How do you feel about subscription based plugins?

VST, AU, etc. plug-in Virtual Effects discussion
KVRAF
13018 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 7:16 am

chk071 wrote:
Mon Jun 21, 2021 1:06 am
The thing is also compatibility. When you get a .docx file, you simply can't rely on other programs which open it. The formatting will ALWAYS messed up. Which is kind of obvious, because, for full compatibility, you'd need the opening program to have exactly the same features, implemented in exactly the same way like Microsoft Office. Which isn't the case with any other software.

If you just need to write a letter, or an invoice every now and then, Google Docs or Libre Office will suffice. For the translation work I've been doing, it's pretty essential to have MS Word.
Which is why I said "if it wasn't for work." Point being, I don't see Office 365 as "good value" for most consumers. Things have changed, most people don't need to buy an office suite for their home computer anymore.
MS Office is the best Office suite anyway though, apart from that. Its ease of use, and operation is simply unmatched, which is why it's still the king.
Not sure that I agree with all of that though. I think that it's more fair to say that, by hook or by crook, it has achieved market dominance. MS Office is the IBM of the 70s of office suites. Nobody is going to get fired for going with MS Office.
Last edited by ghettosynth on Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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KVRist
495 posts since 4 Feb, 2021

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:04 am

fmr wrote:
Tue Jun 22, 2021 2:12 am
And that means what?
That we are doomed. Today, ProTools, tomorrow, the world.
Tribe Of Hǫfuð https://soundcloud.com/user-228690154 "First rule: From one perfect consonance to another perfect consonance one must proceed in contrary or obligue motion." Johann Joseph Fux 1725.

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KVRist
214 posts since 24 Aug, 2017

Post Tue Jun 22, 2021 9:21 am

BONES wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 6:29 pm
jochicago wrote:
Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:55 pm
If you cancel, your sessions won't work because you are missing plugins.
It doesn't work that way. If you cancel, all your old projects will keep working, you just won't be able to add new instances of those plugins or edit them. Output, for example, just lock the GUI and disable patch loading once your Arcade subscription runs out. The plugins keep working in your old projects but you can't edit anything or use it new projects. If you buy a new machine and need to get all your stuff loaded onto it, you just renew for a month and cancel again.

Anyway, I subscribed to Output's Arcade for about 15 months, I think. At Au$14 a month, that's an investment of more than Au$200, which is twice as much as I've ever paid for a VSTi, for an instrument I rarely used after an initial flurry, because they took it in a completely different direction. So the idea of getting lots of new content all the time never did us any good because they never added anything new that we could use. Therefore, after we'd used all the stuff that it came with that we wanted to use, there was no point in continuing to pay for it. We waited until we had locked off the production for the album we used it on but we were quick to cancel after we reached that point.

Overall, my attitude is that if it was $199 up-front, I would never have even looked at it but because it was on a sub, I was happy to give it a go. But Arcade was an exception, because they supplied regular new content for it, which gave you you something for your monthly outlay. For a normal V/A VSTi I would never even consider a subscription model, unless it was a rent-to-own sort of thing like Kilohearts does with their bundles. And for me it's not about reselling licenses, which I've never done, it's the more practical aspect of what might happen if everything I need to use is on subscription and I end up with 20 or 30 of them, adding up to possibly hundreds of dollars a month. It's just not practical if everyone does it and it's a less attractive alternative to buying a license, so it makes your product less attractive to customers.
This is not how most subscriptions work though. They typically don’t load unless authorized.

KVRAF
5926 posts since 31 Aug, 2013 from Down the Withywindle

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 2:43 am

Nope. Never.
Jai Guru Deva....Om.....

KVRian
584 posts since 10 Nov, 2005 from New York City

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 3:04 pm

I have had some plugins from certain developers for over 10 years. I would've spent MUCH more money under a subscription model for those than what I paid outright. The developers have thankfully also continued to support them and keep them updated. I ended my Slate subscription and am hesitant to ever join again because 1) the monthly fee feels wasted if I don't use those plugins enough that month (while if I own it outright, there's no pressure since I will always have it) and 2) doesn't seem like there's much additional value over 12 months in their subscription - and I don't like this model of "continuous payment to use" (PA may different but I don't think their plugins sound that good). Rent to own would be something great and I applaud PA's approach to that (if you like their plugins).

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KVRAF
3708 posts since 7 Sep, 2002

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:45 pm

I'll add my 2 cents. "Subscriptions" is an ultimate problem of software companies when they run out of new customers (became a monopoly) and have run out of ideas for new versions. Software is generally an untackable thing for "business as usual", it has an obvious limit of moneyflow. Software is basically an engineering piece of art. It won't take long when MIT licensed free software will be sold on a market just for the sake of a copyright, because it's cool to "own" a piece of art.

If you think deeper, when a company goes "subscriptions" it becames corrupt, because they get money for no work, indefinitely. Software is a bomb.
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KVRAF
5839 posts since 6 Jan, 2017 from Outer Space

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 10:12 pm

If a company goes subscription only, that is a good thing, it helps to tame my GAS. I can safely ignore them. I have more tools than I need already…

KVRAF
5130 posts since 28 Dec, 2015 from Hanover, Germany

Post Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:51 pm

I roughly calculated my spending pattern over the years:
If I've never bought any plugins but only subscribed to them on a monthly basis (and cancelled the respective subscription when I stopped using the plugin) I would have spent far less then I actually did.
But now I'm locked into an overboarding stock of bought stuff which most of the time is actually not sellable from different reasons.
Poor me! :help:

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KVRian
836 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Thu Jun 24, 2021 3:02 am

I have some 'psuedo subscriptions' to a few things (2 x DAW), NI Komplete - but everything else software has been collated over quite a long time from more than a dozen companies. I'm very unlikely to give that up, mainly because it wouldn't match what I needed.

I don't think there are any companies in such a position where they can offer a subscription to cover all the tools I want for either creation or mixing. There's no Adobe equivalent, who cover pretty much all the industry standard tools.

However, if I had a company with 20 staff that worked on audio for whatever reason, I could see a lot more benefit in finding the 'best' suite (or 2) of tools and getting subscriptions.

KVRAF
13018 posts since 13 Oct, 2009

Post Thu Jun 24, 2021 6:39 am

martinjuenke wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 11:51 pm
I roughly calculated my spending pattern over the years:
If I've never bought any plugins but only subscribed to them on a monthly basis (and cancelled the respective subscription when I stopped using the plugin) I would have spent far less then I actually did.
But now I'm locked into an overboarding stock of bought stuff which most of the time is actually not sellable from different reasons.
Poor me! :help:
Yes, but. If people started doing this then the subscription models would adapt to lock you in to longer periods where it's more challenging to cancel. See phone and internet discounts for an example. All that vendors have to do is adjust all prices up and then offer a significant discount for a multi-year contract. This is not much different from the trend of making it more difficult to sell plugins.

I think that your thought process here is the real consumer benefit to subscriptions as I've previously discussed. The introduction of a subscription triggers your thoughts about about whether or not you will save money which, in turn, triggers the realization of how much money that you've spent and also what you actually use and don't use. You feel that you've spent too much, in your words, you went "overboard."

The rush to subscriptions has definitely caused me to just spend less money on plugins overall.

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KVRian
836 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:14 am

Aleksey Vaneev wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:45 pm
I'll add my 2 cents. "Subscriptions" is an ultimate problem of software companies when they run out of new customers (became a monopoly) and have run out of ideas for new versions. Software is generally an untackable thing for "business as usual", it has an obvious limit of moneyflow. Software is basically an engineering piece of art. It won't take long when MIT licensed free software will be sold on a market just for the sake of a copyright, because it's cool to "own" a piece of art.

If you think deeper, when a company goes "subscriptions" it becames corrupt, because they get money for no work, indefinitely. Software is a bomb.
With all due respect I think that you are wrong. If you decided to offer a subscription service - would that make you corrupt?

I doubt it as that seems opposed to your values.

So if that wouldn't hold true for you - why would it necessarily hold true for other companies? What makes you the arbiter of other peoples values?

The irony here is delicious. As one of the few companies that really offers a complete range of mix tools you're probably well positioned to offer a subscription service, some people might even find it a good option.

There are plenty of ways to make a subscription available and not impinge on your values:
  • allow plugins to run when out of subscription, just with no updating - as bones described above
  • offer subscription alongside your current offering
  • offer a mechanism where subscription payments somehow count towards permanent licenses
  • etc etc
But you know, you're like, welcome to your opinion, man.

KVRAF
4122 posts since 17 Dec, 2009

Post Fri Jun 25, 2021 5:02 am

_leras wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:14 am

With all due respect I think that you are wrong. If you decided to offer a subscription service - would that make you corrupt?
I as voxengo customer would certainly feel so
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KVRAF
2130 posts since 12 Jan, 2019

Post Fri Jun 25, 2021 8:14 am

_leras wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:14 am
What makes you the arbiter of other peoples values?
I don't understand why you would try to disenfranchise somebody of their right to voice their opinions.

So long as somebody else's behaviors are affecting others, they are fair game to be judged.
"Have you ever noticed how anyone driving faster than you is a [jerk] and anyone driving slower than you is a moron?" - George Carlin

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KVRian
836 posts since 20 Apr, 2005

Post Fri Jun 25, 2021 9:34 am

Dirtgrain wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 8:14 am
_leras wrote:
Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:14 am
What makes you the arbiter of other peoples values?
I don't understand why you would try to disenfranchise somebody of their right to voice their opinions.

So long as somebody else's behaviors are affecting others, they are fair game to be judged.
You quoted me out of context, this is what I said:

"So if that wouldn't hold true for you - why would it necessarily hold true for other companies? What makes you the arbiter of other peoples values?"

There are tons of subscription services in the world. Are they all corrupt? Give me a break. And no, sorry, as much as I love it and support developers, music software is not some special magic category.

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KVRAF
3634 posts since 15 Oct, 2017 from U.S.

Post Fri Jun 25, 2021 10:23 am

Aleksey Vaneev wrote:
Wed Jun 23, 2021 9:45 pm
I'll add my 2 cents. "Subscriptions" is an ultimate problem of software companies when they run out of new customers (became a monopoly) and have run out of ideas for new versions. Software is generally an untackable thing for "business as usual", it has an obvious limit of moneyflow. Software is basically an engineering piece of art. It won't take long when MIT licensed free software will be sold on a market just for the sake of a copyright, because it's cool to "own" a piece of art.

If you think deeper, when a company goes "subscriptions" it becames corrupt, because they get money for no work, indefinitely. Software is a bomb.
They are pieces of art & it's a shame there's not a way for smaller devs,at least, to get some kind of patreon page action going

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