The common model for the last few decades has been you bought software but you don't really own
it (read the licesnse agreement...you bought a license
) and then buy upgrades as time goes on. At some point you have to upgrade because your computer dies, your new one has a more recent OS and won't run all your old software. So you pay $$$$ upfront and then lesser $$ (but still sizable) whenever you upgrade.
The subscription model has been around for industrial
software a long
time. As a working electrical engineer, all the software tools I used were bought as expensive per-computer annual licenses ($15,000 a year for a single computer license
wasn't unheard of). Vendors finally shifted to offering shorter term (monthly, weekly, even daily) licenses because early in an engineering project you might only need a dozen licenses while at the end of the project you might need a hundred. Rather than paying for a hundred all year (too expensive) you paid for it based on your dynamic usage.
Now that idea has come to consumer software...vendors see people paying for phone plans, cable TV, etc. and all that stuff is on subscription. If you had told me as a teenager in 1967 I'd pay $200 a month to watch television
I would have thought you were insane. But that's exactly what I do today. Subscriptions and the cloud go hand in hand...think Spotify as a good example. You have client software on your computer, phone or tablet but all the content is in the cloud. The pricing is decent, $10 a month is only $120 a year...that's what I would pay for just a CD per month over that same time.
The thing about the Roland deal is the price is in my opinion too high...$5 or maybe $10 a month, I'd think
about it but $30 is far too high. After three years I've spent over $1000...I can buy into NI Komplete for less than that.
Apple meanwhile has gone in completely the opposite direction...Logic is now only $200, making it cheaper than any of it's DAW competition but there are no more upgrade deals, you simply pay $200 again for each new version. For example, Cubase 9 is $580, upgrades depend on the previous version you own, from $99 if you owned v8, $250
if you owned v7 to $300
if you owned v4, v5 or v6.
And Mainstage which gives you all the instruments (including Alchemy which sold by itself for $250) and loops from Logic minus the actual DAW is only $30
That Apple pricing starts looking really good, doesn't it?
I listened to Hatfield and the North at Rainbow. They were very wonderful and they made my heart a prisoner.