Actually, not so much base, as premium ingratitude....
Recently, and with virtually no fanfare at all, the third in LL's occasional series of Premium membership gifts hit the Grid. Previously, we've had a suite of furniture, and a yacht; this time, we have received a working railroad handcart, plus a list (hopefully still current) of places where we can go to stick it on a railroad and use it.
Which is all very well, and I haven't really looked at it, but I'm sure it's very nice. However, as an incentive to take out Premium membership (or, in my case, retain it now I've got it)... well, I can safely say it makes no difference whatsoever.
I will not go so far (as others have done) as to say they are negative things, competing unfairly with the hard-pressed merchants of the Grid, because frankly a few vehicles and sticks of furniture are neither here nor there in the overall SL economy. But as an incentive, they are pretty much duds. Seems to me that anyone who takes out a Premium membership does it for a reason, and that reason, overwhelmingly, includes the desire to create. Even if you're not buying space-for-prims directly to make your own objects, you are doing it to have some space to do your own thing... the overlap between land owners and content creators is damn near total. OK, often you will buy in stuff that takes more time and effort to create than you'd spend yourself; the chances, however, of those three Premium gifts being exactly what you need are too slim to calculate.
I've quite happily snapped up the Premium content because, hey, freebies. But considered as a benefit, they don't even qualify as the icing on the cake. Other things, like the Premium sandboxes, are genuinely useful from time to time. But the gifts? The furniture came out during Steam Hunt 5, I think, or one of the big Hunts at any rate - a time when I was picking up quality free furniture right, left and centre. One more folder full of stuff in my inventory is not something that makes me think how worthwhile my tier fees really are....
So, what might LL do instead of these occasional toys? Or how might they use them more effectively? Could they become promotional tools for the creators involved, somehow? (Though one wonders how much cachet might be attached to a sign that said "Official suppliers of premium freebies to Linden Lab"... some people might be inclined to throw virtual Molotov cocktails through a store's windows if it sported that logo!) At the end of the day, land ownership is the main revenue stream for the Lab... so, how could they use Premium benefits to sell it more effectively?
Answers on a postcard, please.