PA going to Subscription too

chocobitz825

Senior Member
The problem is a plugin is only worth what people will pay for it. If 95% of people only buy a plugin when it's on a flash sale, that's all the plugin is worth. Everything else is just smoke and mirrors of marketing.

All plugin subscriptions should be rent to own. That way if I take a gamble on a year I will at least have the option to have credit with the company to own something if there's a product I desire.

And as far as I can tell, month to month isn't even available yet.

They had rent to own. Not sure how often it was used, but You can’t do rent to own on a full subscription. Giving people full access to everything you make and then letting them cash out 100% sounds like a poor business model. They’d have to go back to previous model of pick 10 plugins to pay off, or they would need to say that a certain percentage of your subscription fee goes toward a buy out.
 

Brian Nowak

Active Member
They had rent to own. Not sure how often it was used, but You can’t do rent to own on a full subscription. Giving people full access to everything you make and then letting them cash out 100% sounds like a poor business model. They’d have to go back to previous model of pick 10 plugins to pay off, or they would need to say that a certain percentage of your subscription fee goes toward a buy out.
That's not a bad business model at all. If somebody pays $200-250 a year that might be one full price plugin a year. It's hardly hurting them.

Whereas a consumer who goes in for several years is giving them a fair amount of money and owning nothing.

Sure, this type of stuff benefits amateurs and people who have literally nothing. Anybody who is actually doing music as a profession is bound to be wary of subscriptions for reasons already mentioned.

Businesses don't offer subscription models because it ends up benefiting the user base. Just like they don't offer sales because people feel "entitled" to them, which is a backward, servile type of mentality.

Simply put, almost nobody is buying at full price which means there is no inherent value to the product being offered. If most people are only willing to buy a single console emulation for $100 once a year, then $200+ a year makes a lot more profit. Plus you'll finally wrangle in the looky-loo types that have just enough monthly cash flow to rent but never enough money to buy.

No matter which way you shine up that turd, it's still not good for users and favors the company in a massive way.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
This is why I can’t get this issue. In this worst case scenario you subscribe for 6 months and only want to buy one plugin, but are then conflicted because you’ve lost access to other plugins you’ve used from them? That’s why the subscription makes sense. If you’re likely to use a bunch of plugins from them that you haven’t already purchased, you now have the ability to. If you’re not interested in that many of their plugins, then you only buy what you need. If you’ve already bought plugins from them, you still own them.

The price of plugins are what they are, and knowing they’re expensive is why subscriptions work for businesses and certain consumers. There are some companies that totally abuse that, no doubt, but in the plugin market, if the choice was to pay $10,000 for a plugin suite like with waves, or do a subscription model at $20 a month, I’d rather the subscription.
I mix professionally...so in my case, since I have the plugins that I like to use, and have created my sound with them, a subscription doesn't work. Why...because say I subscribe for a month or two during a project...after it's over I don't need the plugins, and then I unsubscribe. But then a client asks for a revision...I then pay again for the monthly, for that ONE time use. Yes, it's not the end of the world, but it's a lease...I'd like to know that years down the road, I can just recall whatever because I own them. So multiply this subscription scenario across a few subs...then to recall a project I need to spend upwards of $50 if I have multiple subscriptions?

This idea was great when there was ONE company doing it...now everyone has one, so what are we supposed to do, spend $100 a month to "rent" plugins we don't own...$1200 a year for what? I'd rather they lowered the prices and made them more accessible to people, OR at the very least, offer many different options. Why cancel previous options, instead just ADD new ones...then ALL bases are covered and everyone is happy. Either way, they would have Meade money, and probably more so. But now it's two options...buy 6 plugins to get a decent discount, or subscribe.

I do want to share one small loophole I found. If you add one of the larger ticket plugins that came out, add in the vouchers we received today, then add 5 small ticket option plugins...the $29 ones, and you get the 60% off tier, plus add the monthly voucher code, and it's actually CHEAPER than if you bought the ONE plugin. Makes not sense...if that's the case, just offer us the deal for one...LOL
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
That's not a bad business model at all. If somebody pays $200-250 a year that might be one full price plugin a year. It's hardly hurting them.

Whereas a consumer who goes in for several years is giving them a fair amount of money and owning nothing.

Sure, this type of stuff benefits amateurs and people who have literally nothing. Anybody who is actually doing music as a profession is bound to be wary of subscriptions for reasons already mentioned.

Businesses don't offer subscription models because it ends up benefiting the user base. Just like they don't offer sales because people feel "entitled" to them, which is a backward, servile type of mentality.

Simply put, almost nobody is buying at full price which means there is no inherent value to the product being offered. If most people are only willing to buy a single console emulation for $100 once a year, then $200+ a year makes a lot more profit. Plus you'll finally wrangle in the looky-loo types that have just enough monthly cash flow to rent but never enough money to buy.

No matter which way you shine up that turd, it's still not good for users and favors the company in a massive way.
I suppose maybe this has to do with my circle of professionals. Most of the ones against the subscription model are people who don’t make enough money out of their work to really invest. Most of them are choosing between rent or a new plugin. Mix engineers and producers, and studios have generally been optimistic about this because they get the full range of products and newer products and make enough from their businesses to buy the things they really need if/when they need it.

Not all subs are great. I just ended my pro tools and east west ones because I didn’t feel they were providing continued value in updates and reliability. I also just never used them so it made no sense to continue. Waves charging a fee to upgrade to the next version of support on your plugins is terrible too, so I quit most of my waves plugins as well. We’ll have to see how this goes but if there is continued investment and value, cool.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
I mix professionally...so in my case, since I have the plugins that I like to use, and have created my sound with them, a subscription doesn't work. Why...because say I subscribe for a month or two during a project...after it's over I don't need the plugins, and then I unsubscribe. But then a client asks for a revision...I then pay again for the monthly, for that ONE time use. Yes, it's not the end of the world, but it's a lease...I'd like to know that years down the road, I can just recall whatever because I own them. So multiply this subscription scenario across a few subs...then to recall a project I need to spend upwards of $50 if I have multiple subscriptions?

This idea was great when there was ONE company doing it...now everyone has one, so what are we supposed to do, spend $100 a month to "rent" plugins we don't own...$1200 a year for what? I'd rather they lowered the prices and made them more accessible to people, OR at the very least, offer many different options. Why cancel previous options, instead just ADD new ones...then ALL bases are covered and everyone is happy. Either way, they would have Meade money, and probably more so. But now it's two options...buy 6 plugins to get a decent discount, or subscribe.

I do want to share one small loophole I found. If you add one of the larger ticket plugins that came out, add in the vouchers we received today, then add 5 small ticket option plugins...the $29 ones, and you get the 60% off tier, plus add the monthly voucher code, and it's actually CHEAPER than if you bought the ONE plugin. Makes not sense...if that's the case, just offer us the deal for one...LOL
If you found value in those plugins, why are you using the subscription like a rental service? Why would you only join the service for one project? If these were such common go to plugins, wouldn’t it make sense to continue your subscription?
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
If you found value in those plugins, why are you using the subscription like a rental service? Why would you only join the service for one project? If these were such common go to plugins, wouldn’t it make sense to continue your subscription?
I own the plugins from PA that I wanted already. I only really want the new FC console plugin...but to get that at a decent price, I'd have to buy 5 $29 plugins...LOL

The scenario was hypothetical...reason is say I wanted to really use the Ampeg amp on a bass, or the project called for another specialty boutique plugin...I'll do the sub for those, but then that's it.

happened a few times in the past where I used a guitar amp from Avid...Eleven, because at the time, it was one of the better ones. Once the project finished, a year later the client needed stems for live performances...so then rent the plugin again. Strap this across a few different developers, and it can add up. That's why I think lowering the prices to be more affordable, people will buy more. Quantity of sales, BUT not at the cost of quality. One example that frustrates me is a totally different area: VSTis...so a company like Performance Samples, has their Con Moto series of instruments priced way above the norm, and offers only a limited articulation. It's a very very good articulation, but not worth what they're asking for...but they'd rather keep the high price, instead of lowering it to where it makes sense, and get many more people to buy it. Anyway...just venting. LOL

I guess all these debates really comes down to individual needs of the customer. Some will find a use for the subscriptions, and others won't.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
https://www.greenhousedata.com/blog/getting-savvy-about-software-licensing-can-save-thousands

Interesting article about the IT world and licensing. Honestly, this is how it works out well for me and my accountant. Subscriptions are operational expenses I can generally write off each year.

You do present an interesting case though if using this model to just rent plugins on an as needed basis. As an expense it just costs you $25 to revisit that project later and adjust it, rather than buy the plugin for its full cost. I suppose professionals have to consider if that’s a reasonable cost for their business.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I suppose maybe this has to do with my circle of professionals. Most of the ones against the subscription model are people who don’t make enough money out of their work to really invest.
Not exactly true. Most of us mixers already spent money to own the plugins they now offer in the sub...so to gain access to only a few new ones, is not worth it. That's the issue especially with the PA model...many people already bought most all of them, so why pay $25 a month? For a few they don't have? That's the part that makes no sense...it's great for new customers, or people that have very little to no plugins...but not for those of us who already have many.
 

chocobitz825

Senior Member
Not exactly true. Most of us mixers already spent money to own the plugins they now offer in the sub...so to gain access to only a few new ones, is not worth it. That's the issue especially with the PA model...many people already bought most all of them, so why pay $25 a month? For a few they don't have? That's the part that makes no sense...it's great for new customers, or people that have very little to no plugins...but not for those of us who already have many.
Then wouldn’t that make this entire thing a non issue for mixers like you? If you already own everything you want and need, then this shift has no impact on you. For the professionals who did not buy into plugin alliance yet, or those who only had a few and want the full range it makes sense. On top of that, if you already own most of the plugins you can get the subscription for as low as 50% off. They sent out codes to frequent users to allow a discount on the subscription.
 

Brian Nowak

Active Member
Then wouldn’t that make this entire thing a non issue for mixers like you? If you already own everything you want and need, then this shift has no impact on you. For the professionals who did not buy into plugin alliance yet, or those who only had a few and want the full range it makes sense. On top of that, if you already own most of the plugins you can get the subscription for as low as 50% off. They sent out codes to frequent users to allow a discount on the subscription.
I think that most people with an issue here just don't want to get into a subscription model, for which there have been plenty of explanations as to why.

What is being lamented is the fact that likely, flash sales and vouchers are probably going to go bye-bye, which means people can either pay inflated prices for a plugin or two they're actually interested in, buy 6 plugins so they can get a good discount on one or two plugin they want, or they can get into a subscription that they don't want to be tied to.

I mean - not very many people are willing to buy a channel strip emulation for $350 these days. If they time their purchase correctly they can get Ableton Live Suite for just a bit more. An entire sound design based DAW you can own for a lifetime without needing to pay more, or 2 year s of subscription to a plugin service? o_O
 
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I think that most people with an issue here just don't want to get into a subscription model, for which there have been plenty of explanations as to why.

What is being lamented is the fact that likely, flash sales and vouchers are probably going to go bye-bye, which means people can either pay inflated prices for a plugin or two they're actually interested in, buy 6 plugins so they can get a good discount on one or two plugin they want, or they can get into a subscription that they don't want to be tied to.

I mean - not very many people are willing to buy a channel strip emulation for $350 these days. If they time their purchase correctly they can get Ableton Live Suite for just a bit more. An entire sound design based DAW you can own for a lifetime without needing to pay more, or 1 year subscription to a plugin service. o_O
Yes, that's it exactly, I think. Personally, I paid around $100 apiece for each of three PA channel strips (SSLx2 and Neve) after various vouchers and such, and that felt like a reasonable price to me. $300 for the same plugin would not have felt reasonable ... not even to mention the standalone EQs and compressors that are in that same price range. My assumption until now has been that PA overpriced its plugins at retail in order to make their sale prices look especially enticing (and it worked!), not because they actually thought they should be getting $300 per plugin. I mean, the plugins are pretty good, but THAT good? The problem for some is that now, if the flash sales disappear or are muted (which looks likely, based upon Dirk's FB statement and the underwhelming heavy hitter discounts on these newest plugins), then their plugins are no longer a good value if they are going to be ~$200 even after voucher codes ... that is, unless one is willing to go the subscription route. Which many (including myself) are not.

Personally I'm not complaining, though, since I've already purchased most of what interested me from PA (as I've said elsewhere). As far as I am concerned, I've won at PA poker. I'll miss the game going forward, but I'm certainly not unhappy with my winnings, and expect to get good use out of these 30+ plugins for many years to come.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
i have never paid full price for their plugins. And frankly, it is not worth the $179 they want to charge me per year. So, I guess I am not really getting anything new from them for a while.
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
I suppose maybe this has to do with my circle of professionals. Most of the ones against the subscription model are people who don’t make enough money out of their work to really invest. Most of them are choosing between rent or a new plugin. Mix engineers and producers, and studios have generally been optimistic about this because they get the full range of products and newer products and make enough from their businesses to buy the things they really need if/when they need it.

Not all subs are great. I just ended my pro tools and east west ones because I didn’t feel they were providing continued value in updates and reliability. I also just never used them so it made no sense to continue. Waves charging a fee to upgrade to the next version of support on your plugins is terrible too, so I quit most of my waves plugins as well. We’ll have to see how this goes but if there is continued investment and value, cool.
This! I am a hobbyist. I don't make money from my music. I will continue with PT for 3 more years (I bought ahead) after which I will re-evaluate the value of it. But I do take exception to including EW in these subscription models. They still sell, have sales, etc... Plus, you can subscribe for a month, quit and resubscribe for a month with no penalties.

I also don't think Waves falls into this. People complain, but I rarely WUP unless they have something worth WUP'ing for, and then I wait for a sale. Most companies charge for upgrades, even if an upgrade is making the product work with your new OS. I'd blame Apple before I blame Waves.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
NEWS FLASH!!! Anyone who owns a Focusrite Clarett or RED interface gets the FC console FREE!!!! Check your emails.
 

wst3

my office these days
Moderator
I'm no fan of subscription models, the only one that worked - in my mind - was Cakewalk Sonar, and while that worked for us consumers, you can see where it took the company.

I own quite a few of the P/A plugins, and most of them get quite a bit of use. The only one in the current new release pile that really interests me is the Purple Audio compressor, although that channel strip could be cool. I may end up buying the Purple Audio plugin, or I may just cool my heels and see what happens.

I wish nothing but the best for Brainworx and Plugin-Alliance, but their new model just doesn't suit my needs. And that's ok, I'm not necesarilly "typical".
 

Quasar

Senior Member
i have never paid full price for their plugins. And frankly, it is not worth the $179 they want to charge me per year. So, I guess I am not really getting anything new from them for a while.
I got the same $179 offer, and have unsubscribed from their mailing list. I've only bought a few things from them, and always at deep sale prices (their full prices are laughably absurd), so I am no doubt not the kind of customer they prefer anyway...

...Even before all of this subscription hype, they'd alienated me due to their continuous and confusing sleight-of-hand marketing. Besides the strong objections I have to software subscription models - which exist only to create recurring revenue streams for developers and investors at the expense of a fair deal for the end user - aggressive & complicated, ever-shifting arrays of changing pricing packages are simply too damned much trouble. I have neither the time nor the inclination to even attempt to sort it all out. IMHO Izotope, among others, is guilty of such purposeful obfuscation too.

Compare this to, say, FabFilter or Tokyo Dawn. Their prices are what they are in a very straightforward way, with occasional and clearly-defined sales. FF, though expensive, has a rewards system that is extremely easy to decipher. These developers are not trying to confuse us with tricks and gimmicks.

Not that it matters to me much. As an amateur who has wasted too much cash, I concluded some time ago that there is much wisdom in the whole "learn how to use your stock plugins" school of thought, and that I already have way, way more than sufficient effects tools for creating music at home.
 

Michael Antrum

Only the good die young....
As a hobbyist, this business model doesn’t work for me either. And it seems to be highly infectious.

I bought a couple of courses from Alain at Scoreclub, and he is now redoing his site to go subscription only. I got an email saying the monthly cost would be $78 a month, albeit with an unspecified discount for people who had previously purchased courses from him.

Now his courses are pretty damn good, and He’s an excellent tutor, but that’s a bit rich for me, and I suspect a fair few others.

Adobe have got a lot to answer for starting this particular bandwagon....
 

dzilizzi

I just hang around pretending I know something
As a hobbyist, this business model doesn’t work for me either. And it seems to be highly infectious.

I bought a couple of courses from Alain at Scoreclub, and he is now redoing his site to go subscription only. I got an email saying the monthly cost would be $78 a month, albeit with an unspecified discount for people who had previously purchased courses from him.

Now his courses are pretty damn good, and He’s an excellent tutor, but that’s a bit rich for me, and I suspect a fair few others.

Adobe have got a lot to answer for starting this particular bandwagon....
I didn't see the email yet. I think I own one or two of his trainings. I guess that will be it for me, unless he gives the option to buy.
 

jaketanner

Senior Member
I got the same $179 offer, and have unsubscribed from their mailing list. I've only bought a few things from them, and always at deep sale prices (their full prices are laughably absurd), so I am no doubt not the kind of customer they prefer anyway...

...Even before all of this subscription hype, they'd alienated me due to their continuous and confusing sleight-of-hand marketing. Besides the strong objections I have to software subscription models - which exist only to create recurring revenue streams for developers and investors at the expense of a fair deal for the end user - aggressive & complicated, ever-shifting arrays of changing pricing packages are simply too damned much trouble. I have neither the time nor the inclination to even attempt to sort it all out. IMHO Izotope, among others, is guilty of such purposeful obfuscation too.

Compare this to, say, FabFilter or Tokyo Dawn. Their prices are what they are in a very straightforward way, with occasional and clearly-defined sales. FF, though expensive, has a rewards system that is extremely easy to decipher. These developers are not trying to confuse us with tricks and gimmicks.

Not that it matters to me much. As an amateur who has wasted too much cash, I concluded some time ago that there is much wisdom in the whole "learn how to use your stock plugins" school of thought, and that I already have way, way more than sufficient effects tools for creating music at home.
The main issue I feel they're so overpriced, is that they have to pay licensing fees for the "official" sanction of the hardware. And that's all cool too...I'd rather have an emulation be as close to the original...but not priced as such, when there are many other options that are also very good.