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Capture One Loyalty Program

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208 comments

  • Jens

    Well in the end it has nothing to do with loyalty. It is simply two things: a price increase and a value reduction if you buy a perpetual licence. With regard to my investment in Capture One: I will continue using Version 22, but unless some major new features (Adding the ability to change timestamps in images is not a major feature!!!!) I will not spend another euro.

    Here is my summary of the things happing (in German). 

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  • Ian Taylor

    Why not just price match the Adobe photography plan then your customers can pick which software they prefer without the price coming into the equation. Why make everything so complicated.

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  • Mark Hopgood

    Loyalty, an interesting word choice for the new system.  I would have called it coercion. 

    So I had a licence in 2012 for C1 ver 6.  I missed version 7 but have upgrades every year from 8 until 22.  Thats 11 years with Capture One this year. I stopped there because of the universally condemned feature update to 23 plus an increase of upgrade pricing by 35%.  Its 60% over 2 years.

    For my loyalty pricing discount compared to someone who bought Version 22 for the first time in 2022 is the same, go figure.  At the end of last year I first became aware that those who did not upgrade every year were getting the same discount as I was despite yearly upgrades. Good to see the same loyalty paradigm continues.

    With the commitment to release updates more frequently a perpetual license has an extremely short shelf life.  That an "update" may just constitute camera or lens compatibility rather than a new, real feature makes paying for a perpetual licence an expensive option unless you are prepared to space them out over years rather than months. I have done calculations on various scenarios and the cheapest by far is to get a new licence every 3 years and try to make it last.  Over 5 years Capture One subscription is close to double that of Adobe for many less program options.  Yes I prefer Capture One as a RAW editor however I need other software for a complete editing suite, with Adobe I do not.  The upgrade price for a perpetual licence has increased by 60% in the last 2 years in Australia.  Who knows when it will stop. 

    I watched David Grover with Michael Reichmann and Kevin Raber many years ago teaching Capture One which is one of the reasons I started.  I see a post from Kevin condemning the current situation which should alert those in charge that this is a major error.

    Although the ability to purchase a perpetual licence from a subscription is a better outcome from before it is still expensive. Given the recent price increases it seems unlikely that the current subscription price will reduce.  I also have misgivings as to where the company is heading given the significant cost increase and direction under the CEO in the last couple of years.  It will be an interesting conversation with Paul Reiffer next month although trust on its veracity may be hard to come by. Unfortunately by the time these forecasts come to fruition I probably won't care.

    As they say " you pays your money and takes your chances"

     

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  • Benjamin Kim

    Gosh, they really out of control instead of focusing on improving and fixing Capture One Pro. YOU ARE NOT LISTENING US AFTER ALL.

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  • Michael Parker

    I find the loyalty scheme for perpetual licence holders to be nothing such.

    In fact the offering is similar to what other companies do, which is to give a discount if they release a new version within a short period of time of one buying a copy of their program.
    Admittedly there is no new version in this case , but a fundamental change to ongoing licensing, to call this a loyalty scheme for perpetual licence holders is wrong.
    There is no recognition in this scheme of whether you just bought your very first copy of the program within 12 months or upgraded over several years from previous versions.

    In your words -

    “The Loyalty Program has two parts, one for users on a subscription, and one for users with a perpetual license.”

    ‘’Under the Loyalty Program, you'll receive benefits based on how recently you bought your perpetual license for Capture One Pro.’’

    “On 14 February we’ll send you a code that you can use to claim your discounts in our store.”

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  • Claudia Mathys

    Guys: STOP mentioning "PERPETUAL licences"!!!!!!!!!

    There is nothing like that existing in the future!

     

    Pay every year has nothing to do with perpetual!!!!

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  • Henk de Haan

    Dear Capture One,

    May I suggest an option that might trick me into jumping over to a subscription: let each perpetual license bought in the past years count as 12 months in the subscription loyalty scheme.

    I've been using Capture One since version 20 and upgraded each year, so I roughly spend the same amount on licenses as 4 yearly subscriptions, so why don't I get the long-time subscribers benefit when switching to a subscription?

     

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Jack-W

    Bug fixes.

    Consider maintaining two code branches, one branch which receives new feature and bug fixes and another branch which receives bug fixes only (all those from the feature branch, except if the bug concerns the new feature only).

    Perpetual license owners can update to the bug fix branch releases for one year, then once a year copy the feature branch to the bug fix branch (including the new features).

    Alternatively, maintain only one code branch and just disable new features for old license holders. Decide what fits better to the development process in your house.

    Though this still would be a disadvantage compared to the current license policy for perpetual license holders (no new features for one year), it is the only acceptable compromise I can think of, for myself.

     

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  • woefi

    The only acceptable form of "subscription" for a professional software tool without any services (CaptureOne not like video-on-demand or cloud storage) is when you can keep the last used version perpetually. Period.

    I've been doing this effectively for the last 4 years when I always bought the new major version. I was doing this also because of some kind of "loyality". I understand they need to make money to stay in business.

    Claudia Mathys The difference to a real subscription was that I could always decide to stop paying and work with my last bought version. In case they would not deliver on their (perceived) promises or my expectations.

    This has not changed. In fact they added the option to keep your version, although at a very unfriendly rate (5yr srly??)

    What has changed is that I can now only expect to get appr. 3 months of bugfixes and will receive no feature updates.
    This is very bad, considering the many flaws you still have to work around in C1.

    Heck, I even bought v23 _just as a bug fix_ in the first place. I mean: variants in different albums was a standard feature of the first Lightroom version anno 2006. For CaptureOne 22 I saw it as a plain _bug_ that this was still not possible...

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  • Mariusz Janosz

    "What has changed is that I can now only expect to get appr. 3 months of bugfixes"

    This was in current perpetual life of product. They changed a licence policy to bringing new features faster so we could be supported with bug fixes in shorter time (maybe even one month, reasonably).

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Subscription models should only exist in two cases:

    (1) the customer gets some consumable product or service. E.g. a content provider like Netflix, you consume a movie from their streaming server one time (or maybe a few times, ask your wife for Titanic:-), and if your subscription ends then you do not lose anything. There is no work involved by the customer (other than eating chips and dringing a beer maybe:-)

    Many photographers need or want to keep access to their raw files and to the work effort they put into their non-destructive adjustment settings. So, C1 needs to work perpetual.

    Granted, some professional photographers only need C1 to push the raw files through and publish/sell jpg files  or prints (or export to Tiff files), they don't lose anything (for their past photo shoots) if C1 stops working. Raw development as a consumable. But if you use a C1 catalog, you likely don't belong to that group.

    (2) the company offers a real, ongoing service, e.g. cloud storage, SaaS (software as a service which runs on the vendors' machines)

    Granted, C1 company offers support and a website and a forum (i.e. some ongoing service), but this does not justify a subscription for the right to use the software. A small maintenance fee for support would be acceptable, imo.

    The right to use a (any) software which is installed on customers premises / on customers machines should not be subscription based, imo. Never. And I don't subscribe to any software on a subscription basis.

     

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Mariusz Janosz

    This was in current perpetual life of product.

    As a perpertual license holder you could install every following minor release which included bug fixes and eventually new features, until the next major release was out (usually towards the end of each calendar year), so up to one year bug fixes included, depending when you bought the major version.

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Jack-W

    Maybe its time for the company to become even more professional than Adobe...

    Suggestion:

    Capture One Release Roadmap
    There are two types of Capture One releases: Long Term Release and Innovation Release.

    Long Term Release:
    Capture One Long Term Releases are ideal for use cases that benefit from less frequent upgrades to newer releases. Long Term Releases offer the highest level of stability and the longest length of error correction support. These releases have at least 5 years of Premier Support followed by 3 years of Extended Support. As necessary, we may extend the Premier Support Period or we may waive the Extended Support fee. When combined with Extended Support, customers typically have 4 or more years to upgrade from one Long Term Release to the next Long Term Release.

    Innovation Release:
    In between Capture One Long Term Releases, the Capture One delivers Capture One Innovation Releases that include many enhancements and new capabilities which will also be included in the next Long Term Release. Innovation Releases are designed to enable customers to continuously use leading-edge technologies to rapidly develop or deploy new applications or augment existing applications. Support for Innovation Releases includes at least 2 years of Premier Support, but there is no Extended Support. 

    This text is a loaner from Oracle, the "Oracle database" replaced with "Capture One".

    source: https://support.oracle.com/knowledge/Oracle%20Database%20Products/742060_1.html

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  • Claudia Mathys

    woefi

    If I don't pay for a new version every year I can only buy a yearly subscription. So there is no difference to a subscription.

    In short: there is effectively no perpetual license available anymore.

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  • Henk de Haan

    BeO, Capture One is not even in the same league as Oracle. Corporate customers would not accept the warranty statements in the current Software License Agreement. If you run a multi-billion operation you'll be demanding excellent 24/7 support (and you will have to pay for it). 

    I'm would be if surprised Capture One Enterprise customers accept the SLA. They hopefully have additional support contracts.

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Henk de Haan

    Sure, they are not in the same league (and we C1 customers aren't either), but it shows (as an example) what software customers in the world do expect and what makes sense to them (an in return having happy customers makes sense to the company):

    • The option for a stable version with long time support (bug fixes, security issues, operating compatibilty and new camera/lens profiles)
    • OR an innovation version with bleeding edge features. 
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  • Ian Taylor

    Just looked at some Adobe stats. 26 million subscribers with a revenue of $14 billion, product sales $550 million. Looks like subscription works for them. All major companies from Costco to Sage accounting software make the bulk of their revenue from subscriptions. All you need is customers. Keep your customers happy with good service and they will subscribe.

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    All major companies?

    I don't even know these two example companies you mentioned, but Sage Business Cloud Accounting seems to be a hosted solution, no? Apples with oranges then.

    Other ("major") companies in the B2B or B2C software industry might also have a subscription model but usually only if they also host the software in their data center. 

    Major Microsoft (Windows or Office), I did not subscribe.

    Major Apple (iOS), I did not subscribe.

    Adobe? I favored C1 over LR years ago (when they still sold LR perpetual), but even if this changed I would not subscribe.

    Unless a subscription really offers way better service and conditions to me and my personal situation than any other alternative, or are the only alternative, or the service covers consumables like movie streams, I will not subscribe.

    But each to his own.

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  • Jesse See Tai

    How does this "Loyalty Program" respect any of C1's customers.

    For subscription customers, in order to get a free perpetual license you have to pay a subscription for 5 years in order to get free perpetual license. If paid annually that's $179 x 5, which equals $895. If you actually want to reward subscription customers you would give them a free perpetual license once they have paid the full price of a perpetual license... which would be every 2 years, $179 x 2 equals $358 (this is how many audio plugins work in the music industry... after your subscription payments have covered the cost of a full license, they get the current license at that time).

    For perpetual license customers it's literally only negative. Unless you upgrade every year the upgrade discount is terrible. You will now have no updates with features, including new camera profiles. There is no roadmap or any indication of how often new versions will be released, so perpetual license users could potentially need to pay $179 2-3 times a year if they wanted to stay current. This is absurd.

    Not really sure how any of this instills trust or loyalty. Also, Adobe charges $10 a month for Lightroom and Photoshop which include the iPad apps. How does CO think $24 a month is a fair price? I really don't understand these choices and it's obviously going to drive away a lot of longtime and new users.

    Here's my suggestion for the Loyalty Program

    Subscriptions - Customers receive a free perpetual license once their subscription payments total the price of a full perpetual license.

    Perpetual License - 40% off new license within 12 months. 30% discount after 12 months. If you want to keep new features as an incentive for the subscriptions that's fine, but a perpetual license should include bug fixes and new camera profiles for 18 - 24 months.

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  • Michael Parker

    A couple more thoughts I’ve had.
    As many say the features update from 22 to 23 weren’t exactly riveting.
    Are there more features to come before September which current perpetual licence holders will still get?
    If not where is the incentive to consider moving to subscription? We may pay a year’s subscription and get nothing in return apart from the ability to then buy a perpetual licence at a discount so basically paying twice for the update we would normally have paid for just once
    Or maybe you keeping the new features back until after September so only subscribers get them, to coerce people to move to subscription?
    What guarantee is there if people subscribe there will be any (worthwhile) feature updates anyway ?
    As others have said Adobe’s offering is far more attractive by including photoshop as well as Lightroom and cloud storage.

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  • Sean Breslin

    On top of what everyone else has said, simply the fact that by switching to a subscription you'll lose your perpetual license means I'll never buy a subscription. 

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  • Michael Parker

    Sean Breslin 

    That’s not what they say though. According to their table you get to keep your existing perpetual licence.
    Though it will of course be for an older version and if you’ve had to update your catalogue then it’ll be useless for any new work you do. As long as you have a copy of your old catalogue you’ll still be able to work with older files.

     

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  • Sean Breslin

    Michael Parker

    Thanks for correcting me on that. But it just goes to show how confusing the whole thing is.

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  • Michael Parker

    Sean Breslin

    You are correct. I actually missed that point myself initially , someone else pointed that out on a Facebook group.
    But as I say, you usually have to update the catalogue or session when a new version comes out, which then doesn’t work on older versions so it’s still not great.

    1
  • Larry Boothby

    I can't say I'm impressed with this.  Why don't you give long time subscribers a discount on their subscription.  I just paid my annual subscription and it was $196 after taxes.  Adobe would cost me right around $132 a year with tax.  That gets you lightroom and photoshop.  The Capture One subscription is $64 more and you don't get a pixel editor.  Not cool at all.   I truly love Capture One, but the reality is, cost is the #1 issue.  I have to be honest with you.  I almost didn't renew my subscription this year due to the cost.  The value for money is just not there.  I'm going to give you one more year to get this sorted out.  If you can't get the price down to a more reasonable level by 2024, then I'm going to have to go where it is less expensive.

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  • Stefano Lasi

    Ho capito poco sul da farsi... Voi di Phase One dovreste pensare al fatto che avete molti clienti che sono semplici appassionati, e questi prezzi sono troppo alti! Ritengo C1 un ottimo software per lo sviluppo del raw, ma altri produttori si sono avvicinati molto con prezzi più bassi. Non ci siamo :(

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  • Lost Carrier

    So, very obviously only the (effectively) subscription customers are „loyal customers“, eh? Well, we kind of figured it by now…

    As a Software Engineer myself, I totally understand that also Software Engineers want to earn money. I can also understand that CO charges for new features. Pricing just went significantly up, but that’s another topic - a lot of companies also give a couple of new features also for free, but well…

    What I totally not get is how bugfixes will not anymore be included. As we know each „exciting new version“ of CO will be unusably buggy for at least half a year, this is an absolute no-go for me. I would also question how legal it is, but I‘m anyway signing up with Adobe while I’m writing this…

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  • Mariusz Janosz

    I believe that only significant bugs which make usage of software or core feature failed are covered by EU law but believe that would be quite easy to receive chargeback from bank when we met some significant bug and show update service policy (in fact, no policy). So maybe this is a way to go.

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  • Lost Carrier

    Mariusz Janosz

    Yes, I‘ve read about this theory over in the other thread. And in fact I once asked my credit card company to refund some transaction it went out well for me, so it in-deed might not be just a „theory“.

    However: the question is more how sustainable it is to further bet on CO. I mean also looking at that recent price increases, all the new services and fees for stuff you get for free elsewhere:

    Either they are so rich that they can just afford to loose a major part of their perpetual licence owners/buyers - then I guess it’s only a matter of time until they close „perpetual licences“ down completely (be it because they „realise“ it became just a marketing term, or simply because they are so rich that they do not need to care about customers anymore).

    Or it‘s because they are in serious financial trouble - then I‘m suspecting this step will probably not safe them…

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  • Emile Gregoire

    “We want to improve the program with your help, please let us know in the comments belowwhat else you’d like to see in it. We won’t be able to reply to all of your suggestions but we’ll collect all of them and see what we can do.”

    Ok, here’s what I’d like to see: my money back. Had I known all this I would never have swallowed all the price increases the past 15 years. But I’ll sweeten the deal: I only want my money back from my last purchase so I can put it to good use with another developer.

    A relationship with your customers is a two-way street, not the dead-end you seem to have in mind for perpetual license buyers.

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