Well, most professional companies already are in the habit of paying a monthly for licenses on a per user/per station level, most email & office apps are that way now - look at office 365.
Most sysadmins prefers a centrally administrable approach so that they can control/oversee and detect security issues. A hardware server isn’t a server anymore, it’s more a home for virtual servers to exist - which means you can carry out equivalent hardware functions via software/cloud control.
I don’t know how many organisations use Cubase across a mass of connected users, but you’d think it’s quite rare and is more commonly used on 1 or 2 machines in creative areas where the dongle is just enabled for those fixed machines.
One things for sure though, The modern world requires system admins to have security locked down and risk of ransomware attacks minimised or their heads on the line.
This has certainly become key for us in the past year - external security audits and disabling of USB ports being the default state for each machine.
The benefits are there though, you can enable licensing to a new employee within minutes via the cloud and use policies to deploy software install scripts across VPN. And they can be sat anywhere in the world.
But this conversation is different, it’s about attracting a fresher/younger EDM crowd to embrace Cubase and to populate Steinberg’s income to grow the software. And the only way that happens if Steinberg can get the higher tier features into their hands at a price point that matches.
As much as it upsets pros, the hobbyist market bringing a secondary income is what generates Steinberg a large revenue, and that market is increasingly growing in EDM areas. Or rather, it has grown already - i think EDM is now second to hip hop/pop as the biggest selling genre? Rock has taken a step down.
Audio pitching, time stretching and quantisation is just standard issue in the DAW world at this point and that’s basic sample manipulation - most EDM users pick up a unique sample as the basis of their beats and manipulate as step one.
I can’t see that Steinberg have any room in their pricing model to open up features like Variaudio to lower tier versions to get people on the ladder, nor will they allow their products to be openly cracked. So this is why subscription model seems the most logical route to get EDM (And a ton more) users onboard, to me.
The ones I know just want to pirate everything anyway so is almost a waste of resources appealing to them, but having your software discussed on social media platforms and featured in youtube tutorials is a huge sales tool in itself. Right now, you need to have a very active interest to order a USB dongle to try a 30 day demo of a product… hence why it’s rarely mentioned in EDM circles.