A comment on the price


#1

Dear Roon Labs.

This post is going to seem like a complaint but it is meant as constructive criticism.

I am an avid music lover, I subscribe to Tidal and Spotify plus buy music through Google when I really want to support an artist. Currently thats $36 AUD a month and for that I get a massive music library. For my personal music library I use Plex to stream the music to all my devices when not at my PC.

I’ve tried Roon and I really like it, its fantastic software that is worth $. The trouble is to me its not worth $170 AUD ($119 USD) The bottom line for me is that this software does what my current software does but better, I get that and I believe it to be worth something but for me personally it costs more then Spotify for a full year and I get little extra for that dollar figure.

Maybe this software is aimed at the high end consumer and maybe you’re happy in that market only. I’m more then willing to spend cash, I firmly believe this product to be worth it but at this point the pricing doesn’t add up.
Hopefully one day the prices becomes more affordable or I am in a position I can pay the asking price, until then thank you and I wish you all the best.


(Dave Wales) #2

Agreed on all points. Fantastic piece of software, prohibitive price. I totally get how expensive software development can be and how difficult it can be starting a company in a “niche” market.

But at some point the barrier of entry needs to be low enough to see just how niche the market is, and give it a chance to show you the pricing sweet spot.

I would happily pay 60USD per year for one server/client pair of licences for instance even with no remote access, even with the prohibitive nature of a singular licence.

I guess my point is you will never please everyone with any pricing scheme, but I am willing to give up a lot of what others would consider killer features for the core product as that is all I really want, and I find it disappointing the pricing seems so set in stone because of that.

Just my humble opinion of course.


(Andy) #3

I agree that Roon is not cheap, but I disagree that Roon is inappropriately priced.

Roon’s interface is revolutionary, much like the iPhone when it first came out in 2007.

Audio (especially high end audio) is not cheap.

The lifetime fee is steep, but the price of Roon + mac mini / macbook pro retina is still cheaper than a Naim ND5XS streamer, for example. And Roon has a better interface to boot (but probably slightly inferior SQ, due to the electrical noise from the computer).

Roon may consider offering a stripped down version (with no remote, for instance) to gain more customers in the long term.


#4

One of the Roon folks mentioned here that the price is more a consequence of the costs associated with licensing the metadata than anything. Not sure what Roon would look like stripped of all that metadata?


(Steve) #5

Don’t forget that Roon is very new. It might not seem like it as its such a polished interface, but they’ve only been going a few months!

As someone else has said the cost covers their meta-data etc too, so bearing that in mind the lifetime if anything seems like really good value, and the annual perhaps a little costly. I had to think twice and opted for an annual sub in the end as I thought it was quite expensive - but there’s nothing that you can compare it to that competes if you want all the features currently there, let alone the road mapped that will come for free. Annual isn’t as good value if you plan to use it for any length of time, but its bought me a year to see if it works for me.

As things progress and they get all the features finished that are on their roadmap, maybe they will look again and be able to release slimmed down versions without all the extras or something like that - maybe linux, roonspeakers, remotes, cores, roaming, metadata editing, even local libraries aren’t needed by everyone and those people probably wont want to pay for all those things they won’t use.

At the end of the day, if there’s a lot of interest in Roon but not enough sales, it would probably be better to lower the costs a bit. For most businesses, but particularly software companies (ignoring support costs), high volume sales at a slightly reduced cost are often better than fewer sales at higher cost. The more people using Roon - at home and on the move, and talking about how much they love it - the better it will be for the Roon guys.


(Dave Wales) #6

I’ll reply fully when I next have a chance, but the biggest issue right now is that if I recommended roon to a friend they would laugh in my face based on price alone. But since it would appear that is due to metadata licencing, the one thing it does best and only reason I would buy it, I can totally understand the price.

Still disappointing, but makes total sense.


#7

@yay101

From a high end point of view, I think Roon is great value for money. In the future as Roon becomes compatible with a wider range of products it should be perceived to offer more value for money for lower priced systems. When you look at your hi-fi system what % of the value is made up by the Roon software? Are your friends hi-fi systems in the same budget as yours or would they laugh in your face about that as well (mine do!) ? :grinning:

Cheers
Tom


(Nick) #8

Dave, Get some new friends that know the value of things :wink:


(Andrew Cox) #9

When I was considering annual/lifetime I decided on life partly because I could only see the $AUD falling into the future and the Govt announced that GST would be charged on software licenses from 2016.

Neither of those things see any extra money paid to Roon, but they do make it harder for Aussies to justify joining. At least it will always be a bargain compared to Sooloos.


(Dave Wales) #10

Of course there is the value proposition as a % of the rest of a system. And of course for those with their own carefully curated collections and “good” systems roon makes up maybe 10% of a system over 10 years (assuming great equipment).

But at the same time the only thing I want from roon is to replace my headphones + last.FM setup for suggestions and album/ release tracking. So is roon simply not for me in that case? Because I love its interface and metadata, they obviously have good sources worth the licencing fees, but that’s where it ends for me.


#11

Maybe some people want it just for playback - what then reduce it to the price of iTunes? I see your point though. Roon has come out of a high end product (Sooloos) which is a niche product so it may not appeal to the masses at this stage.

Would you rather see different versions of the same product? Maybe a light version? I’m sure it could be done, but I suspect that its not their highest priority at this stage.

Cheers
Tom


(Steve) #12

Actually, even as a user of the main Roon, I’d be interested in ‘light’ options.

My situation - I sometimes listen to music at work, with headphones. Previously I would have used iTunes and Qobuz apps, and have only a small subset of my music there, the rest is streamed. Having used Roon for a little while at home, I’d like to carry on with the same interface at work. Really all I’m using it for is streaming from Tidal, so although I can do the same thing with their app, its harder to find things as Im more used to Roon. Also, even some of the album art is different between the two, which makes things less easy to spot.

I dont want to mess with my home setup to move licenses, so the reality is, even as a subscribed member of Roon, I wouldn’t buy another license for this scenario - I’ll make do with other (free) options.

I can see why perhaps some people who only listen in this way might feel a ‘light’ Roon would be better, and I’m sure in the future it may come, after all, the ‘light’ version leads to a full version once you know what you’d be missing by going back to other players….

There really isn’t any competition out there in terms of their interface and SQ combined.


#13

The complexing factor is that Roon is a service as well. I presume they have staff working on updating and adding metadata all the time. The more users the larger the number of new titles that have to be entered. If that wasn’t a factor, I think the Borland doctrine would work here too: you better make 5.000.000 times $ 10 than 100.000 times $ 100. It will be quite a challenge to the RoonLabs people to find the right compromise for a given moment in time. I wouldn’t be surprised when within a few years the monthly fee will drop. Paying as much for the metadata en UI as one pays for the HQ music via Tidal feels twisted. Having said that: my god I love what Roon offers!


#14

I think the price is pretty fair for such good software as long as the development continues. I pay £100 a year for Office for example and I’d rather be investing in music than spreadsheets :slight_smile: . The development is the key though. If the software gets to the point where its not developed / improved anymore then the subscription would not be worth it, but if the guys are continually adding new features and integrations then I am happy to pay it. Given its only a few months young, the future looks very bright. It’s pretty incredible what been achieved in such a short space of time.


(Michael) #15

No question that the Roon software is pretty amazing and continues to evolve – that’s worth a good bit. Roon Lab’s approach to customer support is also 2nd to none. But what makes Roon so valuable to me – and has been stated before - is how they’ve integrated the provision of the metadata into the software. That makes them both a software and service provider. The upfront purchase was perhaps a leap-of-faith, but everything I’ve seen since then has only reinforced my confidence that it is a great investment.


(Eduardo Serrano) #16

Ok. I was one of the first ones to experience Roon just after its launch. I chose to wait a bit more because, where I live, in Brazil, there was no Tidal service, also I was looking for support for raspberry. I loved the service and I really want to come back.

But now, I find it really hard to justify paying more for Roon than for my Tidal subscription (HIFI). Tidal flac option costs just 90 dollars a year here and Roon would cost 120. I know its difficult to put a price on a good service but I find it unfair to pay more for information (metadata) than for the artist’s marrow (music).

The point is, prices should adjust for local markets, like Tidal, Adobe and others do. Tidal costs 240 dollars in US, way more than here, and if Tidal managed to convince the music rights owners that it would be a good idea to shape prices for each market, I think Roonlabs could break the same kind of deal with the metadata providers.

I loved Roon while I tried and I think it would be quite successful, within its language limits, here in Brazil.


(Ulf Jälmbrant) #17

TIDAL in Sweden is 199SEK, more than $20 but less than £20.

I fell in love with roon and bought a lifetime membership without a second thought.

I’m pretty young and is not planning to die anytime soon so the price of roon can not be measured even.

Even the Annual Membership is no more expensive than Spotify.

Tidal hifi is still twice as expensive as roon.

roon makes tidal 100% better and it fully supports your growing collection of physical CDs.
It’s just seamless. Finally there is a great aplication that can output lossless bitstream from both your physical collection and Tidal. This means I can use my digital soundcard to my reciever for high end DAC far away from noisy computer parts.

I just wish they would add support for playing lossless surround sound music so I can listen to lord of the rings properly surounded within roon. I currently rely on foobar2000 and the difference would be night and day.

Stop complaining about the pricing of cheap software and go somewhere else.

If you like roon you buy it. There isn’t that much to discuss.


#18

Bra sagt! (Swedish) Totally agree!


#19

+1, the op’s currency has a lost a little to the USD, mine has lost 50% over the last year and I still think Roon is great value for money, and affordable. I guess it’s all a matter of priority. I wonder if there are posts like these on Porsche, Ferrari, Rolex etc. forums.


(Ronald Lyster) #20

This is a great product, do doubt. Pricey? Yes. Still a few rough edges? Of course.

Price matters. It is the only thing holding me back. I will probably go for a year-by-year subscription. Why not a lifetime license? Because I’ve been there before. I’ve seen Logitech dump Squeezebox. I’ve seen MusicIP leave the scene. I’ve even seen Microsoft dump Windows Home Server (where I had my music files). With any assurance of longevity, and a bigger price break, I would unhesitatingly go for a lifetime license.