Benefits of subscription licenses

Why Pay-Per-Use Subscriptions is the Best Model for Users

In recent years there has been a shift in licensing models for software. The old model, based on the distribution of data storage media and paper manuals for relatively small and simple applications, relied on frequently paid update cycles for providing users with new features, bug fixes and compatibility updates via physical shipment of new installer CDs. 

Today, the internet provides a fast and efficient way to distribute updates that can be more regular, supplying users with bug fixes, new features and support for new hardware, operating systems and software as they become available. This is also necessary, as your computing environment is much more complex and changes much faster than ever. 

Pay-per-use subscriptions are the business model that sustains this new world and there are many ways in which you, the users, benefit from this new model:

You only pay for the time you use the software

If you are a regular user, the subscription will make sure that you always have a valid license and access to the latest versions of the application, keeping up with your system updates, new hardware and changes to the online platforms you’re using. 

If you are only using the app occasionally, you can save a lot of money by only purchasing a license for the time you’re actually using the software.

It all comes down to: It is cheaper to pay per use instead of upfront for an indeterminate amount of time.

You save from the more efficient distribution model

You no longer pay for the distribution channel, printing, packaging, production of disks or CDs and so on. This used to make up more than 50% of the retail price in some instances.

You also pay a much lower overhead for actual payment processing as credit card companies have adapted to a higher volume processing of smaller payments. All this makes using the software much more affordable these days.

You’re always up to date with the latest technology 

You can be sure that the software is keeping up with you updating other applications, the constantly changing online platforms, your operating system and your new cameras and equipment.

You carry a lower risk

If the vendor of an application is no longer able to provide updates, you can cease to use the app and will no longer pay for it. You will not have made a big up-front investment you never get to use.

Your costs are predictable

With the pay-per-use subscription model, you know when the next (small) payment is due, there are no hidden costs in form of surprise upgrade fees for making the app work on a new operating system or support a new camera. “For Life” licenses never really existed. When you updated to a new operating system or a new computer, in order to get a working version of the application, you had to purchase an update. The costs for this update were often unknown beforehand and came at random intervals.

This is even better if you have a business. Distributing costs over the usage period of an asset helps with cash flow and business planning.

Many other things in your life work this way, including, most likely, your own income

You already have many other things in your life that are pay-per-use. Renting a home or paying a mortgage, driving a car (paying for gas or electricity as you go along), Netflix, your cable TV, your phone, all of these things you’re enjoying on a monthly basis. Some people even lease their computers to be able to afford a better and faster system.

And finally, if you have a more or less regular income like most people, please also consider all the benefits you have from being paid “by use” yourself.