How do you feel about subscription based plugins?

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Hi all,

I'm wondering what peoples opinions are about subscription based plugins where you'd pay monthly to use a plugin instead of the usual 1-time up-front payment?

Assuming the subscription is fairly priced for the given plugin, would you rather be able to pay monthly and cancel the subscription at any point in the future if you decide you don't want to use it anymore, or would you rather just pay the full price up front and have access to it for life, even if it mean potentially wasting money on a plugin you may not use too often if at all?

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Horrible Idea. As an artist and pro I need access to my many tools all the time. The bookkeeping, which one is active, which one isn't, makes it totally absurd if you have/need a large collection of plug ins.
There may be some tax related circumstances which may be beneficial for a few, but generally it is just a method to milk the users even more.

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I don't like it and try to avoid it when there are alternatives. The risik is too high (as long as you're not that rich) to lose oversight over all your subscriptions!

That's why I love companies like Meldaproduction or Image Line where the updates are free. Pay once and use it the rest of your life.

I like the REAPER pricing model, too. (Free updates for the next big version, too, and then you have to pay again.)

I don't like the new monthly subscription model of Meldaproduction.

But if it were necessary in a paid job, I would use subscriptions, too. Adobe for example. Some people don't have a better alternative to the Creative Cloud.

I do understand it from a business point of view because then the monthly income of a company is better planable. But personally I don't like it as an user!
Last edited by Tricky-Loops on Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tricky-Loops wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:17 pm I don't like the new monthly subscription model of Meldaproduction.
I buy perpetual licenses from Melda and I'm not interested in the subscription, but it should be noted that the subscription for Melda is a rent-to-own model which gives you permanent licenses for the entire catalogue at the finish line (the price of the MCompleteBundle, which currently takes about 3 years of monthly subscription).

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I'm in favor of a sub specifically in this scenario: Say you are entering the field and plan to make a career. You haven't bought any plugins yet and are trying to decide how to commit. Then something like a PA sub would work, because you are committing to paying them ~$250/yr for the duration of your career, in exchange for 100+ plugins and anything they add down the road. That's going to cost you ~$8000 for a career (25 yrs+), but that's it and you never have to worry about plugins again.

The math falls apart in other scenarios. Say you are mixing heavily this year and want to experiment so you sub to 3 things (PA, Waves, Slate to name a few). So you have a good productive year, did a lot of work and tried a ton of plugins. Now your sessions are littered with plugins from all 3 subs. Come next year, do you cancel some of the subs? Keep paying forever? If you cancel, your sessions won't work because you are missing plugins. If you don't cancel, are you just going to keep paying for all the subs permanently? That's going to cost you $20k+ over the course of a career.

Here's another scenario: Show up with $2,000 to Black Friday weekend. Buy as many plugins as your heart can handle. Use those for the next 10 years. Now you have more plugins than you know what do to with and you saved money.

Here's a more realistic scenario: we all use no more than about 30 plugins. The mind can't handle much more, you start forgetting about them and how and when to use them. So if you just buy the 20 - 30 plugins you'll need for your work, at around $30 each (~avg cost of a plugin on sale), all you need is $1,000 tops to be set for the foreseeable future with all the plugins you can handle. You don't have to buy all at once, take your time to figure out what you are going to use, try demos, and only get what you need until you use up your $1000 budget.

And this is why I'm generally against subs. Why commit to paying a subscription when realistically you could invest that now and just buy what you need, and have no strings attached.

Also, your choice of DAW covers quite a range. For instance, I invested in Studio One Pro. It's more expensive than something like Reaper when you look at the ticket price, but Studio One is cheaper when you account for all you get (and wait for a sale). The plugins are at a different level, Studio One Pro comes with Fat Channel that includes 1176, LA2A, etc. Virtual instruments, tons of effects. So after making that investment all bases are pretty well covered and you would only need to supplement with unique or very special plugins. (Not that I'm saying you should get Studio One Pro, I'm saying take your DAW into consideration when looking at all this stuff).

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There's another problem with subscriptions: Even after you paid years for it, you still cannot sell the license! With the exception of "rent-to-own" models! (But then you needed to have a financial guarantee that you can permanently pay 3 years for the Melda Complete Bundle!)

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You can thank the EU for subscription-based software, specifically the 2012 ECJ ruling in UsedSoft v Oracle. This was the ruling that ripped control over copyrighted works from the developers who created them.

In this ruling, all software that has a PERPETUAL LICENSE can be sold secondhand within the jurisdiction of the EU.

The one and only way around this for developers to retain their legal rights over their work is for them to make their licenses expire. Subscription-based licenses soon followed.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

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How do you feel about all those new members posting controversial questions, and then disappearing into the void again?

Personally, I find it quite shady.

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Tricky-Loops wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:04 pm There's another problem with subscriptions: Even after you paid years for it, you still cannot sell the license! With the exception of "rent-to-own" models! (But then you needed to have a financial guarantee that you can permanently pay 3 years for the Melda Complete Bundle!)
Selling of plugins is currently quite difficult actually and I wonder if this situation will change in the future.

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jochicago wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:55 pm I'm in favor of a sub specifically in this scenario: Say you are entering the field and plan to make a career. You haven't bought any plugins yet and are trying to decide how to commit. Then something like a PA sub would work, because you are committing to paying them ~$250/yr for the duration of your career, in exchange for 100+ plugins and anything they add down the road. That's going to cost you ~$8000 for a career (25 yrs+), but that's it and you never have to worry about plugins again.

The math falls apart in other scenarios. Say you are mixing heavily this year and want to experiment so you sub to 3 things (PA, Waves, Slate to name a few). So you have a good productive year, did a lot of work and tried a ton of plugins. Now your sessions are littered with plugins from all 3 subs. Come next year, do you cancel some of the subs? Keep paying forever? If you cancel, your sessions won't work because you are missing plugins. If you don't cancel, are you just going to keep paying for all the subs permanently? That's going to cost you $20k+ over the course of a career.

Here's another scenario: Show up with $2,000 to Black Friday weekend. Buy as many plugins as your heart can handle. Use those for the next 10 years. Now you have more plugins than you know what do to with and you saved money.

Here's a more realistic scenario: we all use no more than about 30 plugins. The mind can't handle much more, you start forgetting about them and how and when to use them. So if you just buy the 20 - 30 plugins you'll need for your work, at around $30 each (~avg cost of a plugin on sale), all you need is $1,000 tops to be set for the foreseeable future with all the plugins you can handle. You don't have to buy all at once, take your time to figure out what you are going to use, try demos, and only get what you need until you use up your $1000 budget.

And this is why I'm generally against subs. Why commit to paying a subscription when realistically you could invest that now and just buy what you need, and have no strings attached.

Also, your choice of DAW covers quite a range. For instance, I invested in Studio One Pro. It's more expensive than something like Reaper when you look at the ticket price, but Studio One is cheaper when you account for all you get (and wait for a sale). The plugins are at a different level, Studio One Pro comes with Fat Channel that includes 1176, LA2A, etc. Virtual instruments, tons of effects. So after making that investment all bases are pretty well covered and you would only need to supplement with unique or very special plugins. (Not that I'm saying you should get Studio One Pro, I'm saying take your DAW into consideration when looking at all this stuff).
it's amazing that i dont want to sub to any of the ones you mentioned at all.
so far my fav plugin devs don't do subs.
FabFilter, Voxengo, u-he, Softube, D16 (sorry if i missed any - these from the top of my head)

so i dont know whether i like subs or no. i don't miss them tho.
Image

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It is a sign of the times in this industry, we don't have enough money to keep consuming the ever expanding plugin offerings, the companies need to keep the revenue flowing, subscription is a solution to their needs nor those of the consumer, which BTW right now are mostly hobbyist who enjoy buying more software than what they use.
dedication to flying

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martinjuenke wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 1:36 pm Selling of plugins is currently quite difficult actually and I wonder if this situation will change in the future.
Yes, quite difficult because most of plugins are combination of basic well-known effects (which we have in our DAWs) or some kind of past time gear emulation. These fields oversaturated for sure so I’m not surprised that Slate or PA goes subscription. It is relevant only for those who actually makes money in music industry. Not so many people, in fact :) the rests need to own things permanently because it’s more (or less) than tool for specific task, it’s an addition to personal collection.

Something really innovative don’t need to go subscription as long as product contain results of time-consuming research or unique vision. In that case, it just don’t have acceptable alternative.

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I'm never going to pay for a subscription. Period....
I will take the Lord's name in vain, whenever I want. Hail Satan! And his little goblins too. :lol:

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Niowiad wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:41 pm
Tricky-Loops wrote: Sun Sep 13, 2020 12:17 pm I don't like the new monthly subscription model of Meldaproduction.
I buy perpetual licenses from Melda and I'm not interested in the subscription, but it should be noted that the subscription for Melda is a rent-to-own model which gives you permanent licenses for the entire catalogue at the finish line (the price of the MCompleteBundle, which currently takes about 3 years of monthly subscription).
I do like the rent to own but the others almost feel like I am throwing my money away. Sort of like paying rent instead of just using that money to make payments on a home.
my music: http://www.alexcooperusa.com
"It's hard to be humble, when you're as great as I am." Muhammad Ali

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