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Plug-in Subscription model
Old 18th February 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
Plug-in Subscription model

Forgive me if there is already a thread dedicated to this but I didn't find one.

I noticed that Waves is now offering a subscription model, and after finding myself getting oddly upset as more and more companies take this route, I figured it was a good opportunity to start my first thread.

What is the general consensus around here regarding plugin, recording or mastering companies embracing the subscription economy? I know many "creative", albeit most businesses have already or plan to implement it, but do the slutz think it's a good thing?

"The reality is ownership is dead; now it’s really about access as the new imperative." - Tien Tzuo

There is an entire industry dedicated to facilitating this, obviously not being a new thing. The claim goes that world supposedly has or is currently shifting into a "new era", away from traditional ownership. Terms like "ongoing value, on-demand, highly personalised", etc are the crux of the idea and apparently what consumers want.

The mantra of the consulting firms frame it as a "mutually beneficial" model for business & customer alike but the obvious impetus imo is steady, predictable, long(er)term income, the proven idea that you are more likely to generate brand loyalty by integrating with consumers this way, and the idea that if you don't switch, you won't have a business in 5 years. In other words, it's primary function is to generate more revenue, under the auspices that the service improves, and the value is therefore better, and btw there is no way around it. So is this true?

I had the understanding that subscriptions were designed to prevent advertising (or at least a reliance on it) in publishing was directly and indirectly in the public interest.

Is this appropriate for plug-ins? To which services have you subscribed? Do you perceive better value? Am I just being old-fashioned by thinking it's all just a ruse?
Old 18th February 2020
  #2
I love subscription models for companies I use a lot.

For those where I only have and desire 1-2 of their plugs, I obviously don't.

It also suits those people who are professionals more than maybe those who aren't using the tools every day. In a similar vein, I find Adobe's subscription model pointless for me - I'd like to use photoshop every now and then but I don't need to pay for it every month.
Old 18th February 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I’m not particularly averse to subscription models, but I’d prefer companies to continue to offer an outright purchase option as well.

Adobe is a particular sore point with me since my wife has been a long-term user of Creative Suite, doing some graphic design work alongside her art practice. Once upon a time, we’d upgrade every second or third version, so keeping the cost down to maybe £600-£800 every two or three years. The cheapest subscription that would give us everything she needs works out at £600-£800 per year. So we’re still running CS6 here and holding off from Creative Cloud until the time comes that we absolutely need some new feature or other. Or until the alternatives get good enough that they can match all the functionality in a similar way. (They’re close, but still can’t match everything for our use case.)

Back in the day when we were running a much larger business, we actually needed 3 or 4 CS/CC licences so I contacted Adobe about volume licensing. Even though we were looking at spending a few thousand quid at a time, their rep basically said it’s full retail price. And in spite of the fact that their online volume licensing checker said we qualified for volume pricing. All in all, I reckon Adobe are just out to screw their customers for as much cash as possible. Gits.

Conversely, Microsoft’s subscription model for things like Office has served us well. So it all depends on the company and how they structure the deal.

Last edited by adrianww; 19th February 2020 at 09:48 PM..
Old 19th February 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 

I have been using Slate's subscription for as long as it's been available. I find it to be a great value.
Old 19th February 2020
  #5
Gear Guru
 

I think the question is really about money on the one hand and archival & retrieval on the other. It's all well and fine to have a valuable way of doing business, but suppose you need to archive something, cease your subscription, and then need to retrieve that content down the line. That happens every now and then.
Old 20th February 2020
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by jammiedodger666 View Post
I have been using Slate's subscription for as long as it's been available. I find it to be a great value.
Slate is a good value.

Waves is way too expensive for what you get - $20 US a month for Platinum, which is primarily decades old throw away plugins with a couple decent ones.

Plugin Alliance at least has some serious premium plugins in their bundle at 24.99 - it's actually an amazing value considering the cost of those plugins new - you get SSL consoles etc all the premium recent amp sims etc. It's ridiculously better than Waves for 4.99 more a month.

All companies will be moving to this model which is a pain because it really does make having products from various companies cost prohibitive. One subscription is one thing, but several? The cost would be ridiculous.
Old 20th February 2020
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
I think the question is really about money on the one hand and archival & retrieval on the other. It's all well and fine to have a valuable way of doing business, but suppose you need to archive something, cease your subscription, and then need to retrieve that content down the line. That happens every now and then.
You could always re activate a subscription for a month etc. Otherwise we'll get into the habit of rendering processed tracks for storage.
Old 20th February 2020
  #8
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
You could always re activate a subscription for a month etc. Otherwise we'll get into the habit of rendering processed tracks for storage.
Well, yes, but that also requires that the companies we rent from will keep necessary versions available.

Granted, at some point OS upgrades will pose a problem regardless, but I do find this new way of going about things a bit... annoying... in some ways (not others).
Old 21st February 2020
  #9
I'm trying subscription with EastWest. Since their libraries are pretty expensive to begin with it would take me a few years of subscription to buy a single library in most cases. I already own Platinum Orchestra and SD2, but the choirs, additional orchestral, some sound effects and SD3 seemed worth it for at least five years worth. In theory between now and then they'll add more and increase the value.
Unlike other plugins though, I still use Platinum many years after buying it, it isn't outdated yet. In that respect I find something like a Slate license to be more valuable as the current crop will likely be not as useful in five years and you'll always be up to date. Also, who knows if I'll even need these in three years time. Over the course of five years I might break even, but there's no resale value anyway. Can't even imagine how much money I;ve lost on Waves and UAD... I try not to imagine.
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