companies charge for that content up front and ongoing, licensing systems and rights are broken and tough to manage, and in order to strike big deals, there needs to be a model in place to monetize the content.
- Employing an engineering team to build apps across devices (and PS4 in particular) is expensive. Our team needs to know how to program in all the various native programming languages, know all the developer SDKs across devices, and know how to optimize content delivery for those devices. That’s not to mention the support staff to respond, relay information into product meetings, and keep features coming that people want.
- It’s challenging and time consuming optimizing on hardware we receive months in advance of launch, many times without having full documentation, from companies like Google, Microsoft, and Sony. We need to allocate significant resources and time meeting with manufacturers and engineering teams to ensure a quality experience, sometimes even co-writing and sharing code that other companies can use before the device ships.
Our New Pricing
The most common ways to monetize content are ads, individual transactions, or subscriptions. We prefer not to use ads because that means we need to track people and sell the data. Transactional content is frustrating for consumers to pay individually for over and over, and it makes for a less predictable and scalable service to innovate around. Taking those things into accounts, we decided on a free package and a pro subscription package. You can also pay a one time fee for the year, and we’re considering a lifetime tier. This creates a good blend of free, paid, and one-off all access transactions that capture the spirit of each pricing model while protecting user data and not having ads.
Presales will start early February, and many features will go live under premium March 1, 2019.
Our ears are open. We have poured our hearts and souls into making something people love, and we hope to continue that journey with you as we build this world together. Also, special shout out to everyone who has sent us money directly to PayPal, and kept us excited about building the platform on late nights and weekends! Please reach out any time to email@example.com and if you have support related questions email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks again and much love.
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