Applying the Blizzard model
I was thinking about this recently - Blizzard are making the most money (ever) for any video game out there with World of Warcraft and there is no piracy involved at all. I'm confident the money made is in the billions of dollars and they don't have to worry about piracy, the only thing they have to worry about is 3rd parties making money off their product and obviously to keep their customers by keeping the game changing/dynamic and challenging. An ideal situation, so why not look into this *model* for audio software?
Essentially, you pay to play WOW via monthly subscription - you buy the main engine and various expansions that come out over time but you HAVE to pay the monthly fee to play, this brings in the bulk of money and means the game can get bigger and better as the team working on it all get paid. How do you convert this into an acceptable business model for the DAW world? First of all you HAVE to say 'sorry no-go' to users not having an internet connection - this will exclude some users from this system but it's 2009 - internet is everywhere and is part of the whole piracy problem (not getting into this now) so one would assume that offline users were less of the problem (exceptions exist of course). You buy the DAW/plugin engine but this does not work without the monthly subscription.
But rectumfire, (in general) people dislike dongles and ilok, isn't this the same thing?
Well no it's not. What do you get for the inconvenience of using a dongle? You get to use the product out of the box and a feeling that you have done a good thing by supporting the software manufacturer. Pirates have to use often buggy cracks and every time there is an update will have to recrack etc and they do not have the support you get when you buy a bona fide piece of legit software. This is nice. However, it's often not enough to deter the pirate and make them jump into the paying model. There has to be a combination of incentive and a forced authentication (each time using software) which is how Blizzard does it. You do not need to slot something into your machine to authenticate your product!
So here we have it:
The WORLD of DAWCRAFT!!
- explore an online world of goblin engineers, moody orcish mastering professionals.. and fight the binary buccaneers for control of the..
Ok that's not what i meant.
A lot of the problem stems from the online and how open it is. People are roaming around grabbing everything they see willy-nilly with very little guilt. So take the fight to their grounds, take the fight online, force people to authenticate! As a reward they will get monthly extras (of high quality (samples/plugs), special offers, credits etc), constant bug fixing, online support and eventually you could even create an online spot where you can go and have your mixes/mastering done by pros and even get musicians to play on your songs. Take it online! A small part could be available offline but only as a result of having been online at some point and authenticated.
I think this is all controversial. Just an idea.