Cantabile 3 includes one year worth of free updates. Beyond that first year there is a annual subscription to continue to receive updates.

This post clarifies some confusion over this new pricing model and also explains the rationale behind it.

It’s Not a Subscription to Use the Software

The first thing to say about this new pricing model is that this is not a mandatory annual subscription to use the software. The subscription is only for updates.

If your subscription expires, the software will continue to run — you’ll just miss out on any new features and updates.

How Renewals Work

W̶h̶e̶n̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶r̶e̶n̶e̶w̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶C̶a̶n̶t̶a̶b̶i̶l̶e̶ ̶s̶u̶b̶s̶c̶r̶i̶p̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶i̶r̶y̶ ̶d̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶e̶x̶t̶e̶n̶d̶e̶d̶ ̶f̶r̶o̶m̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶u̶r̶r̶e̶n̶t̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶i̶r̶y̶ ̶d̶a̶t̶e̶.̶ ̶I̶f̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶s̶u̶b̶s̶c̶r̶i̶p̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶e̶x̶p̶i̶r̶e̶s̶ ̶i̶n̶ ̶F̶e̶b̶r̶u̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶2̶0̶1̶7̶,̶ ̶n̶o̶ ̶m̶a̶t̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶i̶f̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶r̶e̶n̶e̶w̶ ̶b̶e̶f̶o̶r̶e̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶a̶f̶t̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶a̶t̶ ̶d̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶r̶ ̶s̶u̶b̶s̶c̶r̶i̶p̶t̶i̶o̶n̶ ̶w̶i̶l̶l̶ ̶b̶e̶ ̶e̶x̶t̶e̶n̶d̶e̶d̶ ̶u̶n̶t̶i̶l̶ ̶F̶e̶b̶r̶u̶a̶r̶y̶ ̶2̶0̶1̶8̶.̶

Update: Starting 5 March 2018 the renewal process has been tweaked slightly to make it fairer and/or cheaper. See this article about Early Bird Discounts.

Renewals can be purchased in the Cantabile User Portal by clicking on the Cantabile 3 license to be renewed and clicking the renew link.

The price for renewals are:

  • Cantabile 3 Performer 1 Year Renewal = USD$99
  • Cantabile 3 Solo 1 Year Renewal = USD$39

Why This Change?

During the development of Cantabile 3 much thought went into ways to ensure Cantabile can survive as a long-term viable business. An important part of that viability is some recurring revenue.

Most software companies earn this recurring revenue by releasing a new version every year or so and charging an upgrade price. This model is very common and generally well accepted by customers.

The problem with this model is the way it incentivizes the software company. In this model, the developer is incentivized (possibly even required) to hold back new features until next year’s version. The motivation is to have a nice long bullet list of features to make the upgrade attractive to customers.

Compare this to an update subscription model. In this model the developer is motivated to provide a steady stream of worthwhile updates — lest the customer perceive the subscription as not worth the subscription fee and cancels.

There’s one other reason I’ve decided on this model: Cantabile’s development depends heavily on a fast feedback cycle between implementing new features and then fine tuning them over time. A subscription model provides much better support for this kind of development.

To Sum Up

Cantabile’s new subscription model is only for updates and doesn’t prevent you using the software should your subscription expire.

The rationale for this model is that it provides a more viable business model that supports ongoing development of the product. It’s also a model that encourages a constant stream of updates and new features and supports the important feedback loop to iterate and improve on those features.