Capture someone’s actions, say Perpetual Software isn’t profitable enough

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When a software company wants to increase profits, there really seems to be only one answer: subscription pricing.

While Capture One stopped short of completely phasing out perpetual licenses, it took a major step in that direction yesterday when it announced that not only will perpetual software licenses not receive any new features and only last for one year Not only will you get bug fixes, but you will also get discounts for this. The upgrade was being removed in the future. The company says it is replacing the previous upgrade discount with a new “loyalty scheme,” but did not elaborate further.

Capture One is also ending the annual release schedule and Capture One 23 will be the last numerical version of the editor.

These changes are set to roll out as early as next year: February 1st, to be exact.

users are not happy

The shock was immediate and visceral. petapixel Responses in the comments section and on Capture One’s own support site have been overwhelmingly negative.

The issue has left an especially bad taste in some users’ mouths since Capture One kicked off a 50% off sale on perpetual license software on Black Friday. People who had bought it have now been told that it is not the complete product that was promised to them.

“I think I was misled when I bought the upgrade in 23. I expected a year of the upgrade but it looks like I’ll only get 10 months. Loyalty program license cost will be significant. If I have to pay every year Need to buy a full license then I’m going to look at alternative software,” writes one person.

Many feel particularly cheated by the fact that the changes are coming on February 1st, meaning that those who bought a new version of the Capture One 23, which was announced in early November, will have to Not getting any new feature updates from . It’s far from the year they bought the software. It’s even more disappointing for those who upgraded during the sale last month.

“Why didn’t you mention this when you offered the upgrade? I bought the upgrade and expected a one year upgrade. I feel cheated.”

“So if I understand correctly, this means that those of us who used to upgrade regularly (upgraded from $99 to $199 over the years) have their perpetual license now in full every time there is a partial release.” Have to buy a license (.x)?” another user asks.

“It goes without saying that it’s a smart move to go subscription-only, as customers with a perpetual license will be saying goodbye to C1 and C1 will be left with subscription-only customers.”

Capture One’s Jack Williams, who published news of the changes on the company’s support page, tried to calm people down.

“Each feature release will be paid, but you don’t need to buy every update, in the same way you don’t need to buy a perpetual license every year. It’s up to you how often you upgrade; if such features or camera supports you don’t want or need, it’s probably best not to buy the upgrade,” he writes.

follow the money?

The widespread feeling is that while Capture One will technically offer perpetual licenses of its software, it’s now a significantly worse deal than the subscription plan and users feel forced into a payment structure they never wanted.

Many editors choose not to use Adobe products because of the subscription-only system, which has been a huge success for the Silicon Valley software giant and has allowed it to sell its software to far more people.

“One of the key points of getting the C1 was to escape Adobe’s SaaS (software as a service) prison. As a private equity-owned business, the plan is clear: You’re trying to progressively force the entire user base into a subscription model, which forces users to spend more, in hopes of maximizing the company’s valuation. Proved,” user Pablo writes in the heavily upvoted comment on Capture One’s support page.

“The LTV, lifetime value, when people subscribe is higher than when they buy a perpetual license. Since Adobe started this play a few years ago with an exploding share price, we’ve resulted in a world where where there is a need to ‘subscribe’ more and more. The end result will be a tipping point at a point where people simply cancel,” he continues.

Pablo argues that Capture One made this decision because of pressure from its majority shareholder, Xcel.

“Let’s be honest here – the private equity owner just wants to move the user base completely to SaaS as quickly as possible in order to get the highest EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) when the business is sold. is midterm,” Pablo insisted.

True or not, it’s impossible to deny the profitability of the subscription model — Adobe has seen record profits since the shift to Creative Cloud. While there are some companies in this area, such as Serif that makes the Affinity Photo program, that continue to staunchly reject that pricing model, others — large and small — have joined Adobe and made the switch.

One of the reasons Capture One users are upset is that the company tried to make it sound like users asked for this change, which they argue can’t possibly be true. Pixelmator, for example, switched to a subscription model earlier this year, but at least about that has upside: Running a software business is expensive and its hand is basically forced.

For what it’s worth, Capture One intends to keep perpetual licenses as an option, at least for now.

“We know that perpetual licenses are important to some of our customers, so we are committed to keeping them available,” explained a company representative. petapixel In response to feedback.

“The changes we are making to the way perpetual licenses work allow us to move to the latest software development practices without completely removing this option.”

It’s possible that not everything is lost for fans of editing software. Capture One is known for listening to its user base, as the company removed the Export tab in an update, but added it back after users revolted. It may not be fair to compare the pricing decision to a feature change, but few expect the Capture One to have a change of heart.


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