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THE DANGER OF SUBCRIPTIONS

(13-10-2023)
VST plugins are software tools that enhance the sound quality and creativity of music production. They can emulate classic hardware, add effects, synthesize sounds, and more. However, not all VST plugins are affordable or accessible for everyone. Some developers have adopted a subscription model, where users pay a monthly or yearly fee to access a bundle of plugins or a cloud-based service. While this may seem convenient and cost-effective for some, there are also many drawbacks and disadvantages of VST plugin subscriptions. Here are some reasons why VST plugin subscriptions are bad for producers:

Lack of ownership: When you subscribe to a VST plugin service, you do not own the plugins you use. You are essentially renting them from the developer, and if you stop paying, you lose access to them. This means that you cannot use them offline, transfer them to another computer, or sell them to someone else. You also have no control over the updates, changes, or removals of the plugins by the developer. You may end up losing your favourite plugin or having to adapt to a new version that does not suit your workflow or preferences.

Dependency and lock-in: When you rely on a VST plugin subscription, you become dependent on the service and the developer. You have to trust that they will provide reliable and consistent service, quality and compatibility of the plugins, and fair and transparent pricing. However, this may not always be the case. You may encounter technical issues, bugs, glitches, or downtime that affect your productivity and creativity. You may also face price hikes, hidden fees, or changes in the terms and conditions that make the service less affordable or desirable. Moreover, you may find it hard to switch to another service or provider if you are not satisfied with your current one, especially if you have invested a lot of time and money into it.

Overload and waste: When you subscribe to a VST plugin service, you may get access to hundreds or thousands of plugins that you may not need or use. This can lead to overload and confusion, as you have to browse through a huge catalogue of options and learn how to use them. You may also end up wasting money on plugins that you do not like or value, or that do not fit your genre or style. You may be paying for more than what you actually use or need.

Lack of uniqueness and originality: When you subscribe to a VST plugin service, you may be using the same plugins as millions of other producers around the world. This can reduce your uniqueness and originality as an artist, as you may end up sounding like everyone else. You may also lose your competitive edge and differentiation in the market, as you may not be able to offer something new or different to your audience or clients. You may also miss out on the opportunity to discover and support independent or niche developers who create innovative and unique plugins that are not available on subscription services.

Imagine you subscribe to one company for £15 for your EQ and Compressors, then another for Synth £15 but one is not enough lets subscribe to another 5 companies for a grand total of £180 a month which is £2,160 a year and we all know the accumulative cost I have listed above could end up being far north of that.

VST plugin subscriptions are bad for producers because they limit their ownership, freedom, choice, and creativity. They also expose them to risks, costs, and challenges that may outweigh their benefits. Therefore, producers should be careful and cautious before subscribing to any VST plugin service, and consider other alternatives such as buying individual plugins, using free or open-source plugins.

'From time to time I get access to BETA products whether it is for music or other editing software, I want to make it completely and perfectly clear to companies I will never support a subscription model and I refuse to test any products that are subscription only this day forward.'

In conclusion, there is a very real danger that one day everything will be subscriptions only based on the actions we take today, we wont own anything and that is what these companies want. I call upon you to draw a line in the sand for Music Producers of today, for Music Producers of tomorrow and those yet to be born, push back this out of control greed, this disease, say enough, the cost of living for many is already spiralling out of control, make a stand today and say NO TO SUBSCRIPTIONS!

Thank you for reading this long winded essay
Ryan Anthony
Phat Monkey xXx