why no upgrade download option?

Sorry if this has been covered, but what’s the rationale for a box-only product these days? I honestly would probably have upgraded to 6 a long time ago, if it weren’t for the fact that I just generally don’t order software via regular mail anymore. I already have the dongle, I have the old content installed, I don’t need manuals, so why can’t I just purchase a downloadable upgrade from 5 to 6?

A few theories:

  1. So many people don’t save the downloaded updates when they are finished with them and then later (after a computer crash, reload, etc.) they have to call support to get them back, thus taking up supports time and money that could be better used elsewhere.

  2. Limited bandwidth of their current servers (specifically asknet’s). Upgrades between versions can be GIGABYTES of data. The servers start denying download requests, users get unhappy (for no reason), they call support thus taking up supports time (and cost) to deal with a simple “try again later”. They could upgrade their servers, but how many people would that upgrade serve? Some people (myself included) like to have install media for backup in case their computer crashes or they reload.

  3. So many things can go wrong with a download. Corrupt files, incomplete downloads, and firewalls that get in the way are just some of the things. Larger the download, the higher the chance that something will go wrong.
    Who’re they gonna call? Support.

  4. Internet isn’t up to snuff for everybody. They may have customers that are in “bad” internet areas. Again harkening to the sheer size of the update.

  5. More DVD’s manufactured, less cost per DVD. See theory 6 for difference between upgrade and full retail.

  6. The only difference between full retail Cubase 6 and upgrade Cubase 6 is a piece of paper (the license activation code). To make a download version, they’d have to rewrite the installer and re-package the update. Too much cost for too little return.

  7. In order to split the user base into those who wanted a download update vs those who want a boxed update, (as to determine how many boxed updates to manufacture) they’d have to do research. This could be done with the next update, but then they’d have inventory left over of the upgrade. Too much cost for too little return.

  8. What’s wrong with shipping software via regular parcel post? That’s the entire business model of Amazon.

So it all harkens down (in my theories) to cost vs return and the fact that DVD is simpler than a download.

2 cents, these are mine.

Aloha m,
This may or may not answer your question but a while back
we did have this thread going about this very topic.

And I believe there are a couple of other related threads as well.
Try a forum search.


This thread also brings up another point. Local music stores.

Move to a solely downloadable upgrade, remove revenue from music stores.

Not a problem? I think that it is. For a couple of reasons:

  1. If my local music store stops carrying Steinberg products, I’m up the creek. Steinberg can’t currently ship to my country (Canada. My local Long & McQuade does nicely, however).

  2. Steinberg’s parent company, Yamaha, is reliant on local music stores. They start treating their vendors poorly with a subsidiary company, the parent company can suffer.