I know you may be holding a decision on price until release but can you give us a ballpark? Like under $100 or between $100 and $150 etc…?
I haven’t decided yet. The introduction price will not be above 100€ ~ 120$. I would like to hear peoples comment on this though.
It seems products are partly judged on their price. If the price is high it is assumed to be good. Too low and it is assumed to be pretty simple stuff. HOWEVER. If its too high only pros can afford it and they are happy with what they have for the most part. I know guys that try out new stuff but not as likely when its priced high. Some of the most successful stuff succeeded by maintaining a low price over a long period while keeping a steady progression of improvements and adequate support. Fruity Loops comes to mind but Cool Edit is another. Some of the higher priced stuff used to fall into that category.
One problem you can have with a low price is a huge user base that all demands support. It just seems that the lower the price the more likely you will get beginners who tend to need a LOT of help on the simplest of concepts. On the other hand, if you give them a good product you can catch them before they even learn about other products on the market. With moderate charges for regular updates you can have a steady income from these loyal costomers for years.
I have been involved with MIDI sequencing practically since the beginning and one thing is clear: People would rather stick with the software they have become used to than switch to something else even though it may be better. If you get people new to computer music hooked then you will have many of them hooked for life. The trick then is to reach them first, keep them happy and do this without blowing your profits on tech support.
A good community message board really helps. Caligari trueSpace (a 3D graphics program) does this really well. I think one reason there are so many helpful people on their email list is that they have a plugin architecture and the guys trying to sell thier plugins watch the boards and help out with the payoff that people learn about thier plugins and buy them.
I don’t know if you can be succesful having a unique plugin architecture but if you were able to support MFX plugins, possibly both Cakewalk and Steinberg’s versions. Then you would be the only app that does this as far as I know. And that alone could bring a lot of business.
I regularly check a VST themed web site called
that has news on most of the VST and VSTi plugins as well as SOME info on hosts. I learned about Podium via that site while checking ALL the hosts for features I want. Steinberg recently released a new version of their SDK that finally provides access to thier MFX plugin architecture and so far I have not seen any plugins. One stragegy would be if you could both support Steinberg MFX plugins and create at least one or two of your own to sell on the side. You could make money on the plugins separate from Podium but you could also offer a bundle discount when buying both Podium and a plugin. This way you could use people’s insatiable desire for plugins to get them interested in Podium as well. Naturally they would then spread the word back to their friends. As people learned there are now two apps that support Steinberg MFX plugins that would both encourage the development of those plugins AND they demand for the one or two you are selling, but ALSO the demand for applications that can use them. Podium, for example. Hah, you should be paying me. 🙂
Excellent advise, thanks Donald.
With regards to the new Steinberg MFX alternative (VST Module Architecture); I downloaded the SDK the day it was announced, but later saw a message on their lists that this SDK is not open for other host developers. Great, I thought, one less architecture to worry about.
If you had asked me two years ago, I would have intended a price of ~200€ for Podium. However the market has been swamped with low cost alternatives, so to get a foothold I need to introduce Podium at a low price.
With regards to future pricing, I have been contemplating an idea involving licenses. I would rather avoid splitting Podium into bronce, silver, gold, whatever, editions when I expand on the feature set. I had imagined that I could offer major new features as add-on licenses.
Such a license could be e.g. a high-quality extension, offering 64-bit floating point processing, advanced time-stretching and dithering algos possibly supplied by third parties developers.
All users would download the same application, but the ones that have purchased licenses would then have access to extra features in Podium. This would make it easier for me to maintain the code base, and it will be possible to maintain a low price for the base package for new users. I also believe that entry level users would be comfortable knowing their cheap product can easily be transformed into a true professional product.
yes, excellent idea about the upgradedable ‘modules’
(not really modules I know :wink:) 8)
I’d call it Podium basic which could be about 60-80$ and then you could
upgrade whenever and to whatever you need.
I’d say something like 200$ for the full featured-version would be fair,
once the feature list has grown a bit.
I can only speak for myself, but I once happily paid 200EUR for Sonar2XL
and thought it was a bargain, I wouldn’t have paid much more though.
What I like about this upgrade-idea is that people who are a bit tight
on the money could say: ‘I buy the basic version this month, then maybe
the advanced time stretching next month and 64bit processing the month after that’
It simply makes sense in the internet-age. 😀
I agree, for sure. That is a really excellent idea. I don’t think I have heard of any other sequencers with that approach I could be wrong though.
I very much like the modular approach to sequencing functions and pricing. For example, I was recently looking into purchasing Orion. I tried comparing the Pro and Platinum versions. For the most part I liked the Pro version and it’s pricing. However, there were a few key features from the Platinum version that I absolutely required. The price jump from Pro to Plat was huge though, and didn’t represent enough value for me. The concept of buying a base host and adding in additional functions for different costs is very appealing to me. I guess this may be difficult to manage in terms of on-line shop and granting license keys for modules but it may be worth it. This would be very similar to how Emagic handle the keys for their softsynths: everyone has the same software installed, but you pay for individual keys that unlock individual functionality (in this case synths).
Some things that could be added-on features (maybe not within the Podium paradigm, but you get the idea):
extra busses, sends, submix channels (where the base version comes with a limited number)
extra # plugins per project
acid style audio clips
built in sidechaining for fx
midi fx package (chords, arps, etc)
I’d think that with a reasonable cost for the base host, you would have an easy time coaxing another $30 out of each customer for wanted functions.
I agree that pricing Podium is going to be quite tricky. On the one hand it is clear that years of development effort have already gone into it. On the other hand, it doesn’t yet appear to be a completely (how can I put this without being insulting or offensive?) professional package (forgive me).
I would expect at the very least a comprehensive help file included in the installer. It’s not really acceptable for the documentation to only be available online, and that is still incomplete. I know I’m being harsh, but charging more than just a nominal amount gives rise to certain expectations. Also, there should be at least one demo project that allows users to make a sound without requiring a bunch of additional plugins, even if they are free. It can be short, but just something that can be used to verify the basic setup is correct.
That said, I understand that further development and polishing has to be funded somehow. It would help if the web pages gave some sort of indication of the license agreement. Many other shareware products indicate whether the license fee is for the current version only, or minor upgrades, or (the products I like best) perpetual licenses. If the license is not perpetual, some indication of future upgrade prices would be good.
When I first read about Podium, I was very impressed with the ideas behind it and the way all the elements are hierarchically organised. I would so very much like to like this product. But it’s taken me about half an hour to figure out how to insert a pre-existing sound file into a track (all the documentation/tutorials seem to be either about recording audio into tracks or using soft synths). Inserting a sound file into the project was easy enough, but getting into the track is another matter. I still haven’t got a sound out of it yet, so I’ll have to study the online docs/videos again. (Most other products I’ve tried this has been made as easy as possible.)
Sorry this has turned into a bit of a whinge. But I’ve used a wide variety of audio software, so I’m not a complete newbie. However, so far Podium has been quite opaque, though obviously powerful. You have a dilemma here. It is too sophisticated to undercharge for it, but at the moment it is difficult for me to justify the $90.
Thanks for your feedback. I agree with you on most points.
There are many different kinds of sequencer users. I hope that the current Podium feature set will be satisfactory for a small user base, which then hopefully will grow once new features are added.
I do not try to hide the shortcommings of Podium, and missing features and flaws in operation are clearly on display in this community. The demo you can download are fully functional. So if users buy a Podium license now, they hopefully have determined beforehand that Podium will work for them in its current state. Although a lot of features are still missing, I like to think that Podium is a mature program with regards to stability, and I do not feel that I have released Podium prematurely.
To be able to reach a broad userbase, a lot of the missing features need to implemented. That’s why you won’t see me put out pressreleases yet to places like Harmony Central etc. I wouldn’t dare to approach the ‘professional’ industry at this point in time, or I would risk getting a bad reputation. However I do aim to address the professional industry eventually. Podium is meant to be powerful and not a toy.
Also, there should be at least one demo project that allows users to make a sound without requiring a bunch of additional plugins, even if they are free.
Agreed. At some point I need to add further examples.
It would help if the web pages gave some sort of indication of the license agreement. Many other shareware products indicate whether the license fee is for the current version only, or minor upgrades, or (the products I like best) perpetual licenses. If the license is not perpetual, some indication of future upgrade prices would be good.
Good point. Currently I intend to go with the license add-on as discussed previously in this topic. So the basic Podium license is ‘perpetual’, or in other words, includes lifetime updates.
Thank you for your response. I am glad that you treated it in the spirit in which it was intended, that is potentially harsh criticism but given because I would like your product to succeed. Also, you have reassured me quite a bit. Mind you, I am still having problems getting a sound out, but I will create a new thread about this.
The demo you can download are fully functional. So if users buy a Podium license now, they hopefully have determined beforehand that Podium will work for them in its current state. Although a lot of features are still missing, I like to think that Podium is a mature program with regards to stability, and I do not feel that I have released Podium prematurely.
Podium in it’s current state has provided me with a creative breath of fresh air. It took a little bit to get my head wrapped around how it works, but it wasn’t too difficult and I’m enjoying the results.
Yes, it’s missing some things and it could have some aspects a bit more polished, but I purchased my license confident that Podium will improve. In fact, I consider my license purcahse an investment in it’s future. It’s clear how much thought and attention has already gone into it.
I agree 100% with you ageis. I have purchased Podium for the exact same reasons.
I’ve found Podium has many *three* strengths over other sequencers.
1. A studio setup is defined once and once only. Once done, use of *all* devices (hardware based, software based plug-ins) can be used…simply and painless. no-need to specify nasty techy stuff….thats already been done.
2. The HMx engine ( 😛 ) is very logical. Its very easy to trace the path of audio. Much more so than a traditional hardware/based mixer.
3. Automation is soooo easy to do. Not bothering with automation read/write is such a time saver. The introduction of a slider for each parameter is also fantastic.
There are a good few things lacking however. I do alot of midi-editing, and there is alot tool-swappng and keyboard-pressing involved when manipulating events. Which would be greatly eased with context sensitive mouse positions and short-cut keys for tools. In fact all the midi-editing suggestions in the ‘future development’ post, I think are critical.
There is no mentronome count-in, which I think is vital to recording.
All in all. The future is very bright for Podium. I remember reading on the web-site, that fritz took a year off to see if Podium was commercially viable, its a definite yes!…once a few essential features are implemented, there will be nothing out there to touch Podium at this price range.
I’m not sold on the idea yet! I think the price is too high as the app is missing a few features (or not yet complete) in essence the purchaser becomes a beta tester but pays for it. I think the VAT is very high too.
But then I have not fully explored this demo yet and I will see what the answers to the questions are like too, plus examine the forums in detail.
I think the VAT is very high too.
Sadly there is nothing I can do about the VAT.
I think the VAT is very high too.
Sadly there is nothing I can do about the VAT.
Hi! Zynewave, 🙂
Nar! vat’s a cruel invention by our governments 😉 – but you could still do something about the price this early in the game. Here is my thinking on it.
Right now you have a quite a young application in the public eye, just starting to get known about – at this time you would want more users (maybe) to help isolate bugs and get a wider audience in terms of hardware and software combinations being used.
It may well take a long time to build up a client base with its current price because there are more established products on the market at a lower cost – however in the future when you add more features from feedback from your early users – this price could well go up accordingly for new users – the old users get rewarded for supporting you early on by getting the product at a cost effective price now, while its still sorting out it’s teething issues. The new later users pay more because more of the issues would have been resolved by then – plus – your application would have become more established – and have a broader user base to help push the product forward.
Just my thinking there 🙂