Collectorz have switched from a traditional update model to a new subscription based one
. They're dealing with some pissed off customers while they try and clarify the new system.
The new plans give customers who've bought their program two options, a $2.50 monthly recurring plan or a $25 yearly prepaid plan.
The company claims that they plan to release smaller, more frequent updates instead of a big yearly update. If you're subscribed to the update plan, you can download the latest update. If you're satisfied with the current version you can keep using it, older versions will stay functional.
I've purchased Movie Collector Pro, when I heard they were going subscription-based my first thought was "this can't be good!". But there's a catch. You can join & cancel your monthly subscription at any time. If you cancel for 6 months and join on month 7 you don't have to pay for the six months you weren't subscribed. You can pay $2.50 for the current month, catch up to the latest version available and cancel again if you so wish. So someone who is satisfied with the program and willing to wait 6 months or a year to catch up to the newly introduced features can do so for as little as $5 or $2.50. Alwin has clarified that they will accommodate users when it comes to bug fixes so people don't have to shell out to get a bug fixed. There will be no major version upgrades with higher upgrade costs in the future.
The company could of course change something in the future (I'm unaware of the exact details but I'm aware of Collectorz pissing off lifetime(?) license holders in the past.) But without getting into hypotheticals, what do you think of these plans? I have to admit I actually like them. I had a hard time wrapping my head around how they expect the new plans to benefit the company, they just seem to have taken up a lot of pressure on themselves - people paying a monthly fee will expect to see regular results. And the yearly update fee is around the same ($20-25 range). I can't see a catch or some kind of hidden cost either.
The one aspect I see benefitting the company is that they may get more people updating - a user who didn't care to pay $25 at the year end will now have the flexibility to pay much less and still keep up with the program after waiting it out. And someone who doesn't mind spending more but cares about getting the latest features ASAP will be accommodated too.
I don't know what Alwin's reasoning was when he came up with the plans but I find the fact that they cater to both ends of the market very interesting.
I've always believed that having a uniform price for software has been partially responsible for piracy. A large number of people will refuse to pay even a cent when a software can be pirated but there are a lot of those who will pay when they believe they're getting a very good deal. And with digital distribution the overheads to the vendor are nominal. More revenue would ease the situation for everyone.
Collectorz software is not the best example since their entry price is reasonably high and they also have standard and pro versions (weaker/stronger), but their update model seems to be the least discriminatory. If ported to a software with a low entry point, it could be great for people on either end of the financial spectrum. It'll be interesting to see how things work out for them once the dust settles and the initial uproar dies down.