Subscription Fees - Would you pay a monthly fee for ____?

  • The "product as a service" is the top tech business model, today. It's The Number One point of conversation in all board rooms that manage companies that produce "anything computer." Why? A constant revenue stream keeps the power-bill paid and provides a renewed resource that extends past "release day" so that companies can stay competitive and continue to pay their labor to produce new products.

    Would you be willing to pay a small monthly fee so that you would receive:

    A constant access to a cloud-based rendering service, making complex renders take only minutes instead of hours?

    Meaningful "Content" updates, like new characters, objects, texture sets, scripts and tools that would flow in on a monthly basis, like clockwork? (Think "monthly goodie pack.")

    A meaningful discount applied to all Content Paradise purchases, but also a bonus: A very small promotional "Gift Certificate" that could be applied to third-party content site purchases. (ie: You "might" get one of these a few times a year, with all the other benefits, that you could use for a couple of bucks off a purchase at Renderosity or Hivewire. These would be promotional gift certs, worked out between SM and e-distributors.)

    Or, maybe you'd get access to unique dev-forums, beta testing opportunities, a discount on the next release of Poser or SM software, become part of a stable of beta-testers content artists could access, along with some promotional products each month, like "freebies" included in e-magazine subscriptions, etc..

    What would you be willing to pay for what sort of interesting monthly service/product that SM could supply you?

    (A negotiated membership with a cloud-based renderer and a couple of neat freebies a month would satisfy me, but that's just me... put up your suggestions!)

  • @morkonan No. I don't like giving anyone access to my bank account. I didn't even want to do it for my job, but I have to get paid.

  • NO:

    1. My work computer is firewalled off from anything outside the local network
    2. Companies do go out of business
    3. Internet does go down
    4. Like eclark, I do not give access to my account to anyone

  • @morkonan If SM went to monthly subscription services(if you're talking about Poser and other software) I'd expect between 80 and up to 90% of the base would 'opt out'. The message being delivered in recent years to most of the 'low-end industry' is "you ain't all that" push the envelope and you'll find out we don't really need you anyway and we will explore other options, you're a cute toy, not something we cant function without..

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    Not anymore. I had bad experience .
    Adobe Cloud. When we move last year to our new house, we had for over 3 months no Internet access because Orange.Fr. mess up.
    After 2 months I could not access my PS anymore,but the money they remove .
    Another bad thing, with all this subscriptions around , you loose very quick the control. Here 11€ , there 25€ and quick it accumulate to a ridiculous high monthly fee. Now try to decide which software you delete from your system.
    No, sorry, have enough with this crap.

  • @morkonan

    No; more or less on principle 'Product as a service' is wretched; certainly with software tools, but especially with games. I would take the money and build my own cluster.

    The given incentives (in my case) wouldn't entice, as I don't use pre-fab content (at all), I would just make my own. I have (and do) sometimes use offered freebies in renders... but not in art pieces; just for illustrative or prototyping purposes.

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    If Poser got a complete overhaul, all the major bugs and outdated tech removed/replaced, and had a dedicated development team that was releasing consistent updates and new features, monthly or at the very least quarterly then I'd consider it, depending on the price.

    Thing is the majority of (relevant) software will be subscription based within the next few years. There will of course be hold-outs, and the open source products like blender that remain, but subscription services isn't something that is only changing the world of software and entertainment, it's a model that is being adopted by everything and is growing 10 times faster than outright purchases. Instead of owning it you rent it.

  • @morkonan
    Absolutely, positively NOT, NO!, NEVER!!! Not in a billion, trillion years!! If SM gets greedy (and therefor stupid) I'll be heading for the pirate sites. I will never let some company into my computer, or hold me hostage.

    Your 'goodie packs' will invariably be stuff no one wants and that wouldn't sell on the open market. Discounts on CP items?...I don't even download the free stuff from there....and this 'small monthly fee' will slowly creep up.

    As much as I love the software, sometimes I think that this company is run by trunk monkeys.

  • No. Why would I pay for something when I can do it myself? I don't need renders done in minutes. Extra content? How long would that last? I've seen sites offer free monthly content before and it didn't last. People who make content for sale don't want to spend that kind of time to give it away (understandably). And would the content be something I can use?

    What happens when the company adds something I can't use on my not high-end computer? Then I can't use it anymore.

    And sites I have used subscriptions for didn't exactly notify me if a price was changed. No. I'd rather not use a subscription.

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    @AmbientShade Or make it like Allegorythmic . If you stop paying, you can still use the software. You will not get any updates and other benefits, but the last version which you paid for, you still can use. Sounds more fair IMHO.

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    @Ladonna Yes, I prefer that model. They have a sort of rent-to-own structure right now, where you get a full license to the latest version once you've paid 12 consecutive monthly payments. Unfortunately if you miss a month then your 12 months starts over.

    Of course I like zbrush's model even better - they've never charged a penny for upgrades going all the way back to version 1.

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    @AmbientShade I hope Zbrush keep this. I own Substance since the first release and keep paying because their really great updates, Substance Source and other benefits. But it is good to know, that if one day I don't want or can pay anymore, I still can use the software. Take 3DSMax. My partners beloved Software. Here in France 240€ Monthly . Now lets assume you pay the 3 year plan , which is 5760€ and stop after because you can not afford it anymore. You have nothing after this. But paid 5760€. This is why he switch now. Adobe 11.90€ for PS is affordable for me, but when you have after caliber like Max , Maya , you are quick at your monthly limit. This is why I think that subscription has for sure some benefit, but they should make it more flexible. Like Substance stuff.

  • I pay monthly fees for numerous things, from software to magazines to museums. If it's a good deal, I have no objections. More often than not, however, the deal is not good (Adobe) or not interesting enough for my purposes (Allegorithmic). I especially resent the latter's move to put even its seperate store for materials behind a software-subscription, and that's soured me on their products.

    Some of the things mentioned in the OP are interesting, and would make a subscription well worth considering. But the quality of these things would obviously be very important.

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    @Ladonna My favorite all-around package is still Maya, - at least for poly modeling, animation and such, but I can't afford their subscription, and Maya LT doesn't cut it for me.

    I've just started learning substance - well, trying to. Still on my first month, coming due 1st of next month.

    I expect Zbrush 5 to charge for upgrades, but I'm hoping they don't. By far Zbrush is my #1 favorite. If I didn't have ZB I would have given up on 3D years ago.

    Oh, and I'm still using my photoshop/illustrator etc CS4 suite from 2008 because honestly I don't see enough differences to justify paying monthly for it.

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    Yeah, subsciption is "in". Until some competing apps become free or open source.

    If I look at what they ask for some apps?
    Paintshop and MD, I"ll include Zbrush here, all look nice, but for a few mouseclicks more, Gimp, Krita and Blender can do the same (and more) for free.

    And you touch another item: What do the newer versions bring "extra" to justify the cost? Or to justify the "subscription?"

    "Subscription" is like the "Internet Cloud" : Nobody needs them.

  • Not a chance would I pay a subscription for any software. We've spent years of our lives getting away from the client server model of computing. Decades.

    Companies want a constant revenue stream. I get that but consumers are not always ready to give up a constant stream of debits.

    With all the online data breaches in recent times, people are worrying about their info going rogue on them due to something they cannot control. The more people with access to your info on a regular basis the likelier it is for your data to be stolen from them.

    Not everyone on the planet has fast, consistent, or even reliable internet access. If my access goes down for whatever reason I will still be paying to use MS Office, Photoshop, Poser and whatever else is on subscription. The companies get my money but I don't get the service. All these unused pennies add up into dollars out of my bank account for services I may not be using.

    I am going out of town for a two week vacation. I need a week to get ready and a week to recover afterward. Does SM suspend my payments for a month because I went on a vacation? I doubt it.

    I can think of a lot of reasons to avoid subscription services as a consumer. The most basic one is, what do I have at the end of the term for all my money spent. Not a single physical item.

    The advantages to the seller are obvious.


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    @vilters I've used gimp - hated it. I like blender for some things but until the UI gets a complete overhaul and doesn't take a degree in NerdSpeak to figure out it's never going to really compete. And no, it can't do everything zbrush and the other premium packages can do. It can come close, but it also tries to be everything from modeling to animation to video editing. Jack of all trades, master of none sort of thing.

    One thing the subscription model does is make software more accessible to more people, but with that it also means the software has to be more competitive and offer more or better features than its competition in order to get you to continue paying for it and not drop it for something else.

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    @AmbientShade I have LightWave as my fav modeler. Before I use Cinema, but they get shameless with their upgrade prices .
    Now somehow I love LightWaves weird interface ;). ZBrush is still like a huge maze to me. I guess I will never master it .
    Substance is amazing. Substance Designer is one of the most incredible Software I ever player with. Worth really every Penny.
    I have to say I regret my subscription for Adobe and probably will cancel it again for good at this time. For Illustration I use since very long CorelDraw and really like it. Have Illustrator CS6 , but rarely use it. I am more comfortable with CorelDraw here.
    Max, Maya are heavy guys for the monthly subscription. For hobbyists not really affordable and here they should work on a buy out plan.

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    @parkdalegardener said in Subscription Fees - Would you pay a monthly fee for ____?:

    The most basic one is, what do I have at the end of the term for all my money spent. Not a single physical item.

    The same is true with cable tv. If you stop paying the bill then you don't get to watch tv anymore, no matter how many years you've been paying for it. What about phone service? Stop paying the bill and you get a fancy paper weight. Or auto insurance? Software is really no different. It's a tool, not the end product. And unlike cable tv you actually get to keep whatever you make with the tool (software). Most people are already paying a subscription to things like antivirus protection. Services like Netflix put video rentals out of business. There are even subscription services for clothing and toys.

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    @AmbientShade D'accord here. I try Gimp, Inkscape , really hard. Very hard. But honestly, those are the two most worst software I ever try out. Inkscape I hate with a passion. Gimp, never could figure out what to do there.
    Blender, try it too, but the Interface kills me. I never know where I am. At last after 6 months, I figure out how to create a camera and lights. LOL

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