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Waiting for Spitfire Audio subscription service

Are you waiting for Spitfire Audio subscription service?

  • More than anything

    Votes: 13 6.9%
  • Yes I am

    Votes: 20 10.6%
  • No, I'll pass

    Votes: 142 75.1%
  • What's the hype anyway?

    Votes: 14 7.4%

  • Total voters
    189

James H

01001000 01101001
They are great for newcomers or people working on big varied projects. Having options is never a bad thing.

I tend to work on a focused project, so 80% of my stuff is unused during each period. So I'm not sure if buying all my stuff has been a good or bad thing...
 

GtrString

Active Member
It might be something companies consider when they need to consolidate, late in the development cycle of a product portfolio. Seems to me that was what EW did. They had been in the game for many years and had developed a big portfolio of products, but probably didnt have much new in the pipeline (I dont know).

Spitfire's situation seems to be different. They have been developing a large portfolio too, but still has lots of products in the pipeline, so they might not need to consolidate their business at this point. As others write, Spitfire also has a lot of collaborations that can complicate a cloud solution.

For me as a consumer, I'd love it, though. To me it makes sense to have access to a cloud now due to the huge requirements of HDD space (and expensive SSD's), and many of spitfire's products has a certain sound that seem to blend well together, which builds a case for using their libraries together.

So yes, it is something I am hoping for. Im not buying spitfire products for the reason that if I fall in love, I would need more and more, and it would consume all of the HDD space I have (and require a lot more). You can say Im rejecting the girl because I dont want a relationship like that :)
 

Floris

New Member
But not if you dip in and out and use a library when you need it?
Sure, you could. But when I’m looking at how often I’m using standard libraries - it’s almost always more than monthly.
Besides, it’s still impractical for when you include it in a template for example. I wouldn’t like to worry what subscriptions are active or have to selectively pick and plan what libraries I want for a project.

A good alternative to this could be something like Splice rent-to-own, it’s also avoiding the high cost mountain people can face & you have the option to cancel but if you pay it off - it’s all yours to keep.
 

MartinH.

Senior Member
On the other hand, I'm a media designer and also have the Adobe Cloud. It's even more expensive, but there isn't really an alternative. The good thing is that the products are updated regularly. I think this is very important for any subscription service.
I'm still using CS6 and have been making a fulltime living doing so for many years. Regular updates are overrated as hell for software that is generally "fine" to do its job. The savings from not being subscribed to CC must add up to thousands by now.

Adobe could pull it off because they have a quasi-monopoly and people are not good at thinking 10 to 20 years ahead. To me the idea of opting in into using Adobe CC is like voluntarily agreeing to let a third party charge you monthly for the rest of your working life, as much as they want to. They're gonna eliminate backwards compatibility sooner or later and I frequently need to access 10 year old projects. I'd be stuck with using CC for the rest of my working life, with no way out. I don't want to take that financial risk.

I don't think anyone in audio is big enough to force people into a subscription by stopping to sell standalone licenses. Also going by how people go nuts over sales here, I bet they'd be losing money offering only subs anyway.
 

KallumS

Active Member
I would much prefer a rent to own system over subscription.

Subscription services tend to work better for products that require you to pay for regular updates. I don't see how temporarily licensing the software for the duration of a contract could be better than a perpetual license.

There are many benefits to having the software reside on your harddrive without the need for constant internet access:

If Spitfire were to go bust (god forbid) you would lose access to all of their products, regardless of if you had used them in a project or not.

If Spitfire decide that they don't like a library or that it's too old, they can discontinue it, instantly revoking user's access to it.

We might have internet access 99.999% of the time nowadays, but there is still going to be the odd day in a decade where your router throws a wobbly or internet goes down, and a deadline could be due any minute. You need access to those tools. I just spent 2 weeks somewhere with no internet, these places apparently still exist.

Spitfire could decide to update a library, let's say Albion One for example. In the update they re-recorded all of the strings and brass but changed the woodwinds to didgeridoos. Assuming you have an internet connection, and you have the software set to auto update, you would lose all of your Albion One woodwinds in any project.

I used EastWest composer cloud when I first started, and the only thing it showed me is that I don't need EastWest libraries at all. Instead of the hundreds I would have paid for Hollywood Orchestra, I paid £30, and that's all Eastwest ever made out of me. This is both good and bad.

These are just a few, somewhat doomsday-like, examples.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
Will SF go subscription? Maybe in the far future when the product portfolio is old. I'd imagine they're doing just fine at the moment though and clearly have a model that works.

I think NI is the bigger possibility for subs, but they seem to have carved a nice hardware business.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
I just look at EW and see how successful their subscription service has been. People absolutely love it, and it gives consumers the oppertunity to try before they buy. This really comes in handy when you're on the fence about buying an expensive library.
Unfortunately, I don't think a subscription service is a "one size fits all" business model.
Are there other sample library subscription services besides EW? I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Besides all the issues brought up by others (Kontakt libraries vs. EW being totally in control of their iLok protected sample player being the biggest), I think EW's situation is quite different from companies like Spitfire Audio, 8Dio, etc. From what I can tell, EW has essentially gone dormant as far as new library production is concerned. The last thing I bought from them was the Hollywood Choirs library, which to be honest, was a lot like the previous choirs library, once things are in a big mix. We're not seeing a steady stream of major, attention getting new products from EW as we are from other developers.

From EW's perspective, the subscription service probably makes sense. They've got a large stack of aging libraries that are unlikely to have any new huge waves of buying interest, so the subscription service is a way for them to harvest more revenue from the products they have. It would be interesting to know what's going on at EW these days. I also wonder if the subscription service was kind of a last-ditch experiment for them, but something they couldn't undo once it was up and running. If it was wildly successful (a HUGE volume of subscribers), maybe a lot more libraries would be in the works. Like any company, I'm sure EW has to sit down and assess how profitable releasing new libraries could be. The market has really heated up. There are a LOT of new products constantly coming out, and there are a LOT of big sales. I would also imagine that East West being in LA is a big factor. Lots of talent there, but it has to be the most expensive place in the world to get a sample library produced. And maybe the founders are just tired of it, and they haven't groomed replacements to continue the creative energy (I'm beginning to wonder if that isn't happening at VSL these days, too). I do think we've arrived at the point where a lot of developers are scratching their heads trying to think of what they could do next that would make a big splash, and generate a lot of sales. The bread and butter stuff has all really been covered (although I'm still hoping for 8Dio to release a 76 Trombones library). ;)
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
I think NI is the bigger possibility for subs, but they seem to have carved a nice hardware business.
I agree that NI, as much as I like them, is due for a revision of the way they do business. Just doesn't make sense to me to buy their new products as they're released, and then buy them again as part of Komplete when Komplete updates.
 

Alex Fraser

Senior Member
I agree that NI, as much as I like them, is due for a revision of the way they do business. Just doesn't make sense to me to buy their new products as they're released, and then buy them again as part of Komplete when Komplete updates.
Quite possibly, but I think NI is a slightly different case. They've diversified into hardware, the DJ market and now Sounds.com. Komplete is fast becoming a software incentive to shift NI hardware as much as a product in it's own right.

I kinda agree though that the Komplete model is starting to get a little stale. But I guess we don't have access to the sweet, sweet sales figures..
 

fretti

Senior Member
Quite possibly, but I think NI is a slightly different case. They've diversified into hardware, the DJ market and now Sounds.com. Komplete is fast becoming a software incentive to shift NI hardware as much as a product in it's own right.

I kinda agree though that the Komplete model is starting to get a little stale. But I guess we don't have access to the sweet, sweet sales figures..
Revenue for Komplete was 40.096.000€ In 2016 according to their annual closure (or 53.6% of all revenues). Which is as I can see it everything from single products to the Komplete bundles and it seems that this also includes their Keyboard series and audio interface.

This will probably be higher in 2018 due to the release of Kontakt 6 and the new Komplete offers.

No sales figures but the best I could find in the few minutes, will continue to read, maybe some more interesting information in there:)
 

markleake

Recovering sale addict
Are there other sample library subscription services besides EW? I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Besides all the issues brought up by others (Kontakt libraries vs. EW being totally in control of their iLok protected sample player being the biggest), I think EW's situation is quite different from companies like Spitfire Audio, 8Dio, etc. From what I can tell, EW has essentially gone dormant as far as new library production is concerned. The last thing I bought from them was the Hollywood Choirs library, which to be honest, was a lot like the previous choirs library, once things are in a big mix. We're not seeing a steady stream of major, attention getting new products from EW as we are from other developers.

From EW's perspective, the subscription service probably makes sense. They've got a large stack of aging libraries that are unlikely to have any new huge waves of buying interest, so the subscription service is a way for them to harvest more revenue from the products they have. It would be interesting to know what's going on at EW these days. I also wonder if the subscription service was kind of a last-ditch experiment for them, but something they couldn't undo once it was up and running. If it was wildly successful (a HUGE volume of subscribers), maybe a lot more libraries would be in the works. Like any company, I'm sure EW has to sit down and assess how profitable releasing new libraries could be. The market has really heated up. There are a LOT of new products constantly coming out, and there are a LOT of big sales. I would also imagine that East West being in LA is a big factor. Lots of talent there, but it has to be the most expensive place in the world to get a sample library produced. And maybe the founders are just tired of it, and they haven't groomed replacements to continue the creative energy (I'm beginning to wonder if that isn't happening at VSL these days, too). I do think we've arrived at the point where a lot of developers are scratching their heads trying to think of what they could do next that would make a big splash, and generate a lot of sales. The bread and butter stuff has all really been covered (although I'm still hoping for 8Dio to release a 76 Trombones library). ;)
EW said years ago that they don't intend to produce any new orchestral type products. I think it's fair to say they lost interest a long time ago, and that there's no real intention from them to improve their existing products, or introduce much in the way of new ones.

Their current business model is all about how to leverage money from their legacy products. They will produce a new product occasionally, to keep turnover happening just enough for CC subscribers to think they are still developers. But you can tell from the quality of their new products that they don't have the capability any longer to compete at the pro level. They are more a "shell" developer it seems.

EW made a mistake years ago and dug themselves into a hole with their Play engine - it took all their development effort and focus away from what they should have been doing. Plus they had some resourcing/personality issues that caused reputation damage, which they've never recovered from. They just use their old Play ecosystem now to support their subscription model mainly.

Basically, EW are not a good example for what SF should/will do. (Let's hope!).
 

AllanH

Senior Member
A "try before you buy" service would be of some interest. I don't mind paying for time-limited access to try out a new library as there are download costs for the developer. But being on the hook forever to pay for instruments that I may or may not use at any particular time, is something I work to avoid.
 

James H

01001000 01101001
I agree that NI, as much as I like them, is due for a revision of the way they do business. Just doesn't make sense to me to buy their new products as they're released, and then buy them again as part of Komplete when Komplete updates.
It should deduct from the total bill what you already have, similar to how Spitfire do it now when you purchase a bundle.
I'll not buy Komplete again, for one it's never complete... and I'd rather buy what I need (like Massive) than own another 30,000,000 pianos
 

DenisT

Member
I don't know... I like to own a product when I put my money in it. A subscription plan is a nice way to use a lot of tools at a small price, but you don't own anything. I don't really like the idea of losing full control of the softwares and libraries I use on my computer. Once the library is on your computer, you can use it day and night, with or without an internet connection. Imagine if your internet connection dies all of a sudden or if the company has some server issues...
 

d.healey

Music Monkey
I don't know... I like to own a product when I put my money in it. A subscription plan is a nice way to use a lot of tools at a small price, but you don't own anything.
You usually own a license that the company can (but rarely does) revoke. It's very rare that you own the software you use. But yeah once it's on your system it's usually out of the control of the company (assuming it doesn't have a backdoor).
 

jononotbono

Luke Johnson
I would personally never expect professional tools, some of the best out there, for such little commitment. I would like a Ferrari to drive around in. Can I rent one for £30 a month? No.

Sorry to sound so blunt but I think it’s a self entitled shit idea and if I want something, I’ll save money and buy it. Call me old school and unentitled I guess. haha!
 

d.healey

Music Monkey
I would personally never expect professional tools, some of the best out there, for such little commitment. I would like a Ferrari to drive around in. Can I rent one for £30 a month? No.
While there is a significant cost to produce a sample library it's not fair to compare physical objects like cars to software until you can duplicate cars by hitting copy + paste. Or to put it another way, once you've developed some software if costs almost nothing to create and distribute a copy of it, the same is not true for a car.
 
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