View Poll Results: Which software model do you prefer?

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  • Pay to Play (Adobe CC for example)

    13 17.33%
  • Perpetual (Yearly update fees)

    12 16.00%
  • Buy It Own It (free updates)

    45 60.00%
  • I prefer Open Source software

    5 6.67%

Thread: Subscriptions

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  1. #1 Subscriptions 
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    I've long supported software companies. I have always been against pirated software. I understand the challenges that software companies have in terms of cash flow. But I want to ask the community (and I know some of you are programmers) are we heading for a tipping point with the subscription model? It seems like every company is doing it now. Some are still offering perpetual licenses, which is great. Options are always welcome in my opinion.

    The speed at which things move now, we are seeing constant updates, whether it be an OS update, an NLE update, etc. New codecs keep emerging and new cameras are released at an incredible pace these days. So, it's very easy to get out of sync with versions of software. Me personally, I have always tried to stay a version or two back as I like to let bugs settle out and try to find something that works and stick to it. But sometimes that doesn't work out if there are features that you need for a project.

    In the subscription model, the idea is that you pay monthly or yearly fees on an ongoing basis and that keeps you up to date with the software. While in theory, that is great I think we have seen numerous occasions where there is a domino effect where an update breaks something either in its own software or another piece of software and then a vicious cycle begins of trying to get things back in sync.

    I'd like to hear from the community what you think of this. Are we better off with an all subscription world where you have to pay to play (or at least play current) or is this model going to start getting unwieldy? As it is, I already have loads of subscriptions that have to be managed and it's only going to increase. Recently for example, Imagine Products took Shotput Pro to the subscription/Support Fees model. In their model, you buy it for $149 and pay $39 year to stay up to date. So, the $149 buys you a year of updates and then you are stuck at that version. Same model used by Avid and their perpetual licenses. The other extreme is Adobe where you are required to pay monthly or you can't use the software anymore unless you pay. That's the model I have the biggest problem with. Mainly out of principle, not the actual cost which at this moment is still reasonable for what you get. My other pet peeve with Adobe and why I don't have any of their software currently installed on my production machine, is because I feel they are invasive when it comes to privacy and they seem to have something always active regardless if you are using software or not. I don't like that.

    To me, if I have to choose a model, it's the perpetual with yearly support. It means you can stop at any version you want to and continue to use that. So if you have no need for updates, you keep on working with the software without the need to pay for unnecessary updates. A rarity these days is the buy once, get all updates free model. Apple with FCPX and BMD with Resolve Studio are still using this model. Also, products like Affinity Photo and Affinity Design are buy once, get free updates. So, it's very tempting to go that route if those products do everything you need them to do. Of course, in the case of Apple and BMD, they have hardware sales to support their software end of things, so a bit apples to oranges comparison.

    As an enduser, what's your take on this? I've also created a poll.
    Steve Sherrick
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  2. #2  
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    I prefer to buy software outright, but expect minor improvements and fixes for free if the software needs them, until the next major version of the software, which I would then buy as an upgrade (preferably with some kind of discount for being a prior customer). That's what I did with Adobe Premiere for years before they tried to force the subscription model. When Adobe did that I just stuck to the latest version I had, then left them altogether and bought a full version of Resolve when that got an editing feature. Haven't regretted that at all, and still resent Adobes treatment of their customers in that matter.

    Not against the subscription model altogether and understand it could be a good option for some, but it's not for me and I'll avoid it wherever I can.
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  3. #3  
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    I'm done with Adobe's BS. Davinci is great enough now that I unsubscribed from my Adobe suite and I haven't looked back.
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  4. #4  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Adobe used to have something called the Production Suite, which was updated about once a year to 1.5 years for a cost of $500-$799 if I recall correctly. If you wanted to support the newer codecs and all that, you had to move forward. Many professionals got used to the nut once a year as new features and things were added, even new software packages.

    The advantage there was people could decide when to spend that money and upgrade, but of course if you locked into a workflow there might not be a potential future dollar there for Adobe.

    Resolve has their Studio license for $300, but is otherwise free if you don't need "all the goodies". Their software is primarily financed by profits of other products and isn't exactly a money maker for them. Your studio license gets you free updates, similarly to something like FL Studio for the most part.

    Adobe has no other products other than being a software company, which has led to where they are now.

    At the moment Adobe has a promotional $29.99/mo, $360 a year for new customers. Existing customers are $52.99/mo, $636 a year. There are various other plans that might make more sense for individuals as well. On a deeply personal level I think that's about the worst thing to do with a subscription based service to long time loyal customers, especially such a notable price difference. This concept deeply needs to be looked at in the face of competitors evolving and providing a better value in some directions.

    There's probably a number that Adobe can land on that would make more people happy and that is likely what needs to be explored at this point. For many professionals it's just a monthly expense not thought about, but again as others rise up to the occasion, there will be a tipping point where a mass audience will likely catch on to other ecosystems and they'll lose a notable customer base. This will mostly happen in the next 2-3 years.

    This is coming from somebody on beta teams for various software packages and a long, long time user.

    That said I'm happy with the innovation and progression for the most part for both parties. Adobe has some really nice tech that is pretty different than the BMD world, but at the same time BMD seems to have the gas pedal pushed down right now and they are catching up slowly but surly. The second they bolt down some of the other needed aspects of a motion picture workflow and perhaps general graphics based stuff, well that's where the battle is.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    Stocks as of today (minus BMD, although I put a little blip about their earnings from wikipedia)









    Steve Sherrick
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  6. #6  
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    Correction for the Blackmagic chart above: Grant Petty was interviewed earlier this year by an Australian news company and mentioned that Blackmagic Design had 3000 employees worldwide, and the reporter said their 2018 sales were $300,000,000 (and that may be Australian dollars).

    My preference in software would be modified: I'd have a purchase price, then a reasonable fee (say $50-$100) for a yearly update, and an additional fee if you wanted 24/7 service. If your business depends on zero downtime, I think being able to pay for extra support is vital.
    marc wielage, csi • colorist/post consultant • daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  7. #7  
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    Adobe is not good. What if you don't have net, it stops working. I don't want to "rent" a clunky crashing editing program that I can't use without internet. I have been a subscriber for years and am fed the f--- up. Looking at other options for future projects. As another post states long term customers get the shaft.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Karim D. Ghantous's Avatar
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    My choices are simple: free, or paid and owned. Simple as that. I use both free software and paid commercial software. I do not do renting when it comes to software.

    Even with my phone, I own the phone and I have a prepaid plan. In this case, there is not much difference, and it's a different model anyway. But at least I know that I own my handset, and that I can tweak my prepaid plan by the month if I need to.

    BTW, I predict that Blackmagic is going to include 2D painting tools in Resolve (if they haven't already, I only play with an old version at this point).
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member William Long's Avatar
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    Same as Karim, buy outright, sometimes pay for an update. Dropped Adobe years ago for the reasons listed above. That model is like an ‘off’ switch for me.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Hugh Scully's Avatar
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    I prefer the perpetual model with yearly updates. This is the arrangement I had with Adobe up to CS6. I am editing on a project now (not my machine) using Adobe PP again. I like it. I always have but the subscription model doesn’t work for me. So I’m working on Davinci Resolve Studio on my workstation. I think it’s great.

    I am a lapsed software engineer having worked in application development for 25 years. I don’t think that the subscription model was devised to bring more resources to development, but rather to provide shareholder profit. Having to update software, and charging a fair price for it, is the best way to incentivize good software engineering and align profit with putting out sturdy stuff which is why I prefer it.

    Free everything is anathema to me. I wrote software for a living. Even though I benefit from BMD’s loss leader model, I think it is brittle and unsustainable long term.
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