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How interesting that more and more deviants are discovering something peculiar on their profile.

What am I talking about? I'm talking about this new addition to unsubscribed members profiles which tells others that we "Needs Premium Membership".

How very interesting indeed Deviantart. Do we all REALLY need subscriptions in order for you to like us? How else would we get all this spam off of our page. It seems to me that every day, Deviantart gets greedier and greedier. Subscriptions with not many advantages, adcast, prints and now all these advertisements to make us buy them.

Money. Money. Money. Is this all they care about? Are those without subscriptions inferior to those with?

Besides the fact that members, most of the time, don't have the money for it, is it really worth it?


"saying that we 'need' a subscription implies that something bad will happen if we don't get one."

First of all, a paid account does NOT make you more popular. That is a major misconception. The only features most approve of is the option of less ads, having polls, and journal CSS.

:iconlegendaryrikku: clearly states his opinion on the matter;

"Yeah, Premium membership makes ones page look prettier, but at the end of the day it's the ART we submit that people want to see. Does Premium membership make our art look better too? No, so they should really stop bugging us with wanting us to get one"

I think that every art site out there has ads, so it's not a big deal, to me, that I have to browse with them. For the poll, why not just post in your journal? I see no problem in asking a poll in a journal. Journal CSS can have it's advantages and does "pretty-up" ones page, but one could always make a website, on freewebs, geocities, or anywhere else free, and that could be a similar effect.


"Here's a little tip for that annoying Ad problem ;p. Install "Adblock Plus" from Firefox (which is free) and it blocks most, if not all ads on this site, once you customize it to your needs."

Adcast is just another way for deviantart to get their wallets fatter. One does not need Adcast. It's just as easy commenting on other's pages or art and make friends and get the same amount of hits, only in a longer time span. Once again, another pointless money-maker.

Premium print accounts? Buy prints? This does benifit the artist, but they only recieve a few cents or dollars. If you REALLY want high quality, I suggest asking the artist's permission to print on quality paper then frame it. Or, if you just want the image in your hands to drool all over, just print a simple copy. If you really appreciate the artist and wish to donate, ask to commission them. That's the best way for them to get money.


"I've paid for a premium membership for seven months last year, and I had to honestly say , I was not impressed. There are perks, there is customization, but personally is did little for me. It just made my page look pretty, but that was the limit. I was really hoping for more exposure for my work, but Adcast only went so far. I was better off creating my own site on Wix, which is free and flash-based."

Most deviants can't afford to get "Premium" Membership.
Asuka (:iconsageofmagic:);

"I'm sorry to disappoint dA but 'saying' I need a subscription isn't going to make me get one. I can get along this website, and many others I enjoy more, without throwing money around. I actually have more important things to pay off. Like college."


"$30s a year is ridiculous. Like, lowering it to $10, at least, would be cool. DeviantArt is so greedy. Unfortunately, they are the best art site around and they know it. Don't they want to support artists? I mean, the stereotype of the "starving artist" isn't too far off--- most of us have trouble making money with this. I understand they need a little cash to run this place and pay employees, but they do NOT need THAT much. If they charged less, they could have more subscribers! Make more money! And make more of us happy."

Another problem I have with Deviantart is the ability to post images in ones journal. I've always wanted to post pictures/images/or stamps in my journal and I think of it unfair to just have subscribers have that. Though it is understandable to give them more than free accounts, but I would think that they get enough money from Adcast, print services, and all the advertisements on this site, to allow the free accounts to have more, and then make newer things for subscribers instead of focusing on pure advertising subscriptions, Adcast, prints, etc. themselves.

Along with all of this, Deviantart seems to me taking away things we used to love to use. To quote Alex (:iconmentalisttraceur:);

"I just think it was gay how they took away your ability to check the box for advance critique requested, no critique requested, etc. It's utterly stupid, because you can still just ask for it in the comments, and more importantly, trying to limit that is insulting to the whole spirit of deviantArt's commitment towards letting people grow as artists, because they are actually making it slightly harder to ask for critique if you don't pay for it."

Yes, deviants, we non-subscribers had the option of selecting "Advanced Critique" but Deviantart took that away from us, and gave a newer and better version to subscribers. (You still have the option of stating it in your artists comments).

Does this mean that Deviantart will soon add more restrictions to non-subscribers? Will Deviantart make those who don't pay get so much less than they used to? This could be the beginning of a change that none of us want. (Unless, of course, I am way over thinking things, but you never know what could happen).

A site that Deviantart is seeming to relate to another art site. To quote :iconminish-picori:;

"Sadly, with this "Needs Premium Membership", I'm having a feeling deviantART is slowly evolving into the next Gaiaonline."

So, is Deviantart slowly turning into the well known money-hungry website we all know as Gaia? Will there be cards in stores to buy things on Deviantart? Will we have to buy option after option after option just to get something on this site?

Don't get me wrong, Deviantart is one of the best art sites, in my opinion, around. Their system and organization and simplicity are great. I also don't mind them trying to make a business, since it technically is a business and all businesses need money. I just don't want all of this all over my page and shoved in my face, such as Asuka says again;

"TheOtaku has a subscription option too, but I've never felt it in my face like here at dA. With dA it's like...plastered everywhere in your face."

I think that Deviantart needs to stop pressuring deviants with all these advertisements telling them to buy buy buy a subscription. If we really wanted it, we would have it already. We don't NEED charity. So stop spamming our page. It's just makes your image of being such a wonderful site decrease. So please, just leave us, and our non-subscribed accounts, alone.

What do YOU think?
Add a Comment:
DanteSmilodon Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Well, they care about the money because they're a company. If you had a restaurant, you'd be concerned about profits.

Not trying to defend DA here, but yeah... the "Needs Premium Membership" message has annoyed me for years. (I didn't know it was already here in 2009)
amel1995 Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
but if your in a countrey that dosn't deal with cards or dollars what do you do
AcousticSlide Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2012  Student General Artist
A premium is 30$ a year? That's pretty cheap if you think about it... it might interfere with my rent a bit, but it's not that much.
PizzaPotatoNBacon Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2012  Student General Artist
You have a point there. *sighs* Oh well.
IcisKull Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012   Traditional Artist
One of the reasons people make websites is to gain money... ovo
Why is everyone saying it's required?
mijikai-o-tan Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2012
agreed .I wish everything was for free in this site .-__-
Robinfur123 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It's so weird that every website I go to has something like "members can play this but you can't" or "Premium members get to change their username". It's getting really damn annoying.
Momoji-Chan Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2012  Student Filmographer
I agree, I joined this site thinking that this was the best place for artists. I didn't think that this site required a premium membership, the exact thing I was trying to avoid >:(
sgt-pickles Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012
I'm just irritated that I'm going to have to pay a MONTH'S worth of subscription, just so I can change my username- I mean, I don't want to be stuck with an embarrassing name I picked as a scraggly teen all my time on this site.
nickiethefox12 Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2012
I totally agree with you! I made my account years ago, and now I find my username to be quite childish. They should at least let non-premium members change that :(
sgt-pickles Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012
Even if they just limit the number of times you can change your username on a non-premium account to two or three or something, all I want is to change it ONCE. I mean, now I'm going to need to find someone who will sponsor me for like, one day just so I can get it changed.
Robinfur123 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Kiacii Featured By Owner May 17, 2012
I wish DeviantArt do not have a Premium Membership...
I HATE ~,!,=,* signs!!!!!
WhoaWhoaSlowDown Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2012  Student Digital Artist
I AGREE!! :)
IyraEMM Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Hoorah for the outspoken poor!

I'm glad someone said something. Good job.
joyride95 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm thinking about writing a strongly worded e-mail to the deviantart admins about all this crap. I don't "need" a premium membership to be a good artist. I'm deleting all my prints, because I'm becoming a non-profit deviant. I made a rant on this site, too. You should read it sometime ;)
LittleMissGuardAnne Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
This is so true!!! -high fives computer-
Nostalogica Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2011
People only care of the art not of that f***hing premium shi*. Sorry for this words but its true and make me rly mad
SweetOctopiewriter Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2011  Hobbyist Writer
I've been wanting premium membership, but is there really anything else besides not seeing ads? I guess I want it to see older artwork :P
IcisKull Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2012   Traditional Artist
There are alot of features...
SweetOctopiewriter Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
I did have premium for a while (as an anon gift). But I wouldn't bust my money to get it again... it was nice, but...
IcisKull Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2012   Traditional Artist
Right now I have one and I wouldn't really care about going back to a normal deviant...
SweetOctopiewriter Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
MultiPettan Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2011  Professional Artist
o.O I have the money to buy premium membership for 12 months over and over again if I want to and I do have a bank card but there is ONE problem....I'm under 18. But is that even a problem? The bank card is on my name but I don't want my parents to see what I've been doing...pft
ReverendBonobo Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2011
I joined only recently, and I thought the "needs premium membership" was kinda funny. I just can't seem to get as worked up over it as some people have. Yes, it's not technically a "need," not like food and water, but that's part of the humor. Lighten up, folks. As far as sales tactics go, this one is very low-pressure. Whether it was deliberate, or just some schlub's poor wording, it's funny. I don't take everything literally. I don't believe I actually need something just because some words on a website say I need it - do you?

I'm pretty happy with my basic membership, and I don't know yet if premium membership is worth it. But it's cheap (less than $3 a month, slightly more than a cup of coffee), so once I have the basics figured out, I'll probably give it a try. I wish there was more information on the premium membership page. It says I get "more pageviews," but it doesn't say how. It says I get "instant community privileges," but it doesn't say what they are. I suppose I'll have to dig around some more to find out what exactly I get.

If you can't afford it, no big deal. You don't really "need" it. Enjoy your free stuff. I'm enjoying mine.
Tazzie98 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011
I can't afford it
Tazzie98 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2011
I can't afford it
Harmony-Bleakly Featured By Owner May 15, 2011
Every time I look at my page I see 'needs premium membership' and I don't like it, most websites these day cost money to do better things. I agree if they lower the cost more people will buy membership, I think DA is cheeper then I do have a profile on that, but when you go to the map on that website you can't go to 2 or 3 places and when you are in the street with shops, you can't go to a certin shop, it is members only, AND the mebers can go on this island that non-members can and shake a 'rox tree'(Rox is the game currancy) and get free rox, they can buy special 'moshling seeds' non-members can get moshling seeds, but not all of the ones like the members can. The members get a moshling zoo, non-members can only have 2 moshlings. while members can have all of them if they find them, I think that they ARE to greedy these days. I can't go on the internet everyday (Well I am ment to be on it on the last day of the month.) because it slows it down, so membership is not really worth it for me.Also they have brought out cards that you buy and it pays for a month/year membership (You pay for the card, of course, unless it is a birthday gift...)
PaatySanchez Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, that's true and it's sad. a shame that a site as good as it Deviantart has to resort to that. But I think any of us here, yes, of course they want to make money. And it is well deserved. The pity is that the really good artists, they do not stand out as much as the others ...
Axmann8 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011
Of course, I believe in capitalism, and, as such, I have to defend deviantART here. Their approach, while it does cause me to see them as greedy, is incredibly smart.

Once they established the incredible popularity of their site, they created a kind of "monopoly" in the business of online publication of art. They have reached a point where people really have nowhere else to go if they want the kind of functionality deviantART can potentially offer.

What do we need to solve this? As a capitalist, I say we need competition. If another site erected themselves and was able to make a name for themselves as "full functionalty, for free!" they could easily take business away from deviantART. If we had two sites, then, that offered the functionality that deviantART offers to premium members, it would create a situation where the two companies will compete for business by offering more functionality at a lower price than the other.

I'd rather donate to a company that wants to challenge deviantART rather than pay deviantART so they can continue their (intelligent for business) shenanigans. And the reason for that is that I know I would probably pay less down the line.

That's just me, though.
Axmann8 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2011
Psychology actually comes into play when I think about deviantART.

In classic conditioning, there are two types of "punishment". There is negative punishment, and positive punishment.

"Negative punishment", ironically, does not use the word "negative" in its connotative sense. Negative punishment is punishment by removing a privilege.

"Positive punishment", on the other hand, is punishment by introducing something "bad". (whereas negative punishment is taking away something "good".)

For example, "spanking" would be "positive punishment", whereas taking away a child's allowance for a week would be an example of "negative punishment"

Well, where does deviantART fit in, you might ask? deviantART claims to to operate under the seemingly kinder "negative punishment". They claim that they're not enforcing penalties, but that they are withholding advantages.

There are SO many features under the "premium" umbrella that it is quite obvious that deviantART is enforcing punishment by penalizing those of us without premium memberships through the imposition of "reduced basic functionality". There is certainly a debate as to whether this is "negative punishment" or "positive punishment", and I think that deviantART uses this to their advantage.

Are they truly offering us "advantages" if we have a premium membership, or are they imposing the punishment of "no basic functionality that every other site is expected to have"?

When you see some of the things that deviantART tells us we're not allowed to do/have, it's really interesting. They operate under a very strange approach to business.

Whereas most companies would offer a true "advantage" if you pay them, deviantART does the opposite and says "if you don't pay is, we'll cripple your ability to use the site so bad that you'll want to pay us".

Instead of making payment a /privilege/ for their company, by offering something truly unique, they're trying to make it a /right/, if users want to use their site without frustration.
buttontree177 Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2011
AGREED! Sure you can get rid of stupid ads and do polls and stuff but it's not worth the shit-ton of money that could be wasted when you could do most of the stuff a premium member can for free!
Khrysta-Maxwell Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2011
You people need to learn to choose your fights.
Deviantart is an optional website, like Gaiaonline (that site has no place in this argument). You don't HAVE to be here. you can create an account and store your art here and gain recognition from colleagues and peers, for free. You get basic amenities, comments a journal etc. or you can pay for the fancier option. This is the same EVERWHERE. Hotmail is a good example. They give you a free account and some storage space. You can pay for more space and more options. gaiaonline, you pay to get cool clothes for your avatar (the reason this site doesn't fit in the argument is because you only pay for little bonuses. These are called micro-transactions and facebook is chock full of these, look at their games. Both are completely free otherwise).

I understand that the "Needs Premium Membership" is poorly worded, but this is the advertising comity's Problem, bring it up with them. There are many more "delicate" ways of saying they want your money for those of you who think it's distasteful to be able to pay your bills and put food on the table. The world is run by money, get used to it or starve.

As for the thought of getting more recognition for having premium, are you stupid? There is no place on the sign up sheet for premium that says they will help you become a recognized artist. You put in the work yourself, no one else is going to do it for you. Get your hands dirty or go home. You get your name out there by making friends and commenting and adding to your favorites list so people who don't know you see your name and hopefully tour your artwork.

This site is a job for a lot of people, and they, like me, don't feel like living on minimum wage.
RYOGAXP-CHAN98 Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2010
Look at my avatar.DO I LOOK LIKE I WANT TO PAY DAMN DA 4 SOME STUPID PREMIUM SHIT?!The same premium shit happened to me on stardolls.come!
ForeverNoir Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Holy eff that was long !!! DDD8
ForeverNoir Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
But you're not looking at the whole picture . (And please excuse my awful typing I'm pressed for time and am on my wii.) ._. I don't completely agree or disagree with either of you but u have to keep in mind these facts. Deviant art is no virtual god . It has to follow the same shitty economy ( think I spelled that wrong 8o ) we do and they do offer plenty of items that we could not get any other way or anywhere else. And they also offer certain deals *such as so-and-so off of painter, etc. * that truly is a god sent to some artists, they also have contests and things like that ,they also offer a fantastic selection of prizes for the many contests they have . Which judges by skill and creativity not wealth. While I say that overall the site is a pretty good site *even for non-subscribers seeing as how they are pretty much getting everything the site is generally used for to a limited degree. And there is no law decreeing we simply cannot offer a critique through the comments. And things such as that. They really aren't missing out on much of anything * But as I was saying while they aren't being unfair really or at least completely unfair they could do to make a few adjustments . Beginning with their general prices. And I don't think I mentioned this but DA was surely not offered everything they have and are offering for free and subscriptions, etc. are simply a way to keep them available to everyone. Maybe the reson they are now being pushier is because perhaps they are beginning to go downhill :shrug: ... that seems far more likely considering everything they do .
But who knows except them. :/
TheNightCats Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I was thinking of getting PM, with the new buy 1 get 1 free offer, but after reading this, it made me change my mind. I was already thinking: "Is it really worth getting it? I don't care about the ads, I just want to spark up my profile." As another person said, it's not really worth the money. It's not fair that the subscribers get all the nice stuff, and we are just cast out like outsiders. They are WAY too greedy, and I think that we should be able to post pictures in our journals, and that we should get a custom box. I say that we should go straight up to the DeviantART founders, and tell them that we don't like the way it's run. DA is the best art-site around, but I think that they need to get a move on, and start thinking of other people and not just their wallets. Hands up if you think that we should get a petition signed, people, because it's not fair. I quote: "The customer comes first," and "the customer is always right".
princess-cons Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2010
You are so right.. I can't add pictures on my journal T__T huhu
LanternLeaf Featured By Owner Aug 15, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
I get that it's annoying, but don't you think you're overreacting a bit. It's a business, so what did you expect? Maybe they do need that much. They have a lot of employees and they probably don't have other jobs. Plus they have to pay to keep the site up and run ALL of YOUR separate user pages. If you've never run a business you shouldn't expect to know how much it costs. If you don't need one, don't buy one. That should be the end of this debate.
sonicdude11100 Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2010   Digital Artist
They should atleast have better options for normal users they should be grateful we ever signed up at all!
T95Master Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2010   Digital Artist
and yes, DA is so damn greedy and it annoys me... I wish I had a little premium membership for free.
T95Master Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2010   Digital Artist
Well, do you guys have to have a online bank account in order to earn premium membership, even if someone gives it to you as a gift?
Yuissarian Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2010
yeah. It may not be such a big deal for people that can pay, but what about the people or 'children' rather, unable to get a paypal or whatever those things are. My parents would freak if I said I needed money just so people can see my art over the internet.
just-a-web-artist Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually dA is a profit based company. That's how it started.
E-mArt123 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2009
I am not going to get into a big debate or disscusion over whether this is all correct or wrong I just want to say one thing.

dA is a privilege not a right
L-Greylady Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2009
Now it's spreading to emails to... :iconbaawwplz: DA sent me two emails in about three days telling me the horrors of not buying a subscription...:iconsadtruthplz: They be spammin' mah hotmail! :iconohnoseplz:
Glaceonrocks Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Its so true... Also, did you know that 30$ are like 3405 pesos? Thats insane! Also before I read this I posted a Journal poll. I hate the ''Need premium'' Shit thing. I, of course, DON'T need it.
InvaderSTELLAR Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2009
Yeah, this is so true~! I hope we don't have to evuntally subscribe to upload our art~! Jeez, they need to quit the "Membership" crap.
Landazuri Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2009
Hi well I was thinking they would lose if they wanted to do what the site Burundis made several years ago <;pay to have a count>Many people forget to visit this site
(DA does not compare to burundis --of course not!!!--but might be a good example jeje!) DA is the best place to promote our art but is not the only one where I can show my pictures (I have my account on myspace whatever!)

cheers for everyone from mexico
AbbysCorner Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I love you for writing about this. It's summed up everything that I have felt about this "Need Premium" crap.

It really does just piss me off. It's as if those who do subscribe, dA praises and gives them all these options and rights because they give them money. Whereas those who don't subscribe, they leave in the dirt and don't give them as many options, because dA is greedy and won't give those options because the non-subscribers didn't give them their precious money.

It's like those shitty TV shows where the teachers love the popular kids, but think very little of those who aren't as popular.

dA is supposed to be a place for artists, not for money-whoring. I think the staff has to re-think that one.

The thing about critiquing, though, really does set me off. It's as if dA is saying that the non-subscribers shouldn't have the right to critique because they're "poor" (which, of course, is not the case for most of us). It's like they're saying, "Non-subscribers obviously shouldn't have the right to ask for critique because they are poor. Only the Premium Members can because they give us money, and artists that give us money are better and have better art."

That's how I see it, mostly. dA has turned into an unpleasant place because of the constant money-whoring. Hopefully, they can bring themselves up from this low state, but they seem kind of ignorant, so I doubt it.

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Submitted on
July 21, 2009


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