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Isadora 3 Pricing: Please Read and Respond



  • Dear Community

    As you might know, we're heading towards Isadora 3 this fall. We've been wresting with how to price the new version, and we're turning to you for feedback. Hopefully you can spare a few minutes to share your thoughts with us.

    I created Isadora 18 years ago to support my personal artistic practice. I know what it means to struggle to survive as an artist. It remains crucial to me that any artist who wants to use Isadora has a means to get their hands on it. Isadora is obviously a commercial product, but my concern for artists and artmaking has always overshadowed concerns about making a profit.

    That said, here's a fact: we need to generate a more reliable stream of income so that we can add new features faster and continue to offer you the support you've come to rely on. And that means changing the way we sell Isadora, and adjusting the prices to some extent. We have clear ideas about how to address this, but I am not going give the specifics now because the team and I would like to hear your thoughts first.

    Here's what I will say at this point:

    • The number one goal is to offer a tool that powerfully enables artistic expression for artists and designers of every financial strata.
    • We will release a major version upgrade (i.e., from Isadora 2 to Isadora 3) with substantial new features every two years.
    • We will continue to have a "buy-to-own" option. If you want to upgrade when the next major release comes out, you'll be charged for the upgrade.
    • We will also offer a yearly, monthly and – if the system we choose supports it – daily subscription options.
    • The talented people that work for us need to be paid for their efforts.

    With those points in mind, we're opening a forum to hear from you. Really, you can say anything you like about the topics I've outlined above, but here are a few specific prompts:

    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished
    • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer
    • What about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fair
    • What should the buy to own price for a new license be
    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)
    • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?
    • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

    We're a community and communities make decisions together. Please take part in this process by replying with your thoughts below. We enthusiastically await your replies.

    Sincerely,
    Mark Coniglio + The TroikaTronix Team



  • i think that Izzy is good value and you should all be confident to build a pricing structure that works for you. Don't worry too much about what people want, as there are already LOADS of options. Worry about what you want to make and make it as amazing as possible for what you can afford. 

    here are the specific points you mention

    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

    I don't understand this question. Sorry

    • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer

    Subscription. I've been converted!

    • What about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fair

    I think this should be tiered I.e.

    Student: cheap as you can possibly absorb

    Basic: fair and stand price for basic user (qlab level)

    Pro (hardcore user who wants more support so pays a premium, software doesn't change but things like 'on site support if you hit a snag during a pro show. (Resolume level)

    Commercial high end 'gold standard' service. 24 hour return of calls/requests. Bespoke content. Project consultancy etc. 2x Pro price.

    • What should the buy to own price for a new license be

    Standard licence £500

    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)

    Yes see above

    • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?

    Deffo deffo deffo!!! Grow the art but ask for something back from those who profit! (Me included!)

    • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

    Not likely. The amount of support you would have to put in place would make this difficult. The commercial focus on 'boxed' solutions  Is convenient. It a very different market/user. I say celebrate the difference between you and a media server company. There's room for both. You need distributors who can immediately ship out replacement units etc. 



  • i've not yet been converted to enjoy paying a subscription for software. i much prefer buy-to-own. although i think an additional option to rent a license per day is a good one for individual projects.

    a higher price for commercial use could be an income generator, but where do you draw the line?

    forum support is currently very comprehensive - in my opinion, this is one of the main selling points for Isadora. would you consider limiting this for non-pro users? or provide extra one-to-one support for pro users? is this a counter-productive solution? (extra income, but uses more team time?)


  • Tech Staff

    @danshorten thanks Dan. Some amazing feedback there. Lots to think about. Cheers.  



  • @mark said:

    Sorry, this isn't formatted well, but hopefully you can pick out my answers in bold


    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

      Education: make sure that people know how to use it. Tutorials galore, good written documentation, best practices.
      The Werkstatt is fabulous, and it'd be great to have the sessions recorded and online.
      I love live webinars, where there's a two way conversation. Maybe regular monthly sessions?
      Demonstrate that it's a professional product: big up the instances where it gets used in professional work and in high-profile project
      [like the user profiles on the front page of the website]
      Get on the credits for the big shows. Make sure 'made with Isadora' gets in the programme.
      Get those pro users on board to make 'made with Isadora' videos.


      The free version: Mark talked about that at 2017 Werkstatt: still seems to me like a good idea. I would set up / teach / run more workshops / evangelise Isadora more if my students could have a save-enabled version, even if it's just VGA resolution and one stage. 
    • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer

      I'm agnostic about this.
    • What about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fair

      I wouldn't be happy paying as much as my creative cloud sub, which is ~ £45 a month.
      I would be happy to pay the same as for MaxMSP
      https://cycling74.com/shop

    • What should the buy to own price for a new license be

      £400-£500 , and £150 upgrade if on a two year cycle. Just so it's more or less the same as the subscription

    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)
    • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use

      I agree with Dan's response above
    • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

      Yes: for grant applications it'd be very useful to say "this is the kit and this is what it costs" and when speccing for a show that I'm designing and that'll tour without me, being able to point to this machine and say "this'll work" would be hugely useful.
      However, how will it be supported? Hardware and software support? Again, Dan's points very valid.

     



  • @dbini said:

    although i think an additional option to rent a license per day is a good one for individual projects.

    Yes, I totally agree with this one: goodness knows how many shows I've worked on where we've 'rented' QLab by the day for intermittent / occasional performances. I'd use Isadora over Qlab any day of the week if a daily rental option was available.

     



  • @mark said:

    What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

     The forum is not letting me edit my posts, so just going to add:
    Functionality on OSX and Windows needs to be equivalent.  The AUDIO for Windows needs to be sorted out: I  understand all the issues, but the crazy workarounds on Windows that one has to do to attain the same functionality as Isadora on the Mac has is *extraordinarily* frustrating.  Even doing a deal with Ableton to package the intro version with Isadora Windows would be a start.



  • @mark said:

    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

    you must advertise and make demonstrations/workshops in art and Design university/school. Nobody knows Isadora. But everyone MAX.


    • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer
    • What about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fair
    • What should the buy to own price for a new license be
    I prefer buy-to-own but I think you have to offer both. The price scale for MAX https://cycling74.com/shop is a good reference. but I am afraid not expensive enough to cover your costs.

    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)

    No idea. Is a bug report part of a premium or basic support

    • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?

    How and where do you draw the line?

    • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

    not really. I think there is so much different use, so much different packages



  • Hi

  • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished
  • I have to think about this I'll come back later

  • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer
  • I prefer a buy to own but in some cases a subscription can be helpfull. There are pro's and con's for each option that i can think of:

    1. I think that as a young artist it is possible that you have some months with a low or sometimes no income. there are already a lot of other subscriptions and costs every month.
    2. On the other hand it can be better to pay smaller amounts instead of one big.
    3. Some grants that support art projects don't give money for thinks that can be used after the project. so than a subscription helpfull

    Maybe out of the box: An option where you pay a subscription but after a certain amount of subscription paid you own it?  

  • What about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fair
  • I follow @danshorten 

  • What should the buy to own price for a new license be
  • As a freelance artist with low income i would say not to much. But as en Isadora enthousiast i would say as much as you need to be able to develop the software.

  • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)
  • I don't need a lot of extra support but maybe its a good idea? 

  • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?
  • I always find this a difficult question. What makes a project commercial?
    When I'm making an own art work (so no commissioned work) I receive some money when i display it so some see this as a commercial project altouch I don't realy make money out of it, I just covers the costs. 
    So as @dbini says where do you draw the line.

  • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?
  • Depends on the hardware :)

    I also think a rent option for short periods can be very handy. Than the company's I work for can pay for there tour. 
    I also teach from time to time so an option for that is also helpfull.


    That's the first things i think of.

    Keep up the good work.



    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

    1. Marketing, really the marketing of Izzy is quite low. Do workshops on Art schools (or even make a network of trained artist that are allowed to do workshops with Izzy at a local level)

    2. Community (portal) support for User actors. Really, we said it before, but a way to share our actors with each other so that we can expand the functionality of Isadora. For example, look at how Processing does this :) That way the community will enpower the product even more, causing a product that is never out of date.

    3. A dedicated blog with talks with the artist that use Izzy, I really enjoy reading those at other blogs and I must say it helps to create exposure. 

    4. Add more team members to the programming side of things, you lose a lot of customers because criticial features are missing (or that the two versions (mac and windows) aren't the same..)

    • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer

    Why not both ? Max does this, and it quite a good model. Personally I like to have a pyshical USB key that works OFFLINE. The sub model requires you to be connected to the internet most of the time.

    • What about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fair

    Ehh.. tough one.. 20 dollars/month and yearly something around (12 * 20 = 240 * 0.8) = 192 ~= 199 dollars ?

    • What should the buy to own price for a new license be

    400 dollars ? If a license for a major version only gets support for 2 years, then I think this price is fair. 

    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)

    Like others already said, the support of Izzy is amazing. The forum is the first step (And we are generous..), if that doesn't work they will email you guys. Perhaps take a look at how TouchDesigner is doing this ?

    • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?

    I don't understand this question if you take Izzy and the feature set. What would be a Non-commercial version of Isadora (Limit the resolution output ?)

    • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

    No. It should be working, period. Every single artist has his own equipment that they use.. The only use case that I see at the moment is buying it for long term installations or possible even rent it..



  • @mark

    The subscription seems an excellent proposal. For those of us who live and work in Latin America the prices of the licenses are unattainable for the majority of the possible users. We need a type of license or subscription as cheap as possible, although there are limitations in the functions. And I think there might be a free version, i.e. Isadora v1. I think that these possibilities would make the software more known and in the medium term it would be commercially beneficial. 

    I hope that the price of the upgrade not be too expensive! And I am one of the *extraordinarily* frustrating Widows user (I am musician), I hope a solution for this.



  • Here my Ideas

    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

    As some one said Win an Osx mut be equivalent, but as i know is more or less something reached with v3. Also i think that the core feature of Isadora is the comunity and the forum. As from a long time we requested we need a repository where submit user actor. also if user actor are really complex or very nice may be you can think about pricing for that user generated actors (max for live an reason style)

    • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer

    buy to own. Isadora is for me not only a working tool but also a way to research, play, have fun. If to have I have to pay some I'm afraid to lose this kind of feeling

    • What about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fair

    this kind of subscriprion can be parallel to a buy to own option. 20€ month 100€ year, 150€ upgrade, 550 new license

    • What should the buy to own price for a new license be

    see up

    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)

    this is important. As i say up comunity is the best. If I have to dream I do not want to have to pay for every thingh in this life. I know this can sound as off topic but society is made  a sum of singles. If with a premium support program we create two category we miss the point of our been artist: shape a brand new world! Of course dreams ar not real and Troikatroniks must survive and grow, but IMHO premium support  must be a real few part of that, something like:" i'm seriously in trouble, I call directly some one of the staff to be helped payng  fair amount (50€/hour)

    • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?

    student should have a quite fully functional version, may be limited to SD res or/with watermarks

    • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

    hardware can be good for  touring with not my own company like: a company call me to create a show, I use isadora as my main tool but I can not tour with the show. I rent the hardware for the tour period , I program the show and I teach the technitians how to manage the show..this can be really interesting



    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

    Features and power, I tihnk it can tell its own story if Isadora can make more of a wow factor out of the box, I would aim specifically at making isadora come with some amazing examples things that people can already use to make things, big fleible multi layered user actors creating video efffects, systems etc. Thee old examples make the system look dated and uninspiring, although they do serve the purpose as a tutorial, out of the box other software starts up after the first install and you are instantly captivated by slick up to date output. This would help a lot, seeing from the demo what is possible, makes it very enticing. Also new features, catching up with some of the other frameworks- If isadora had an alpha section, like many softwares do with no gauranteed support but experienced users can take the risk, like adding VR support (it is pretty innevitable and it sucks to be late), or native kinect or better tracking, or openCV integration as alpha actors with no support but adding features that would help ISadora catch up to peoples desires and other frameworks. Isadora is very flexible, and hence looses its identity against its piers in the node based media framework game, resolume seems king of the VJ tools, Qlab seems to be king of theatre, Mad mapper millimum and D3 take out mapping and Touch designer is the top for innovative tools and new technology. Isadora is a bit jack of all trades master of none (in its visibility). this can change with some features and some marketing/presentation.

    • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer

    Definately buy to own, personally I have sold every software I have owned that went to subscription and this will be my policy. I don't mind to pay for upgrades if there are new features but paying for the passing of time.....

    • What about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fair

    See above

    • What should the buy to own price for a new license be

    If the features are good and updates and new technology are coming fast as well as keeping the core functionality error free then 5-700 euros is fine. 

    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)

    If you think you can make money off premium support, but I dont think Isadora has the user base from that kind of market, IE I get it with D3, but there are very few people using Isadora in massive scale events that would pay top dollar for support contracts. And Isadoras track record is not good enough, to make this work a software has to have enough consectutive releases with so few bugs that the high level support is not going to be for bugs, it is for helping well to do clients in a pinch in critical situations.

    • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?

    Only if there is a difference in features

    • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

    Personally no, but if you could offer something and the support needed to maintain it I think poeple would, but this goes way further than picking a good machine and badging it and without the user base that have the cash to throw around I dont know if Izzy could invest in the R and D needed to pull this off...



  • @mark said:

    I know what it means to struggle to survive as an artist. It remains crucial to me that any artist who wants to use Isadora has a means to get their hands on it. Isadora is obviously a commercial product, but my concern for artists and artmaking has always overshadowed concerns about making a profit.

     Hi team,

    I would first like to comment on the specific statement in Mark's introduction because it suggests a sentiment that is really worth focusing on when we look at a business and pricing model. I think it also needs more clarification. To what extent does the social purpose of concern for artists overshadow making a profit? In my experience of engagement with the product, I can make the assumption that it is a VERY BIG concern that has shaped not only the developers relationship with a community but the kind of user that has been drawn to the product. Therefore, I wonder if it is worth looking at a Social Enterprise model for the Isadora business?

    At a pinch, this might involve providing a true commercial value for the product, perhaps even placing it on par with other software in the same vein, but then value adding social purpose and good to the profit end of the business. I understand there is a Troika Tronix sponsored residency program, and there might be entry level programs that provide Isadora starter packages to young and emerging artists. I think the question is really how the expression of the 'concern for artists' is maximised in the business proposition and how any proposition is tested in the market. Are there enough users in a position to procure the software at a comparable market rate and who have the empathy for the social purpose expressed by Mark, that would then delight in the profits assisting struggling artists and creative producers through some kind of appropriate social purpose, perhaps some kind of application process to no cost license for a time limited program. I am thinking here of programs like Mobygratis, where the musician known as Moby vets non-profit applications for free licenses that allow the use of his music for projects.

    All of the other propositions make sense; subscription, buy-to-own, time limited etc.

    The big question ? for me is how the social concern for artists might be expressed while growing the software and appropriately compensating those people in the development team. 

    Best Wishes,

    bonemap



    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

    I love (and agree with) the other ideas - especially marketing/advertising, and especially to schools/institutions.

    I'd love to be able to make solid, easy-to-use tools in Isadora that I can send to someone as a self-contained application. That would make it easier to market and easier to get people using it. Like @Fred said, Isadora could come with some of these. And being able to make those files could be a more-expensive license.

    • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer

    Both would be great. Though if it's one or the other, I'd have to go for subscription.

    I'd very much prefer to just own the software myself. However, I also work with people in India, who would really benefit from using Isadora, but full license fees are completely out of the question. Q-Lab, however, is used all the time. A similar short-term rental option would open opportunities like that.

    • Prices for rental/buy-to-own

    What @danshorten said.

    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)

    Support seems like a great way of price-differentiating without locking off capability, especially at the higher end. I think it may make sense to have more options than just "support" and "no support"

    In either case, I also think it's better to phrase it as having a "premium support" option than a "forum only" option, partly because the forum is for more than just tech support.

    • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?

    Definitely. Not sure how to enforce it, though it sounds like it goes hand-in-hand with support tiers.

    • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

    Developing and supporting a hardware package sounds like more trouble than it's worth, but I could see having a list of machines that you work and test on, so that we can choose similar ones. But comparing to specialized media servers - I don't think so. Isadora's something different (and better!).



    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

    make it possible to create snapchat filters, make it free to under 18s 

    • "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer

    The first (cos I already own it!)

    • What about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fair

    I don't know the market but you need to find best level for Isadora using maths and guesswork 

    • What should the buy to own price for a new license be

    500 euros?

    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)

    Is there a market for this? Would it be profitable? Good use of time? What you want to do?

    • Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?

    i think this works if you make it free for non commercial use but not sure otherwise. And can you afford that? Or some Radiohead pay as you can afford model. But it would be a brave and possibly suicidal move. Might increase the user base though. 

    • If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

    I doubt it. Unless it was a really cheap embedded programmable system. Or maybe a toothbrush. Or a hoodie!

    Are users the best people to be asking these questions? You probably are asking other people too? but important to ask potential users/other software developers.



    • What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished

    Almost no one I speak to knows about Isadora or has even seen it in action. I think Isadora has to somehow breakout of it's theatre and art workshop niche and find a broader user base. With a few changes Isadora could be an excellent real time motion graphics and compositing application and a lot of companies need to tell a story about data from financial to business performance etc so think a real time performance Keynote/PowerPoint that you can also export directly to social media.

    The rise of the Twitch streamer! Streaming on Twitch and YT is a massive growth area and Isadora is ideal for the next level live presentation, this is Izzy's bread and butter. You can already receive various live cams and capture screens with Isadora's realtime processing these could help streamers take their content to the next level. It's a highly competitive field where Streamers are fighting for their audience and any competitive advantage or help to raise production value or strengthen their online brand Isadora could give them would be highly valued. So serious are these Streamers they normally have a gaming PC and a streaming PC to do the presentation. Top streamers are earning a fortune but they are also very good 'influencers' get a top Streamer onboard using Isadora and you could open up a different market as their followers will buy Isadora for their own channels. Frankly I'm amazed that people will sit at their computer screens and pay to watch other people play games but they do and in their masses and it is a big growth business screaming out for better production value.

    I don't see anything like Isadora in the streaming space at all. Open Broadcaster seems to be _the_ streaming application of choice and it is limited to camera switching and fades etc.

    Much of the funding questions would take care of themselves with a bigger userbase and I don't think Isadora has even reached the tip of the iceberg of its potential.



  • @mark said:

    What would be your wildly unusual/crazy/unexpected means to ensure that Isadora grows and flourished"Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you preferWhat about the yearly and monthly subscription prices? What do you think is fairWhat should the buy to own price for a new license beShould we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?)Should there be a difference in price for commercial and non-commercial use?If we offered a hardware package, would you be interested to buy it?

     "Buy-to-own" or a subscription? Which do you prefer

    • "Buy-to-own" is the best possible solution for me. One of my main reasons for stickying with Isadora is that it's NOT a subsciption based.
    • What should the buy to own price for a new license be.
      100-200 Euro for upgrade.
    • Should we offer premium support and charge more for those who receive it? (Or offer a less expensive version that comes with forum-only support?).
      Pay for support seems reasonable.


  • 1. No crazyness from me

    2. Buy-to-own and subscription. Buy-to-own -- I am using Isadora in spikes, not non-stop. Subscription, temporary license: I often find people would like to try to use Isadora in their theatre projects, but they are not sure to shell out the regular license fee for a software they are not sure to be using long term -- these people are mostly non-coders, like theatre directors, but fully capable of using Isadora's basic features

    3. Monthly subscription price for the people in the above category would be something like 40 USD -- not sure this is fair for TroikaTronix, but this is maximum the people in the said category would be willing to pay, I think.

    4. Buy to own new license -- 500 USD, academic discounts 25 %

    5. Premium support -- not sure what that is, so no.

    6. Yes. Also consider my case: I have my own private license, which I use for experimentation, proof-of-concept, but then when I go to a venue with the production I always ask them to buy a license, and they always do.

    7. Myself not, but some venues might.



  • @mark

    It is not possible to edit the first answer (it means only I haven't find how) so I write again.

    I find the "Rent-to-own" concept from Qlab very interesting. Also a VGA version for school. It is frustrating for student to loose their exercices and it is not possible to buy a full license for every student.

    We can all help and place and rate Isadora every time we visit some forums and Website like Macupdate.

    best

    Jean-François


  •