The $100 pricepoint for Plugins

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The $100 pricepoint for Plugins

Post by @?,*???&? » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:10 am

I have come to the realization that everyman has a $100 pricepoint. Watching ebay auctions over the years, this has become clear. For the hobbyist or for the professional.

In these days of pro audio manufacturers selling to amateurs and knowing this means big money to them which in turn fuels the industry, I'd like to propose software engineers and companies begin adhereing to a $100 pricepoint for their product.

People would argue that using cracked software is akin to stealing .mp3s.

Would a $100 pricepoint work like the $.99 cent figure charged by iTunes for music?

Is there a subscription model to come out of this?

Or should a manufacturer simply make very direct plugins with modest features?

Gone are the days of having to fork out $3K for an Eventide harmonizer- what did that box really do anyway? Delays? Pitch? If Eventide broke those down as individual plugs, I'm guessing this $100 a plugin would work.

How much would you guys pay? What's your pricepoint?

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Post by spankenstein » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:16 am

I pretty much agree with this. I can usually part with $100 pretty easily, much more and I go in to bargain hunting mode.

The Massey plugins are an great example of this. Easy to try, easy to buy, and under $100. I used the demos on the first day of a session and bought them that night. He gets it.

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Post by kronosonic » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:14 pm

I personally aim for around the $50 mark

Reaper (not a plug I realize, but comes with a ton of them, most really good) $40
Stillwell Audio plugs = $25 a pop for reap users (really nice plugins too)
Voxengo...I think the last two I bought were both around 50-ish
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Re: The $100 pricepoint for Plugins

Post by rwc » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:01 pm

@?,*???&? wrote: Would a $100 pricepoint work like the $.99 cent figure charged by iTunes for music?
No.

$100 for a great plugin is a good price, but 99 cents for an AAC file with DRM is a ripoff.
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Post by syrupcore » Sun Mar 16, 2008 7:24 pm

still stuck in the 'make, package, ship, sell' world.

subscription would be a more useful model to me. I wonder how digi does with those by the week rentals.

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Post by rwc » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:21 pm

subscription is evil. owning stuff is key.

that's what's nice about analog gear. no ilok, no authorizations, and no subscriptions. you buy it and it's yours..
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Post by analogcabin » Sun Mar 16, 2008 8:55 pm

rwc wrote:subscription is evil. owning stuff is key.

that's what's nice about analog gear. no ilok, no authorizations, and no subscriptions. you buy it and it's yours..
Register your paid for software and it's yours too. Often as many instances as you'd like on a project. On more than one computer too! With an ilock you can use your effects elsewhere.

Hardware and software are both beautiful.

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Post by rwc » Sun Mar 16, 2008 9:00 pm

e.maynard wrote:
rwc wrote:subscription is evil. owning stuff is key.

that's what's nice about analog gear. no ilok, no authorizations, and no subscriptions. you buy it and it's yours..
Register your paid for software and it's yours too. Often as many instances as you'd like on a project. On more than one computer too! With an ilock you can use your effects elsewhere.

Hardware and software are both beautiful.
Waves took advantage of this in such a terrible way.
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Post by getreel » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:06 am

To me, most software is overpriced. it's not that I think the work all the coders do is not worth it...it's more that it's not a realistic price point for most people. Therefore, it gets stolen instead. I mean, even Adobe prices on regular stuff like Photoshop and Dreamweaver, to me, is way out of line with what most users are willing to pay. Is it just me? I do not bootleg software that I use for making money or music, but I have been known to try out software that I get from friends of mine who are into sharing. Many times, I've been glad I was able to try it before I wasted my money on some worthless code. Other times, I've gladly bought software after trying, but it would happen more often if prices were a little more reasonable. I think Mackie Tracktion, for example, it totally worth $99.

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Post by chris harris » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:41 am

getreel wrote:To me, most software is overpriced. it's not that I think the work all the coders do is not worth it...it's more that it's not a realistic price point for most people. Therefore, it gets stolen instead. I mean, even Adobe prices on regular stuff like Photoshop and Dreamweaver, to me, is way out of line with what most users are willing to pay. Is it just me?
nope. it's you and everyone else who thinks that they need PRO software for their hobby. "not a realistic price point for most people"?!?!? well, the software you're speaking of is not made for "most people"! You're talking about professional tools that professionals use. For every professional tool that you guys think is "overpriced" there is a cheaper "consumer" offering that will get you by.

Stuff like this doesn't get stolen because it's overpriced. It gets stolen because hobbyists with no morals believe that they NEED professional software to build a website so that their 14 friends can hear the masterpiece that they recorded.
I think Mackie Tracktion, for example, it totally worth $99.
I think that if you can't afford more than that, or you're doing this as a hobby, that programs like Tracktion were MADE FOR YOU!!! And, for every other program that you can't afford and think that you can't live without, there is something else that was MADE FOR YOU!!

I'm sorry if this seems all directed at you. I'm trying to direct this at ANYONE who steals software or complains about how expensive it is. I think that the vast majority of people who steal software are fucking hacks who think that the only thing holding them back is the fact that high quality plugs are too expensive. Total bullshit.

I think that if some of these hacks spent half as much time learning to do the best that they can with the entry-level software that they CAN afford, as they do looking for cracks or complaining about software prices, they might be able to get good enough at this stuff to hang out a shingle and start earning the money to pay for professional software.

I just spent $200+ on the Space Echo plugin from UA. That's on top of paying for the card to begin with. I'll make that money back in less than half a day. It doesn't seem like a ridiculous price point for me. Before I could justify that expense, I used freeware VST "tape delays" and the one that came with Cubase.

The real problem here is that people think that they NEED things that they don't actually need.

I don't go and steal a Viking Range because I burned a few grilled cheese sandwiches. I also don't know anyone who doesn't do professional design who actually NEEDS Photoshop or Dreamweaver.

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Post by chris harris » Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:46 am

as far as the price point goes.... I think that you guys are right. $100 is a good price point for hobbyists to justify buying a program. If I wasn't making any money doing this, I can see feeling like $100 is my limit for buying software.

But, when I've spent $2500 on a nice computer and $5000+ on quality interfaces and AD/DA, then spending $900 on the program that will be the backbone of my studio doesn't seem that outlandish.

You need to draw a distinction between professional tools and "LE" stuff that was made for hobbyists and consumers.

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Post by analogcabin » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:31 pm

subatomic pieces wrote: Stuff like this doesn't get stolen because it's overpriced. It gets stolen because hobbyists with no morals believe that they NEED professional software to build a website so that their 14 friends can hear the masterpiece that they recorded.

I think that if some of these hacks spent half as much time learning to do the best that they can with the entry-level software that they CAN afford, as they do looking for cracks or complaining about software prices, they might be able to get good enough at this stuff to hang out a shingle and start earning the money to pay for professional software.


The real problem here is that people think that they NEED things that they don't actually need.

Great points

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Post by getreel » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:57 pm

I am not a hobbyest. I have worked in at least 4 commercial studios, and owned 1 for 6 years that made money. Back when I owned it, I used all mostly actual physical gear and not ripped off software like you're trying to imply. Also, you shouldn't attack anyone for having an opinion, and yes TYPING THINGS IN ALL CAPS IS YELLING and can be construed as an attack or fierce arguing. As for software, I have been happy to pay for the software I use professionally, and I tend to choose software that works well for me and is not overpriced. I don't even use Tracktion though I do own 2 copies; I used it as an example. FYI, I bought a more "professionally" priced product. I think Tracktion is fine software and is not just for hobbyests. Now my small market could be a lot different than yours, and you have a different idea of economics than I. My studio never made big bucks, but I kept at it and recorded good music on a modest budget.

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Post by syrupcore » Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:18 pm

rwc wrote:subscription is evil. owning stuff is key.

that's what's nice about analog gear. no ilok, no authorizations, and no subscriptions. you buy it and it's yours..
agreed about the analog gear. Sorta apples and oranges though.

With software, you don't ever really own it. You own a license to use it under x terms. I'm only suggesting the terms change. Instead of a huge outlay that may or may not continue to work for you and your system in the future, you could instead put down a minimal 'down payment/set up fee' and then pay by the month. While subscribed, all updates are included. Web based software is overwhelmingly moving to this model because it just makes sense. For the user, the benefits are obvious. For the company, you have a better chance of keeping all your customers on the same version number (easier support) and you get a revenue stream stretched out over time instead of being directly tied to a software development cycle.

I think if doing it was easier (no ilok...), vendors might be a little more inspired to try it. I'd be into it. I'd love to rent some pro software to occasionally use in my hobby studio. I'd also love to stop playing the 'chase the upgrade' game.

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Post by chris harris » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:51 pm

getreel wrote:I am not a hobbyest. I have worked in at least 4 commercial studios, and owned 1 for 6 years that made money. Back when I owned it, I used all mostly actual physical gear and not ripped off software like you're trying to imply. Also, you shouldn't attack anyone for having an opinion, and yes TYPING THINGS IN ALL CAPS IS YELLING and can be construed as an attack or fierce arguing. As for software, I have been happy to pay for the software I use professionally, and I tend to choose software that works well for me and is not overpriced. I don't even use Tracktion though I do own 2 copies; I used it as an example. FYI, I bought a more "professionally" priced product. I think Tracktion is fine software and is not just for hobbyests. Now my small market could be a lot different than yours, and you have a different idea of economics than I. My studio never made big bucks, but I kept at it and recorded good music on a modest budget.
I guess I should italicize then, because my caps are meant to emphasize a point, not to shout at you.

I'm just suggesting that you (as a professional) should decide whether or not a piece of gear is worth the money that they're asking, by figuring out if it will help you and your business.

I'm sure that the atomic clock that Joel's been raving about would be killer to use. I'm sure that it would improve the sound of things that I work on. But, I also know that it would take me a long time to recoup the $10k investment in my little studio. So, rather than getting on a messageboard and complaining about what I think the price point of an atomic clock should be, I just use the clock that fits best for where I am right now.

My argument is still that anyone who needs this software can probably afford this software. If you can't afford it, or you've deemed it too expensive for you, then I'm pretty sure that you don't need it.

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