2013 Viewership Survey results

Well, it’s time to finally report the results of this survey I set up back in June of this year. While I was hoping to get the results out MUCH sooner, certain hiccups with the company I was using kept me debating if I wanted to fork over the cash to get all of the results instead of just the first 100 responders. While many have said that 100 responses were a “good pool of results” I can’t help but wonder how this would have been affected had I had access to the nearly 1000 people who responded. Unfortunately, the pricing system for this survey company means I’d have to pay for an entire YEAR’S worth of subscription time to get the results from this one survey. That turns out to be 300 dollars for the BASIC features. The Secret World’s Lifetime Subscription costs less.

So without further ado, let’s work with what I got, and respond as to WHY I asked you these questions.
SurveyTitle

Question 1:
SurveyFound
As we can see here, the biggest “introduction” most people had through this series is through That Guy With the Glasses and Blistered Thumbs, both Channel Awesome affiliates. This doesn’t surprise me much, even if there is cause for concern there, which I’ll get into with my next question. Had there been more time, I’d like to think I’d have more results from Facebook and Website forums, but as I predicted, TGWTG/BT were pretty much the thing that got most people to notice this site.
I will note that with “Other” being a contender that beat out both Blip and Youtube, both answers were places I had somewhat forgotten I was hosted for a short while, usually out of favor, the majority being Lordkat.com, with runners up being Phelous.com and You Can Play This. I apologize for leaving those options out, especially Lordkat, who was easily my biggest traffic driver before my Channel Awesome pickup.

 Question 2:
SurveyWhereWatch
THIS result actually shocked me a bit. I was fully expecting TGWTG to sweep this one again, but it’s honestly pretty good news for me. I am well aware through many of the viewers I’ve spoken with that they find TGWTG and BT nearly impossible to navigate, and it makes more sense overall if looking for something I did, to come right to the source. What this also says to me, is that I have a good retention rate. Once someone has found the show, and enjoys it, they come here to find more. I also like to try to encourage people to come here more often though the addition of “Off-Week Updates” and articles like this, and I’m glad that effort isn’t completely wasted. It’s good news because I’m a bit of a realist. I can’t guarantee I’ll be with CA forever, nor can I guarantee that CA will be around forever, so when people are able to find my site, and stick with it, it’s comforting that I won’t have to rely on that site to retain my audience. Now, as for gaining more of an audience… we’ll have to work on that.

Question 3:
SurveyWhyWatchI’m quite glad this one turned out the way it did. My first and foremost purpose of this was always to be informative. I wanted to help people starting out in these games, as they do tend to have a bit of a learning curve and a newbie wall, and there’s not too many places that will break it down for you, especially in a language a majority would understand. Too many MMO shows rant about things like “endgame” and “loot tables” and “stat allocation” and to a newcomer, those terms are often meaningless. People want to know what to expect when starting out, and those who who would be interested in an “endgame” probably wouldn’t need my show to help them figure it out.
A few of you could probably tell that “I play the game featured in the review and I wanted to see what was said about it” was placed as a kind of “litmus test”. While I understand the appeal of this, and I’m not telling those that have found my show through this manner to stop watching it, I wanted to see how much of my audience was composed of this type of audience. As I’ve stated before, that is NOT my target audience. To those people, everything is going to sound, redundant, inflammatory or lackluster, and of course it would. I repeatedly try to drive home the fact this is a show for new players, from the perspective of a new player. I tend to notice that “Fans” and “Veteran” players tend to forgot what this is like. I’d likely internally scoff at someone who told me it took them two weeks to reach level 20 in World of Warcraft, but I have to remember that when I played that game,  it probably took me around that exact same amount of time. New players aren’t experts. New players usually don’t CARE about min-maxing, grind strategies, endgame, and gear builds. Let them play first. Let them discover. THEN they can figure that stuff out.
The trend among “Other” answers tended toward “I find the show entertaining” and “I like your sense of humor.” I’m glad because just as many people probably don’t but that’s all subjective anyway. My goal is never to detract from the info for the sake of humor or entertainment, but I’m glad there’s an audience that appreciates it. As for the few who called me something akin to “best reviewer on the site” or “best game reviews I’ve seen”, just know I’m terrible at responding to compliments, but I’m honestly glad to hear them.

Question 4:
SurveyGenreThe genre question, a.k.a. “what should I spend most of my time looking at. Unsurprisingly, World MMOs swept the board, while the rest of the options kept thing slightly even. I get the appeal of World MMOs, and that’s exactly what most people think of when the term MMO gets tossed onto the table. I still get the occasional “It’s not an MMO unless thousands of people are in a world playing at the same time!” which makes me wonder if they’ve even played an MMO. “Thousands of people in a world at the same time” isn’t an MMO, it’s an incoming server crash. Even saying “hundreds of people” is a bit of a stretch. There’s a reason channels and servers exist. Still, I try to stay focused on World MMOs, doing one about every third episode or so, but it’s mostly for the sake of my own sanity that I try to mix it up. That and it’s nice to inform people that MMOs aren’t just WoW and its infinite Xerox copies. I know for a fact that someone particularly was fond of finding out about Elsword.

Question 5:
SurveyShowsI aesthetically LOVE the way this graph looks. Like just drop off a quarter of each previous answer, up until we reach the bottom one.
First off, I’d figured Grinder was the first most watched show, that just makes sense. It’s the main focus, the reference guide, and probably the reason most people are watching and continuing to watch. The hardest part is that Grinder is also the hardest one to do, and takes the most time. Considering the time shift, and how easy it is to get Grinder off schedule, I suppose I can use this result to try harder to keep them to a more reliable schedule… granted this is in relation to a different question, so I’ll hold off on that for now.
Sidequest, is probably my FAVORITE show to do, as it’s unquestionably the easiest, and being a first impressions show, lets me not have to sweat about explaining out every little detail (you know once I figured out I didn’t need to). It’s also fun to be that “preview” show people are looking forward to when hearing about new games, and for a while my Guild Wars 2 Sidequest video was actually more popular than my official review. The hardest thing about SQ is the fact so many of the more notable games are under NDAs, (Non-Disclosure Agreements) disallowing me to talk about them at all, so there’s a few games i played enough to Sidequest, like Elder Scrolls Online, and Wildstar that as of right now I CAN’T tell you about. I guess I’ll just keep a close eye out. On the plus side relaxing the standard of Sidequest means I can quickly look at games I’d normally never give the time of day too. Granted, the next Sidequest I have planned isn’t really an out of the box title.
Backtrack is harder to do than you’d think (learned that the hard way from the Backtrack Block) and Browser-Based is something I could probably focus on more of, but kind of keep forgetting to… granted… maybe something will come of that.
I’m also gald I’m not wasting my breath with topic rants, which are understandably SUBJECTIVE AS HELL and have already lost me a viewer or two (but good riddance to the fair-weather, I say.) Off-Week Updates get tossed aside because I usually don’t have much to talk about unless something extremely notable happened, but I’ll try to at least keep them constant, despite them reaching the bottom of the bar graph. Heck, it’s SOMETHING.

Question 6:
SurveyTimeI am so glad this turned out the way it did. My main fear, usually from some more vocal commenters, was that I wasn’t putting out enough of these (but as I’ve begun to notice a lot of viewers aren’t commenters, so comments rarely reflect the viewership’s general opinion.)
I understand there are many that might want to see more of me, but again I paced the show in a manner that lets me enjoy life, and not turn MMO Grinder into a chore. Even then I do try to keep up appearances by adding the side episodes, even if the main show is a far more fruitful effort. (Except for the most recent Heva Clonia episode. No one is watching that thing…)
Those willing to allow more time seem evenly torn between why they’d allow it, but those wanting less time seem to shift toward thinking I can crank these out. Yeah… I probably could. If I wanted to hate myself forever.
“Other” replied all tended to say, “take as much time as you need”. It’s sound, and understandable, but the reason I have a set schedule is to kick myself in the ass, but with all these side projects going on, it might be something I end up adopting anyway.
To be honest, I’m thinking of shifting main episode to monthly, to allow for more streams, and side episodes, but that’s definitely going to depend on how those community forums work out. You HAVE joined them, haven’t you?

Question 7:
SurveyLengthWell, this was a no-contest. I remember when I was first talking to JewWario about the show, as he enjoyed it very much, he mentioned that he showed it to a friend he lived with  (specifically the Maple Story episode) who mentioned they felt it went on a bit too long, referring to it less as a review and more of a “webinar”. Granted, that is kind of the point, and for the most part, I’ve been able to reel that in with latest episodes. In fact, length is usually the biggest complaint from non-fans of the show, which, honestly, doesn’t make much sense to me, seeing as I’m about on par with most of the CA shows, clocking in at an average of 25 minutes. Luckily this viewership doesn’t seem to have that problem.
In fact the graph shows that most responders were more inclined to have the show LONGER, with the “Other” responders explaining this in a similar vein to the above question. Essentially “it depends on the episode.” It’s pretty much what I do. It doesn’t take me nearly as long to explain War Thunder as it does Everquest 2. Makes sense, and I mostly let the chips fall where they may. Just glad to know it’s not making too many people shut off the video early.

Question 8:
SurveySupportAh, now we get to the question I don’t think THAT many people understood, but that’s partially my fault. First off, bar-graph wise, it’s about where I’d want it to be. Ads are unquestionably the EASIEST way to get any kind of kickback from this effort I’m putting in, and it’s a literal “no cost to you” scenario. Just watch the video, and put up with the occasional obnoxious “interactive” Verizon ad that forces you to click on the stupid thing before it goes away. Trust me, they get on my nerves as much as anyone else, but I’ve always tried to include them in places that weren’t too jarring to the viewer. (After a category, usually after Music, Gameplay, and Cash Shop, depending on video timing.) Blip’s major issue (for those watching on this site, and Blip directly) is their lack of ad variety, as they sell ads to a smaller pool of buyers, and you can only place them in 5 minutes intervals at the least.
As I mentioned, I understand that people are going to watch with blockers, and my point is, “if you want to be sure I get something for this, disable it.” I’m not telling you to do it. That’s not my prerogative. It’s just a bit of info for those who might be under a false impression that using the blocker still means I get revenue.
Now, what I meant by support was not exclusively monetarily support. Did you get a t-shirt and wear it around? That’s support. Did you leave a comment letting me know what you thought of the show? That’s support. Did a friend casually mention being interested in MMOs and you pointed them to my site? THAT’S support.
I mean, sure, we all want to make money for what we do, but in the end, it’s recognition that’s going to allow this site and this to grow. The more people watch, the more inclined I am to continue work on it.
The graph reflects this as well, with direct donations being unquestionably low, yet still with a surprising showing, and spreading the word with friends and sharing social media still getting quite a few of the votes.
What I’m saying is, you don’t need to empty your wallet to support this show. Donations will always be appreciated, and ad revenue is always something that’s nice to see, but in the end it’s the people who watch and the impact the show is having that really matters.
I’m not in it for the money. I could easily and lazily livestream for hours, talking about the game as I play and then putting the stream footage up on Youtube and Blip in tiny 10-minute chunks to cheaply generate ad revenue. I could place nothing but endless rambling vlogs I could play more negatively into games, or paranormal reality television shows that have more fanatical fanbases, and profit of their continued rage and anger. I could have sold out my ideals several times over long ago, but that’s not what I want to do, and that’s not what I feel I should be doing. In the end I’m here to help bring light to a genre that’s still rather misunderstood and overlooked, and be damned if I’m going to let the promise of “popularity” get in the way of that.
I have a crippling fear of success anyway.

Thank you all who responded to the survey, even if I didn’t get to personally see what the majority of you had voted…
Hmm, this site DOES have a poll feature that’s gone unused in a long while. Perhaps I could set up another survey early next year… to see if anything has changed.

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Posted on December 30, 2013, in News and Updates and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Informative + entertaining. Yup, that about sums it up, there.

    Also, I’m sure you’re happy that you’ve got the crowd that’s considerate enough to go right to your site to watch the videos. Regardless of if the videos of, Phelous, or Linkara, or whoever, are on TGWTG, I always go to their sites to watch just because I know it helps with their traffic numbers, and they have their own ads and such on their pages to help support things.

  2. I’m glad you didn’t pay that $300. You could buy two Nintendo DSi XLs with $300. That’s an obscene price for a year’s worth of polling, especially when other websites witll let you do the same for free.

    I USED to Visit LordKat, but he dropped all the shows of his I liked. I’ve also seen you posted on Phelous & Blistered Thumbs. I may also have have picked TGWTG though, as you’ve made many cameos on various shows doing “______ doesn’t work that way!”

    With both you & Phelous I go straight to your sites, because your videos are posted their much sooner. Anywhere from next day to what seems like 2 weeks latter, yours & Phelous’s most recent videos are finally listed on TGWTG’s recent updates.

    #3 Is why I watch you regularly. Other MMO sites usually just give you a walkthrough of the first hour of playing a game & mislabel their videos as reviews. they don;t really tell you jack squat about the games. Then the written reviews at places like MMOHuts don’t really tell me the information I’m looking for; they have a nasty habit of focusing on PvP, like it was the only reason to even play an MMO. You tell me about the landscape, the character creation, the music, soloing, the classes.

    Am I the only one with an aversion to endgame content? I want the MMO to be unfinishable & go on forever.

    I’m trying to break away from playing nothing but fantasy RPGs. Anyone know any open world shooters that can be soloed & are not open-world-PvP?

    #6 I’m glad for this….I have actually stopped watching some people who have changed how often they do episodes. Some update so seldom that I kind of forget about them entirely, while others make shorter shows of lower quality that leave a sour taste. (They do it because it boosts channel popularity on Youtube).

    I’ve become accustomed to internet shows that last 30-60 minutes; That’s my comfort zone.

    I’d buy something off of you, but it’d have to be through Amazon. Let’s just say that I’m a broke yet spoiled housewife who gets an allowance entirely in Amazon store credit. Not really a T-shirt person though. I’d still prefer you had a tote bag. People would see it whenever I did the grocery shopping.

  3. This is pretty much the way it goes: “I wonder what else is out there, MMO-wise?” *I go off to MMOGrinder.net to check on new content and perhaps look at the archives in case something speeks to my current mood*
    Sometimes I re-watch episodes for this reason. Good stuff.
    Hmm… speaking of which… think I’ll re-watch the TERRA episode. Been thinking of getting into that one recently and could use the info – maybe it galvanizes me into action. I -think- I liked it before… I think. My bad memory, your win. :P

    Thanks for all the info and entertainment, Chaos! (I probably should say ChaosD1, but somehow that sounds too formal for a thanks. Wait… maybe D1? Good lord, which one is the ‘family name’ part of it? xD )

    Oh, and Happy New Year! ^_^

    • I played it a month or two ago. Quite fun & beautiful, but also aggravating.

      That world has so much unused open space, as if they had once been huge areas full of quests that had been evacuated entirely. In some places, I could go hours without ever seeing another player. I also hate that all of the mobs travel in packs, all aggro (no neutrals passed the newbie zone), & all follow you for an obscene distance before returning to their hunting grounds.

      There’s really nothing like having groups of mobs that will follow you halfway across a map when you’re trying to do an escort mission with a suicidal NPC.

  4. I’ve just started watching your show recently after googling around for a new MMO to play, and I have to say, you’ve made a huge fan out of me. Not only is MMO Grinder a refreshing break from the usual “angry” shows, but it gives me just enough information to want to try a certain game. I look forward to watching every episode and will definitely continue to. Good show. Jolly good show.

  5. I would think “MMO Grinder” would be a great logo to have on a t-shirt, because people who’ve heard of the show and see the shirt will get it, but for people who haven’t heard of it, it still makes sense, cause they could just assume someone who plays a lot of MMOs would call themselves an “MMO Grinder”. Except if you’re someone who doesn’t play a lot of MMOs, then your friends would see you in that shirt and start asking “Oh, when did you get into MMOs?” and you have to go into a long explanation…

    I guess what I’m saying is… I’m glad I can still support the site by watching ads.

    • There are MMO Grinder logo shirts in the store on the sidebar, even if only three people bought them. I also started up a thread on the community forums asking for more t-shirt ideas.

  6. About the new episode: maybe not many have seen it(me for example) because we’ve either never heard of it or because it was around Christmas and now end of the year. I’m usually kind of busy around that time and I will look it later on(maybe today).

    In general I’m very happy the way your show is, it’s probably one of my favorite web shows aside from anything Spoony does.
    Would actually love to see more backtracks but I can understand that they are harder to do then say a sidequest.
    In general a good results..keep them up.

  7. I don’t really understand the complaints about episode length, primarily because you’re actually being informative for the entire course of the review instead of wasting time on skits and whatnot. You won’t hear me complaining about too much information, that’s for sure.

  8. It’s always nice to see someone who actually cares about the viewership and not being someone who just rages at the camera because he knows it gets views. I have had a few friends who will casually mention a F2P MMO and be like “Oh that seems neat” so I will link them to the video of that so they could figure out if they wanted to download or not.

    Talking about how the shows work. I think that a nice mix is good… but, My idea is this. You do one of your smaller shows Backtrack or Sidequest something like that, at the beginning of the month. then at the end of the month you can do a full MMO Grinder review. That way, you have a full month to do a MMO Grinder review and still have a video out every two weeks since, as you said, the other shows are easier to produce.

  9. I don’t really disagree with anything here. so the plan ‘stay the course’ seems reasonable. which reminds me I need to start prepping for magfest…

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