Reason Studios Intros Reason+ Subscription Service & Turns The Community Upside Down

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Reason Studios now offers a Reason+ subscription that gives you access to Reason 11, updates, 70+ Rack Extension instruments/effects, sounds for $19,99 USD per month

The software market is highly comeptitve. To reach more customers, even those who have less money, companies can apply different models. Either you offer your software at a fair price ($50 for a plugin like ValhallaDSP)  do a lot of sales like Waves (24hrs 7/7 sale), or you offer them via a subscription.

We know the latter from Pro Tools, Bitwig Studio (updates), Adobe, and others. Now the modular DAW Reason is also going into the subscription world with Reason+.

Reason+

Reason Studios Reason +

Reason Studios promises all you need in one subscription for 19,99€/month. This includes weekly inspiring sound packs, 70+ Rack Extension instruments & effects, rack plugin, and regular Reason updates. They describe Reason+ in these words: “it is a subscription service where you get all the tools you need to make music and find your own unique sound. Awesome software, professional instruments and effects, and inspiring musical building blocks”.

Positive & Negative

Subscriptions polarize the software market. Many love them others hate them. I’m not a fan of subscriptions, neither from Roland Cloud, Adobe, or now Reason +. They have advantages and disadvantages that are worth knowing. Software that you rent has the advantage that you can get download updates quickly and easily. This is helpful because you no longer have to buy individual upgrades. This is also what Reason Studios promises with Reason +. You also get weekly additional content such as rack extensions or sounds that can be download on demand. So actually everything you need to make music.

The big disadvantage, however: software that you bought earlier no longer belongs to you. Ok, software was not owned by you before because you only bought a license that allows you to use the software on your system. These can normally be used for many years without problems. In the subscription world, it’s different. If you stop paying here, you lose all access. It’s a bottomless pit in which to put money.

Reason+

In the end, it’s less fair for music producers with a lower budget. Imagine that user X has no more money (lost his job, need to pay other bills…) then he can no longer use the software. If you buy Reason 11 for example once, you can use it for years. Subscriptions can be beneficial, but they also have many disadvantages. They are good for large studios that can deduct their software from taxes, for example.

The laughable winners of such restructuring are mostly the companies that have a constant cash flow with subscriptions.  I don’t know whether this will be a great success for the somewhat more special DAW Reason.

Community & Bi-System

The numbers say it all. The official Reason + video currently has significantly more dislikes (650) than likes (157). Says the community thinks the decision is less cool. The numerous comments on Facebook are also less positive. I can understand the community that has invested a lot of money in recent years to update Reason, etc.

However, every Reason user can take a deep breath. Reason Studios uses a bi-system. You can choose between a perpetual license or take the subscription train. RS doesn’t force customers to take out a subscription model like Adobe. That’s very good. Thus, Reason + is just a second business idea of the company and not a complete change. Don’t panic.

Reason+ is available now for 19.99€ per month. Users of a Reason version receive a 50% OFF discount for the first yearly subscription and just pay 99€. Reason 11 is still available as a full license for 399€.

More information here: RS

DAW News

6 Comments

  1. I feel like this is a “silent majority” situation, in that people who dislike subscriptions are very loud and insistent about it, while those who are okay with it just get the subscription without posting about it. Clearly the pioneers have shown that subscriptions are popular, regardless of what advocates say. The compromise solution is to support licensed installs as well as subscription, which is what Reason has done here. I’d like more focus on how this lowers the barrier to entry, and reduces risk. If you decide you’re not really using the service, you just cancel. You haven’t had to sink hundreds of dollars into a DAW, plus more hundreds every time there’s an upgrade. Also, you don’t have to wait a year or two to get new features. That’s a much better value proposition for me.

    • yes totally fine with it but if you cancel it, you don’t have any access at all at the DAW. I personally prefer the sub model of Bitwig Studio where you pay a subscription service for updates and not for the whole. If you cancel the BS sub, you can still use it but without further updates that is fairer in my opinion.

      • thats pretty common with most [not all of course] subscription based programs. you pay for the time you used it and thats it, hence a subscription. want to use it more? then subscribe again or buy the license like before, which im happy they still have as an option. my fear is them taking that away in the future.

  2. It makes sense with Adobe if, for instance, you need Photoshop all the time but only need Illustrator for a month once a year. Would make more sense if Reason subscribed each plugin, so you could have a core pack, a medium and a “all features”.

  3. Appreciate your candour.
    An important aspect to consider is subscription fatigue. Getting one subscription to get “everything you need” might be a fine deal. Adding one subscription upon another, in a time of economic hardship, especially for musicians? That’s another story.
    It’s quite possible that this will succeed. It might even be a proper way to fund important improvements over the DAW/plugin. In fact, since Reason is available as a plugin for use in another DAW, people might buy it as a kind of plugin collection and Rack Extensions creators might get a decent income.
    At the same time, it’s a strange time to launch such a model.

    About Bitwig, the Upgrade Plan is quite different from a subscription for precisely the reasons you cite: BWS3.3 will keep working for those who don’t have an active plan, so it’s a perpetual/lifetime license. Once someone wants to benefit from upgrades again (say, BWS4.0 comes out and it’s as compelling as we expect it to be), the upgrade pricing is good for 12 months of updates (which, in Bitwig’s case, might mean a number of significant improvements).

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