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Pay per use?
Old 19th May 2009
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Pay per use?

Would it be possible for software vendors to charge per minute or per hour? It seems to me that it would address a few of the issues with software sales and licensing, and probably get a lot more users on board as far as paying for the software.

I'm not quite sure how you address this with plugins, as it would be possible for someone to bounce them in. But I can't imagine any pro facility constantly having to bounce all the tracks all the time.

It seems like the key here for software companies is to have a way to get pro's to pay pro prices and amateurs to pay amateur prices. If they only offer pro prices then lots of people will pirate it, so they have to put more resources, time, beta testing etc, into making an LE version. It just seems like there's a better way.

This would also open up the interesting opportunity for pro studios to bill the software costs to the client. I for one would love to be able to say, "well we can use auto-tune, but it will cost you. . . "

Just a thought.
Old 19th May 2009
Jules's Avatar
Back in the day the earliest hardware versions of the Aphex Aural Exciter were rented out on an hourly use 'flight time' basis by the studios that owned them. That didn't last very long though but it sure added a certain mystique / cachet to the process.. Like you had to be a rich rock star to be using it..

Perhaps renting a bunch of plug ins will be the next "cool thing to do"..

You can do it already cant you? With TDM plug ins..

Old 19th May 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
noah330's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Didn't Eric Bomb Factory lease plugs for a while?
Old 19th May 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
rhythmtech's Avatar
🎧 10 years
yup. digi do this already.

only problem is what happens when you revisit a mix? do you have to go rent everything again for a few small changes? couldnt see it working at all
Old 19th May 2009 | Show parent
Registered User
🎧 15 years
I can see where some might find that an attractive economic model, but I usually like to own most everything that I consider using: don't lease cars (buy good quality used vehicles); own a home, don't rent; purchase all software I use, so that I can reload it whenever I choose, on whatever system I own at that time.

Generally speaking I don't like the subscription model, except where it applies to an obvious close-ended value for what I am purchasing (magazines, financial newsletter advice, satellite radio, etc.). Maybe that isn't an accurate analogy, but I find that the majority of companies these days tend to focus on subscriber retention, at the expense of re-investment in their product quality & infrastructure. IMO companies who rely on a captive subscriber base (for ex., cable tv & cellphone carriers) are almost never reasonable to deal with, and they often operate far outside of most reasonable people's expectation, of what constitutes good customer service and product quality.

Not saying it absolutely couldn't fly -- I could see it working in the specific context of a company who truly values it's customer base and as a rule, always treats the customer with respect (there are a few: iZ technologies, Lynx, plus others listed in other threads). But all one need do is look at the many examples of dissatisfied software user threads that exist on GS (one plug-in developer comes immediately to mind ... rhymes with graves) to see where I'm coming from.

of course, ymmv
Old 21st May 2009 | Show parent
Lives for gear
🎧 15 years
Right the renting thing did happen, but that's not what I mean.

I mean that for each minute an app or plugin is running it charges like a hundredth of a cent (or something small that adds up).

If I don't use it, it doesn't charge me. You only get charged for what you use. Maybe some little dongle thing keeps track of the useage, and it has to be paid monthly or so in order to keep going.

My point is that I think if people had the choice to pay something reasonable based on how much they use it, they would pay. For the guy who only edits two photo's a year, buying Photoshop is outrageously expensive. Give him the possibility to do that for 50 cents and pirating it just doesn't make sense. If you think of how many hours a year Photoshop is open and running, adobe wouldn't need to charge much per minute to match or exceed their current revenue.

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