Lifetime price increase, $499 -> $699

We’ve been getting questions about the lifetime price increase, and if people can still get the old pricing. Let me explain what we are willing to offer and why.

Old pricing

We are willing to extend the old pricing to:

  • Trial subscriptions that were started before the price increase, as long as you are still in trial. After your trial expires, the new pricing will apply.
  • Annual subscriptions that began before the price increase but are 30 days or less into the annual. If you are more than 30 days into your annual (since it started, not since it renewed), the new pricing will apply.

If you qualify, please contact us via email: contact [at] roonlabs.com – they will take care of you. Make sure you have your credit card on file at https://roonlabs.com/account.html

Why the price increase?

We initially offered the lifetime for early commitment, not so people could rent-to-own. The goal was to bring forward 4-5 years of revenue so we could fund the start of the company. It worked. We never raised external funding.

However, as we keep expanding the product and the team, paying for new data sources, and increasing our per-user costs (particularly those that recur monthly or annually), the lifetime subscription is not healthy for our future. It never was healthy; it was just a way to feed our hungry business early on.

Since those early days, we have grown considerably. Cash flow is more predictable, and we are investing in longer-term projects; the lifetime continues to be the “junk food” of our revenue stream. Tasty for sure, but not healthy.

What Roon needs now is a regular and dependable revenue stream for business sustainability and ongoing product development; we get that with annual subscriptions, not lifetimes.

Many times over the last few years, we’ve discussed eliminating the lifetime option. While this would serve the goal of “getting off the junk food,” it would be very disruptive to both our day-to-day cash flow and to our resellers, who often bundle lifetime subscriptions with premium hardware purchases.

Our solution was to increase the price of a lifetime. It gradually weans us off the junk food. Some of you won’t care about the price increase and will continue to buy the lifetime. Some will find the price too steep and go with the annual instead. A few of you will be so offended you leave us entirely. That’s an unfortunate reaction, for us and for you!

Why leave out current annual subscribers from old pricing? Why no advance notice?

Let’s imagine we sent out a price increase notice, what would happen? Well, we have some experience with this.

When we first launched the product back in May 2015, we were offering the lifetime at a “introductory discount” of 10% off, $450. In October of 2015, we sent out a notice that stated: “hey everyone, next week the price is going up!” The result was monumental and completely unexpected. We made more revenue in October than we made in all of 2015. Wow! That notice resulted in substantially funding our next year.

So, that sounds great! Who doesn’t want all that revenue upfront? Well, we don’t. It’s unhealthy for the long-term sustainability of the business. It would pull forward a significant amount of revenue and then leave us in a multi-year cash flow drought.

Notices of price increases are customarily handed out in 2 different scenarios:

  1. When it doesn’t matter. For example, when Netflix increases its subscription price, you are being notified, but you have no choice in the matter.
  2. When companies want your cash today, like we did in October 2015. This is the behavior of an immature or cash-starved business, and not one looking towards the future.

We did not raise the price of the annual, so this isn’t the first scenario. We are actively foregoing short term cash flow in hopes of a long and healthy future, so it isn’t the second one either.

We could have had our best sales month ever by announcing that we were doing this at the end of the month. That’s just not what we’re looking for.

That’s why we didn’t give out a notice.

If you have been with us for a year or even longer, it may sting to have lost out here, but you had ample time to convert to a lifetime. If we let everyone do this now, we’d be gorging ourselves on junk food.

$699 is too much for Roon’s lifetime subscription

From our point of view, this isn’t accurate. To us, a lifetime sale represents a commitment to support a subscriber, including all the future costs associated with that commitment.

The lifetime should not be an aspiration for Roon subscribers. It hurts us as a company and is not a viable business model for our future. If the price increase has reduced demand for lifetime subscriptions, that’s a good thing for our business.

It’s unlikely that we’ll offer a lifetime option forever. If you enjoy Roon and believe in what we’re doing, the best way to support it is to subscribe annual. We will do our level best to earn that support for many years to come.

The annual is STILL $119 for a year. That’s $10 a month. If Roon isn’t worth $10 a month to you, then we are doing something wrong and you should go elsewhere. It certainly brings me more joy than $10 every month, and our business vision is to do the same for every one of our subscribers.

142 Likes

As someone who is new to Roon (and signed up for the trial prior to the lifetime price increase), I’m really impressed by your thought process and transparency here. What you said makes a lot of sense regarding the subscription, though I think it’s big of you to let trial folks like me access to the old lifetime pricing if I choose to do so. It says a lot for your company culture and values.

I’ve got about 10 more days left on my trial and I’m going to give careful consideration to both pricing options. Best regards!

12 Likes

I’d say that’s one of the best, most articulate and most transparent explanations of a price increase I’ve heard from any company. Your honesty and straightforwardness is appreciated. It also sounds like a solid, well-thought-out business plan

27 Likes

A lifetime subscription was and is a huge amount of money for me three years ago, almost the price of my setup (Kef R100 speakers and a second hand Mission Cyrus II amp).

But - though ROON is not there yet in terms of GUI, completeness - I never regretted it. I tried and used almost every music app out-there but none gave me the joy which ROON gives.

A monthly subscription model is the only way to prevent future new topics as “Is Roon dying”.

7 Likes

Very well explained Danny.

6 Likes

Excellent explanation of the price increase and reasons behind it.

3 Likes

I was trying for a year to see how it goes then 500$, looks like going to be 700$

Still an opportunity for yearly users would be nice, at least 600$ for them

5 Likes

I can’t make decisions for others BUT as for me, I have been a subscriber since the beginning and can say Roon has been the best addition to my digital experience. Given what it does, it is a bargain as far as I am concerned.

7 Likes

A post was split to a new topic: New pricing structure?

I was an early adopter as well and purchased a lifetime subscription which I have now paid back compared to yearly. Roon has been a huge boon to my music enjoyment, couple that with HQPlayer integration, the best music upsampling program out there and integration with Tidal or Qobuz it is simply a no brainer. Annual at $119 is very reasonable and lifetime at $699 is as well if you are a music loving fool who spends many hours per month listening to music.

Danny’s right, lifetime is not a model for long term success, it has to go away or raise it’s price continually to make it worthwhile for them to offer it. If you are in music for life and under 60 years old lifetime is a no brainer, so is annual renewal. Sure I don’t like when my renewal bill comes for Amazon Prime or Costco but I pay and then forget and enjoy the benefits through the year. Roon’s not perfect but it is the best most useful music player out there. Good job!!

4 Likes

I have been a Roon lifetime subscriber for a few years now. I absolutely love the software and believe it is the finest music software product available on the planet!

Honestly I have been very surprised that Roon had not eliminated the lifetime subscription before. I expected it to happen a couple years ago.

I hear (and read) people complaining about Roon pricing in forums, etc., and have always expressed my view that it is the best and believe it is a value. Yes my lifetime subscription was a good chunk of change at the time, but I consider it one of the best audio investments that I have made.

I see how much people pay for subscriptions for other services and am surprised that they complain at the price. I also understand that some people may complain that $119 is a lot to pay at one time for a yearly subscription. I might suggest Roon considering a month sub for these people. Maybe $12.99 or $14.99 a month. Some people might find this easier and it will help Roon’s bottom line, in my view.

4 Likes

Just started < 30 days ago, and will take advantage of old lifetime price. Emailed a few moments ago, hopefully makes it’s way through.

2 Likes

Roon’s launch, for me, was very much like an MMO launch in terms of pricing. And that has worked out for me, in every case except one. So jumping onto Roon Lifetime was a no-brainer from the get-go.

Roon could have gone with micro-transactions or base software + add-ons; but those systems cost more in build time, testing time, billing and collection, and support. All-in yearly sub is the easiest to get off the ground.

Monthly billing is probably a larger support staff investment or more investment if you have to out-source the function.

A post was split to a new topic: Can I get old pricing?

Thank you for honoring for trial members! I had just started testing it. Just sent an email, anything we should include in the email?

1 Like

Thanks for the great explanation. Coming to the end of my first year on annual and loving the product. Problem for me is it’s now 1,000 Canadian pesos for lifetime. Ouch.

There are very few decisions I’ve regretted less than getting an annual subscription to this wonderful product. I’m glad you have a business model almost guarantees Roon will see me out.

1 Like

Yes. This thread should be the death of that thread. They’re very clearly stating/showing that they don’t WANT (and certainly don’t need) a great big pile of “candy” in order to stay alive… if they were desperate/dying they’d still be willing to rot their teeth to stay afloat. There was/is an opportunity here to have a Halloween Night’s haul worth of candy… and they don’t want it. Don’t need it.

There wants and needs are long-term now, not short-term. That’s not the way a company that’s “dying” thinks…

This is good news. I love Roon.

8 Likes

Ugh… I’ve been an annual member for 4 years.

For two of those years I was waiting for Bluesound to get Roon Ready.

My "I’ll convert to lifetime, when… " decision was entirely linked to the availability of more than one streaming service. I wanted to be sure that my “virtual” library in Roon would be portable from service to service (since my physical music purchases are vinyl). That happened with the addition of Qobuz, just this year.

In the meantime, my main rig was streamed by a Node 2i, which is still not working with Roon even though it is “RoonReady” and I purchased it on that basis only a month ago… only to find that claim false in this instance.

I understand the rationale from Roon’s perspective… but it is completely from Roon’s perspective and its tough not to feel a bit offended given I’ve been giving Roon 4 years of “healthy food” while they worked out the kinks in the ecosystem.

I’m sure from where Roon sits, they aren’t responsible for the ecosystem. That’s fair from Roon’s perspective.

From my perspective, the value of Roon was tying together that ecosystem so that it can be my “final” music library browser that actually integrates with my streaming services and gear.

3 Likes