Steinberg - Subscription

as another poster mentioned. the majority are home users and only upgrade if/when they feel new features warrant the expense. no professional user would chance an update with steinbergs buggy track record. a daw isnt like adobe its a very complex setup that when stable most prefer to adhere to the surgeons motto “if it aint broke dont fix it” most other apps eg office, are not as sensetive to minor glitches hence if an update adds a few milliseconds here and there the user probably wouldnt even notice. not so with a daw, maximum stability is top priority. and as another poster mentioned it already is much like an extended subscription full upgrade every 2 years and .5 upgrade 1 year later except you are not FORCED to stay current. as is with subscriptions with time limited licenses. bad idea this isnt a word processor or pdf reader! lol case in point… i upgraded to v8 Pro… My Tascam board now doesnt work correctly. im sure will be fixed in a forthcoming patch but under the subscription model i would not be able to continue using v7.5 which works fine.

ps.if they dont fix it i can stay with v7.5 ive spent $100 on dumber things before lol

cheers and HNY

Not in favor of a subscription model:

  1. I almost always sit out the newest releases/updates (major and minor) till the revisions are released. For example, am staying on 7.5.2 now, despite 7.5.3 and 8.0 being released. When 7.5.4 or 8.05 come out, I’ll go there.
  • But with subscription model, the newest, latest but not necessarily greatest, version will be forced on me, even though I don’t want it. I prefer to not deal with the bugs of the early versions, and in the current, non-subscription model, I don’t have to.

Why would I be in favor of the subscription model from this point of view?

2) “Please note: OS/Hardware version XYZ is not supported on this latest version of Cubase pushed to you today. We see yours is older, please accept our apologies for the inconvenience. We recommend you get a new DAW, otherwise you can’t run Cubase anymore!”.

  • “Thank you for your support”.

Why would I be in favor of the subscription model from this point of view?

3) DAW-melting malware, completely avoidable if DAW remains off-line. And the risk of infection goes up linearly or worse, the more time one is on-line.

Why would I be in favor of the subscription model from this point of view?

I can easily see dropping Cubase if it became subscription, either to use another sequencer that isn’t, or a hard-disk recorder, they are getting more and more flexible. I dropped Adobe Acrobat after 10 years of daily use when they went that way, happily surprised that a little looking showed me how to get the same thing done for free/much less. Nothing is irreplaceable.

Just my 3 cents.

Not sure if there would be any benifit. Maybe feasonable for some professionals. However unless SB were to introduce quicker updates e.g., monthy or bi-monthly, seems more like a ‘cash cow’ idea :unamused:

The principle of keeping up to date with a monthly subscription does not fill me with horror. What does though is the Adobe method where if I choose to stop subscribing in the future I lose the software and can’t open my past projects. If the Cubase model was to subscribe and receive updates - stop and receive no further updates then I could live with it.


I need another monthly bill like I need another hole in my head.


I like the model used for Pyramix, where an annual fee gives you access to all the updates. When it runs out, you can renew or else keep using it as it is. You still get maintenance updates free. There’s no downside when you are given the choice.

Steinberg Subscription is an awful, hideous idea.


If that becomes the only way to use Cubase, whatever the version is prior to that change will be the last one I use.

The OP is well name because now I am getting neurotic. No no nooooooo!

This subscription issue is not nearly as cut and dried for me.

Take the Pro Tools support subscription example. This is not a subscription model because if you stop paying you can keep using the last version that you installed. They were asking $199 per year to support the standard Pro Tools system (which excludes Surround mixes etc). The full HD system is $599 per year. My problem with this model is that there is no evidence that Avid are going to deliver any meaningful upgrades in the subscription year. If they published a road map of upgrades then people could assess what they were going to get for their money.

Based on their record to date, I would be much more confident that Steinberg would deliver value for a support subscription. To me it would make no difference if you are talking about £80 per year subscription as this is what I pay out anyway to get the latest version number.

However I agree if Steinberg (or Avid) went down the Adobe subscription route they would lose many customers. Unlike Avid, Steinberg is not strapped for cash so I do not see them taking a risk like this any time soon.

Hello all,

I am going to leave you with a statement from our Marketing Director about this subject:

Dear customers, we conducted a survey a couple of months ago in which we asked if subscription might be an alternative model. The result was a clear “no.” Of course we will respect this. There are definitely no plans or whatsoever for a subscription model.
If you like to update to the latest version or if you stick with the version you originally purchased is entirely up to you.

Frank Simmerlein
Marketing Director

Best regards,

Aloha G,

I respect that Steiny respects the customs wishes and
I respect this straight forward response from Frank.

However what I would like (if possible) is the ‘option’ of either choice.

But I also realize that in business a choice may not be financially
feasible for Steiny to make happen, so I want you to know,
‘ahm down wi dat too’.

Seriously G, thank for the ‘official’ answer on this topic.

Donkey is always in the details… :ugeek:

Survey of existing users :question:
Survey of prospective new users :question:
Adobe lost the plot :question:

No - just b/c you have a subscription does NOT mean you always have the most up to date version. What it means is that when SB comes out with a new version, you still have to d/l and install it, same as you would under the current model.

Not necessarily true. Your subscription might cover the current version, and a x-number of ups, but at some point, a company doing this is going to have to recoup their R&D, and may charge a one-time fee to up to the latest version. A subscription does not necessarily mean no “hidden” charges.


well it looks like cakewalk have gone this way, but offer a buy it outright price as well.


I think a subscription model only for maintenance is not the path forward, since maintenance updates are free. So it would raise the yearly cost for no reason. (and it is after all bugfixing what they do, one should not have to pay for this)
A subscription model for software upgrades is also not the path forward, since it shrinks the ability to choose to go to new functionalities or not to zero. I agree that many people will turn their backs on the brand.
f.e. since the subscription models with microsoft are introduced they lost me as a client. It is just completely crazy that one pays hundreds and hundreds of dollars over the years for just having word,excel and other functionalities that a) a home user probably will never ever use, and b) that are actually also freely available.
The comparison with energy or telecom distribution is also not completely correct. Technically you can opt to pay a yearly bill and pay just what you consume or even go for prepaid, and the monthly subscription model is only method to spread the cost. So that would also mean you would have to drop the entrance price you pay for cubase. Probably for a DAW maker this wouldn’t be financially interesting. What is interesting in that kind of model is selling bundles. Actually those “bundles” are real cash cows with lots of paid for but never used services. But since a daw is not something you have to “connect” to to get the service, this is not an option too.
But i guess everything is already being said here, so fwiw.

kind regards

Speaking of Cakewalk, have a read if you like on the Gear Slutz forum regarding the objections…there are some very good points against it.

I agree, it appears to be primarily a money grab, and a way to keep you biting on the line.

Steinberg already has already you biting on the line in their own way, and it’s working! Software companies have transitioned from the idea of providing a finished product for sale, to a never ending work in progress for rent. And much like TV shows, at the end of each episode, instead of giving you an ending to a predicament, they always leave you hanging to ensure you’ll want to watch the next! This may be very good for TV shows, but not for software IMO…because for software, they leave you with something never quite finished, and entice you with a promise it will be completed in the next… hence, the “Carrot On A Stick”!

It really depends on how much they’d charge. With the current annual update policy at $99 (from latest to latest) it works out to $8.25 p/m, which is not unreasonable.

But the crux is -of course- what will happen to your projects if you decide to discontinue your subscription. I have hundreds of GB’s of project data, if all of that just becomes useless when you cancel your plan, you are effectively being held hostage.

So there’d need to be a good exit policy.

Steinberg has given their answer on this.

I’ll close the topic.