The market for effects seems totally flooded

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
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ATS
KVRAF
5985 posts since 21 Dec, 2002 from MD USA

Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 7:59 pm

And everyone expects $19 plugins now. How does anyone stay in business?
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plexuss
KVRAF
2363 posts since 8 Jul, 2009

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:10 pm

I'm not sure. However we can try and keep track of plugin companies that have closed up shop as an indicator of trouble in the market. Clearly over-head will be the killer. Through 2016 on, what companies have closed up shop? Only one comes to my mind:

Cakewalk

heavymetalmixer
KVRist
272 posts since 8 Jan, 2017

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:30 pm

Most of the plugin devs that sell at low prices don't make a living from it, but yeah, not every dev can do that. For now I'm happy that Tokyo Dawn Labs gives free versions of some of their plugins, and even the paid ones are cheap given the quality they have.
Last edited by heavymetalmixer on Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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sqigls
KVRAF
3370 posts since 25 Dec, 2004 from Melbourne, Australia

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:30 pm

you're unstoppable


personally, i think it's exciting as f**k! So many great sounding plugins, an amazing time to be in the box.
I'm always supporting smaller developers. but yes, must be a ball breaker of an industry. that said, I make nothing from music. Ever.

Jay Ass Blach
Banned
14 posts since 27 Feb, 2018

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:03 pm

Because pros need invoices for all their expenses for accounting purposes. And because fanbois have money burning in their pocket - in need of some shopping therapy. This assures that the top guys will survive.

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aciddose
KVRAF
12071 posts since 7 Dec, 2004

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 10:47 pm

If you look at any other market the natural progression is toward monopolies with dramatically reduced prices made possible by unrelated revenue streams driving price below production cost. Once established, the prices offered by these monopolies skyrocket due to lack of competition. Finally a back-and-forth ping-pong happens as the established players battle it out round after round in an unpredictable and chaotic fashion much like the stock market.

This however is not "any other market" because a traditional monopoly is near impossible with consistent competition from immortal and "viral" "free software".

The past 20 years have been the snake oil "wild west" of plug-ins. Due to any lack of real regulation, the next 20 years will be too! Fret not those with heavy wallets, the weight of your troublesome currency shall soon be alleviated!

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VariKusBrainZ
KVRAF
8687 posts since 16 Dec, 2002

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:42 pm

There are more CHINESE producers now than ever. Therefore, the potential customer base has increased.

Warped Effect
KVRer
7 posts since 6 Sep, 2017

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:23 am

Does anyone else think it's weird how the VST world is still lacking high quality non-robotic MIDI to Voice VSTs ?, and yes I know vocoders can do MIDI to Voice, but i don't count them, because most vocoders make MIDI to Voice sound bad or very robotic.

Here's a video example of audio hardware doing high quality non-robotic MIDI to Voice, and it's a shame VSTs still aren't anywhere close to this MIDI to Voice quality yet.

Skip to 9 minutes & 50 seconds to hear MIDI to Voice in the video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PO2UfDZ2vJk&t=590

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evilantal
KVRian
829 posts since 13 Mar, 2008 from Arnhem, Netherlands

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:27 am

VariKusBrainZ wrote:There are more CHINESE producers now than ever. Therefore, the potential customer base has increased.
This actually makes sense :)

As global welfare and industrial/economic development grows, more people will have more and more disposable income...
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funky lime
KVRian
1196 posts since 17 Sep, 2002

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:45 pm

Every year there seems to be a new benchmark for realism or accuracy in emulations. And every year, people keep buying the latest and greatest clone. What happens when we get that plugin that's 100% identical to a hardware 1176? Won't the actual hardware 1176 become less sought-after, when people know that even the pros can confidently replace it with software? It seems to me like it will become less of an inimitable, highly specialized tool, and more of an antique, more desirable to collectors than actual working professionals. We're already kind of seeing this lately, with lots of "professional" music being produced mostly, if not all the way, in the box.

The better our emulations get, the less valuable the hardware it emulates becomes. But the software does not necessarily increase in value to match; due to the saturation of the market, we see amazing plugins being sold for ~$20, or even given away for free entirely.

I think, with professional tools so widely available even to amateurs, the focus will shift from the quality of the tools themselves more toward the quality/skills of the person using them. Production quality will go up across the board, as it has been doing already; even the most "indie" music sounds more professional nowadays than it did twenty years ago. But at some point we will all be sick of shit music with incredible production quality. So, with incredible production quality as a given, music will have to begin to stand on its own merit again.

(edit: of course, this notion is inherently flawed, because it relies on the assumption that good gear means good production)

It's a trap. We fancy ourselves "producers" but really we are consumers. We buy into the hype. We buy into the notion that one synth is not enough, nor is ten. We need fifty synths and thirty compressors and twelve EQs and nine delays and twenty console emulations, and a locker full of unique mics for every conceivable sound source.

The artist produces with whatever is available, even if it's nothing at all. The consumer, on the other hand, buys new gear and plays pretend, in his or her fancy virtual studio with legendary gear out the ass, the perfect tools for every possible scenario, "just in case."

I think there will never be a shortage of consumers.
[/unpopular opinion]
Last edited by funky lime on Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Rameses
KVRist
130 posts since 9 Mar, 2018 from Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:53 pm

Fully disregarding the marketing aspect this is actually a good thing. The variety of available plugins fuels the creativity of music producers. Also see natural selection in evolution theory, there might be some parallels. More plugins (regardless of the quality) = More good plugins in the end, of course while having an organic scenario with real humans where there is good stuff and not that good stuff by default but that can be very fluid anyway, since one can find obscure and "bad" plugins and use them in a good way. Not exactly fitting the topic but I remember finding some exotic vstis on really obscure self-made japanese webpages (made by some average citizens I assume) and I actually could use them in my creative process, after some equalizing and harmonizing of course. Creativity is really an awesome thing.
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michaeltn86
KVRist
203 posts since 8 Jun, 2016

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:00 pm

I can write a book about this subject but I'll try to make it as short as I can.

people need meaning in their lives, so after their survival are ok they look for things to do.

and they are willing to spend lots of $$$ to have something to do.

do you like soccer? see what happened to soccer in just twenty years!!!

do you like videogame? see what happened to videogames in just twenty years!!!

Why? people didn't have to worry about survival anymore and they are looking for things to do. see what happened to video / photograph market. it's crazy stuff.

so yeah, the person who said about China, it's totally correct. once they don't have to worry about food supply and jobs, there will be a huge boom in music industry actually. that's so easy to see. if by any chance music becomes mandatory in countries, gosh, it'll be such a gigantic market that's hard to quantify. and so will be the competition!!!

so, if u are a company, u need to try to get as big as you possible can and make it to the time it explodes. and, u need to develop a high profit product, increase ur user base and have it "easy" for people joining the market (the most affordable prices u can).

so yes, Slate is in my opinion the most visionary and the most ready for the future. and by a really long shot.

and there is a key point that few developers understand.

why people don't play more instruments or want to play music? Because it's excruciating hard!!! videogames and to watch soccer is easy. so products that are easy are essential. not a surprise that keyboard market is the biggest and growing in an incredible pace, and the guitar / bass / classical instruments is shrinking exponentially.

guitar center and Gibson are just the beginning if u don't adapt or know ur market really well.

the new generation that is coming will not relate to old music as much as the generation that saw the plugin development, so the "emulation" stuff have a limit and it's likely to have less and less relevance.

it's also essential that products are designed to be zero latency. because the first cut is the deepest.

And actually USD 19 or above is pretty nice to the developers. if u make math accounts u can easily see that USD 12 -15 is totally feasible.

Don't believe companies that say outrageous numbers above 50.000 or more as their customer base. pay attention to what slate has to say and u can pretty much guess and do the math urself. user base and customer base are totally different things.

the last comment of his about subscription was that he had 20.000 users. can you believe how small the market is? but it's the easiest to enter the music production stuff and he's pretty big for this small world. check his youtube numbers and matches perfectly. look for the new videos or new releases videos.

20.000 X 150 = USD 3 millions. it'll not make u rich, but it'll make u survive. get a high profit product and bang! u are gaming! u have a sweet and bright future for u.

why companies give away free stuff? to see the whole market potential (people patient and willing enough to registrar in their site).

when u see the developers giveaway numbers it totals about 100.000. and alots of developers say the same kind of number.... 100.000

so, while the price is USD 19 or more, they are pretty safe, it just depends on the developers themselves to reach big numbers and survive.

100.000 is the number of people willing to get it from official sources. 20.000 is the people willing to spend according to my math (I can be totally wrong mind u).

now, for small developers, they need to diminish support time (as the companies have to spend such a long time in useless request) and increase their presence. I think it's strange that some developers don't join each other. but then, you see them write on the internet, and u figure it.

business is business after all. it's not because it's music business that is different. I find this whole "we are musicians too" a very bad thing for the music industry... I surely hoped it was different :]

Winstontaneous
KVRian
1433 posts since 15 Feb, 2006 from Berkeley, CA

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:09 pm

michaeltn86 wrote: so, if u are a company, u need to try to get as big as you possible can and make it to the time it explodes. and, u need to develop a high profit product, increase ur user base and have it "easy" for people joining the market (the most affordable prices u can).
For some reason people don't seem to understand that this is not the only model for success in business. It's certainly not sustainable - you collapse if the product never really catches on. There's a word for "unlimited growth" in biology - cancer. :help:

There's room for the corner bakery and for Domino's pizza - I don't want a world where there's only 2 or 3 Dominos-type pizza chains. Don't wanna get too HPC here, but IMO that's one of the great tragedies since the '80s - the global corporatization of everything gutting the small businesses that make each town and city unique.

There is a select batch of plugin developers who seem to be doing OK and don't aspire to play the endless discount treadmill game - u-he, Valhalla, DMG Audio to name a few. Not sure of the last 2, but I think u-he would rather sell to one person who understands that a product like Zebra is worth $200 than 10 who think it's worth $20, or that they deserve it for free. Selling fewer, higher-priced plugins to pros (who understand the value and can use a tax writeoff)/serious producers seems like the way to go if your product is truly top-shelf quality--much easier to support.
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michaeltn86
KVRist
203 posts since 8 Jun, 2016

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:32 pm

wonderful comment, and actually I agree (in parts) ;p I also wrote a post about that in another thread, but this one was mentioning USD 19 price comment, so I commented on that but I did forgot on mentioning that.

the ones u mention are one man or few man. I don't follow up them closely, but, for instance, technology moves fast and by big money (just the amount of computers / systems / equipment u need is pretty relevant).

I see the type of developers u mentioned will always have a part of the cake in the market; but it will shrink fast. their importance are likely to diminish.

not because they are bad, but because one person company are likely to burn themselves out. they get tired. specially technology wise.

it must be freaking hard to keep creative, innovative, or whatever u need to keep in business. it ain't easy.

I do try to support all kinds of companies and I do get what u want to say :].

I just think that ur analogy is wrong imo. plugin companies are not corner bakery or domino pizza. more like pan's brands, fork's brands, etc. they are tools. I can say that a skilled and creative artist can make many kinds of breads or pizza with the same ingredients or tools. but that's just my opinion :phones: \

edit: I will also say that a skilled and creative artist can sometimes surpass himself, with the right tools and the right company. restaurants included.

Winstontaneous wrote:
michaeltn86 wrote: so, if u are a company, u need to try to get as big as you possible can and make it to the time it explodes. and, u need to develop a high profit product, increase ur user base and have it "easy" for people joining the market (the most affordable prices u can).
For some reason people don't seem to understand that this is not the only model for success in business. It's certainly not sustainable - you collapse if the product never really catches on. There's a word for "unlimited growth" in biology - cancer. :help:

There's room for the corner bakery and for Domino's pizza - I don't want a world where there's only 2 or 3 Dominos-type pizza chains. Don't wanna get too HPC here, but IMO that's one of the great tragedies since the '80s - the global corporatization of everything gutting the small businesses that make each town and city unique.

There is a select batch of plugin developers who seem to be doing OK and don't aspire to play the endless discount treadmill game - u-he, Valhalla, DMG Audio to name a few. Not sure of the last 2, but I think u-he would rather sell to one person who understands that a product like Zebra is worth $200 than 10 who think it's worth $20, or that they deserve it for free. Selling fewer, higher-priced plugins to pros (who understand the value and can use a tax writeoff)/serious producers seems like the way to go if your product is truly top-shelf quality--much easier to support.
Last edited by michaeltn86 on Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FabienTDR
KVRian
986 posts since 24 Feb, 2012

Re: The market for effects seems totally flooded

Post Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:37 pm

Winstontaneous wrote:Selling fewer, higher-priced plugins to pros (who understand the value and can use a tax writeoff)/serious producers seems like the way to go if your product is truly top-shelf quality--much easier to support.
In a time where social sharing and recommendation outperforms any known form of advertisement, it definitely is beneficial to have 20 happy customers who paid 30$ each, vs 1 customer for 200$ (that's how fair prices scale vs unfair prices). On the long term, the larger user base wins, simply because web buzz is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay bigger and more trustworthy than any artificial ad campaign. There's much less business risk in it!

You also have to realize the fundamental shift this market made from B2B (where costs get declared as expenses before tax) to a much bigger B2C centric market (where costs shouldn't surpass the price of a video game). IMHO, selling a plugin product >50$ today is literally stupid. It excludes the fast growing B2C market in favor of a weak and scary fast shrinking pro market. Not to mention self defense piracy.

A high price product typically depends on customer acquisition costs beyond 40% and another 20% for the copy protection and/or subscription service. High price customers also ask for first class support and are quick to ask for refund and/or resell their license. All that glitters is not gold. A fair priced product is an ad in itself, hundreds of happy customers visible around the web are pretty convincing.

We feed 2 full time and a part time dev, plus a half dozen pro helpers for docu, videos, accounting, tax and stuff. And we're currently looking for one or two additional developers to flood the market even further! :D
Last edited by FabienTDR on Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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