The licensing of software has certainly evolved over the past 20+ years. I’m old enough to remember when software was delivered on floppy disks that were actually floppy. Yes, I’m talking about those 360K 5.25-inch beasts. You’d get a stack of them for larger programs and then spend the day switching disks in and out of your floppy drive. And if you didn’t own a hard drive … well, let’s not even go there.
It was thrilling when 3.5-inch diskettes came out, first in the 720K variety, and then the 1.44-MB whoppers. Large programs still required multiple discs – just not as many.
I about pooped my pants when CD-ROMs went mainstream and even large programs could be delivered on and installed from a single disc. Of course, with all that room, it was inevitable that software would become so bloated, it had to be delivered on multiple CDs.
Finally, broadband became ubiquitous and you didn’t need any physical media at all. Just download the installer program and install the software on your huge hard drive that could hold hundreds and hundreds of floppies worth of data. The first time I did that, well … I don’t even want to think about what comes after pooping my pants.
The only problem was keeping the software up to date. You’d have to go out and hunt down updated software once in a while. And for major version changes, the software vendor made you pay even more money to stay current. There was the “buy it new” price and the upgrade price.
Now software vendors have it right. More and more, you see the subscription, or pay-as-you-go, model for everything from productivity software to security and virus protection. It makes everything so easy. That’s why my company, OmniChannel Communications, adopted a subscription model for our FinancialFeed financial education portal.
The subscription model offers users these three important benefits:
- Once you set up an automatic payment method, you never have to think about it again. That little bit of money is automatically drafted from your credit union account for as long as you want to keep using the software.
- Software is generally cheaper delivered this way. Software vendors like … no, they lovethe idea of steady, recurring revenue, and happily factor that into their pricing.
- Most important of all, you’re always assured of having the latest software. There are no upgrades to buy and install. Your software just keeps getting better and better as if by magic, with minimal effort from you.
Simply stated, software subscriptions make sense for everybody involved.
And now it’s time for my shameless plug. If you’re looking for a financial content provider who updates content weekly, provides a convenient plug-and-play info portal you can put on your website, grants you a non-exclusive license to use the content outside the portal, and delivers all this in a subscription model, click here now.