Lifetime price increase, $499 -> $699

While I understand the reasons for this increase. I believe that annual pricing should go down.
The software business model is to divide the development costs between many customers.
I would assume Roon has many more customers now than in the past. But annual price is still high compared to other services like Netflix and Tidal. Big difference is those services provide content from other sources that has to be paid. With Roon you still need to pay Tidal and Qobuz subscriptions to get that content.
Annual Roon subscription should be around 50-60 USD and probably you will have a much bigger customer base. Specially from customers of small countries like me. Tidal and Netflix (also Deezer and Spotify) subscriptions are half the price on those countries because people here simply can’t pay first world prices.


I’m an annual subber so unaffected by this, but here’s my take:

By making the purchase price $700 you’re going to lose picking up new subscribers (yes, annuals).

People will see the headline price, think “that looks especially egregious” and walk away.

You should have just removed the outright purchase option completely.


Mark, the annual price has not changed, so I’m not sure many potential annual subscribers will be put off the change in the lifetime price.

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Subscription-based software is still relatively new to home consumers, outside of O365 and Adobe.

Roon’s main demographic is a slightly older one looking to move on from free software like iTunes or direct-use apps like Spotify. They are used to looking at the outright purchase price first. When they see $700 that’s going to kick off an emotional trigger. If it were me approaching it for the first time, I don’t think it projects a image of the product being for for the home-user. That’s semi-pro/pro pricing.

If the only option was to sub @ $10/m or $120/y, I don’t think I’d have that negative perception from the off.

Imagine a casual conversation in the pub when someone asks you how much Roon is to buy. Just don’t offer a purchase price that’s going to have someone snorting beer through their nostrils.

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Here’s another issue:

Yes, makes sense.

sorry, wut?

Include a 3-year subscription. How hard is that?

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it = eliminating the lifetime
disruptive = would alter in a considerable way
cash flow = the money that comes in and leaves, often used to run the company’s operations

We don’t want to take a giant hit on our cash flow as we are trying to grow, but at the same time, we want to move out of the lifetime. What we need is to decrease demand for the lifetime, but not all at once. Increasing the cost of the lifetime solves that problem.

That’s why we are going to kill the lifetime option soon enough.

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Whilst I agree that elimination of the lifetime option is definitely the way to go for Roon now and in the future, I have a question about future Nucleus/+ owners.
I bought my Nucleus earlier this year, and going with lifetime was a ‘no brainer’. After all, who would buy a Nucleus/+ and not want to go lifetime.
If lifetime were to be eliminated in the future (which I agree with), would it make good business sense to give future Nucleus buyers only the option of a lifetime sub at $699?


…about half of them…


I would have thought it would be many more? After all, after dropping a couple of $k on a Nucleus, which is used for Roon exclusively, I would have thought the vast majority would want lifetime.
It just goes to show the variations in human behaviour!


Cash flow is not improved by one-off receipts.

Cash-flow is improved by one-off receipts. Future cash-flow is not.


It seems that many people who thought $499 was too expensive for a lifetime subscription now think $699 is too expensive. While that shouldn’t surprise anyone, I’m guessing that most of those who avoided the $499 price were never going to buy a lifetime plan. If they were, the usual life lesson apples: wait long enough and the prices of just about everything increase.


A post was merged into an existing topic: What happens with the lifetime subscribers if the company folds or is sold?

Surely the decent thing Roon should do would be to allow current annual subscribers to upgrade to lifetime at the $499 rate? New subsribers will only know the new pricing model. Where has this arbitrary 30 days grace come from? Personally I feel cheated. It was intention to upgrade to lifetime when I took receipt of my new system, a KEF LS50W, just last week! I appeal to Roon rethink your approach here. Thanks


Why is this the ‘the decent thing’?
The COO has explained that making that offer will compromise the business cash flow. It could then:

  1. Put the livelihood of his employees at risk.
  2. Constrain Roon’s ability to develop the product for improved utility.
  3. Threaten the future viability of the product for all Roon users, including those who choose to maintain the annual fee.

What he’s done is made the responsible but unpopular decision to put the aforementioned considerations ahead of short term gains. One could argue it’s selfish to ask Roon to do otherwise to placate the feelings of users that couldn’t make a timely decision. I really don’t think that’s the case. But sometimes doing the right thing will cheese people off. That’s the downside of being a C-suite executive.


Imminently reasonable and completely understandable / we have had so many add ons since being a ~"lifetime"subscriber i am glad that there is proposition which makes both the business model sustainable and provides an opportunity for “lifetime” subscribers to participate in not only continuing enjoying the benefits of Roon software development but providing “lifetime” members to contribute somewhat to the business / personally I am.of the view that this increase is still dis~proportional to what Roon has contributed in terms of audio experience usurped by me in terms of enjoyment as compared to the labour hours contributed by the Roon team

I disagree, it was already too expensive.

Now is insane for a software that is target for entertainment.

I hope someone start a open source free app as happened with XBMC and then turn KODI.


Can you list some examples? I’m curious to how companies screw this up.

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Danny my experience with Roon has been fabulous so far, I have turned a few folks onto it.

With that said, I joined in July and am still sorting out my system configuration in regards to Roon core servers. I was planning on moving to the lifetime subscription at the difference to the full $499 cost(so roughly $400-420 total) after that was done. I understand the need to decrease for the lifetime overall but we are just asking for a small window for existing users(e.g. 30 days) versus the no notice approach. If we(newer users) miss that window then shame on us.


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When a business opts for lifetime pricing at the outset, there will always be pain when changing the lifetime pricing or eliminating it outright at some later point when the company is fiscally solid and not burning cash on development and customer acquisition.

Roon’s pain is exacerbated by two factors I believe. One, the lifetime pricing was always too low. That’s not judgement in hindsight either. I believe both annual and lifetime pricing hasn’t changed until now, so the delta risk that a lifetime subscriber was taking on was $380, which is 320% or just over 3 years at annual rates. Everyone was risking at least $119. Many lifetime subscribers got in at $449, so the risk was even less for those early adopters. It was much too cheap, especially because Roon was a very polished 1.0 release (that everyone was able to fully test for 30 days). It wasn’t a half-baked launch like something like Google Stadia is today. Roon 1.0 was 80% of what it is today, if not more.

Second, they’ve let the lifetime option last far too long. 4 years past launch to offer a lifetime subscription for a product that is mature, and has been for sometime, is unnecessary.

The combination of these two creates some of discomfort between Roon and it’s annual customers. A lot of that just is the nature of the beast. This is business. There will always be unhappy customers.

However, there is one thing that doesn’t really pass the smell test and why I agree that some of the anger is justified. Neither of the two reasons offered as to why lifetime pricing is still in effect make any sense.

The easier one to debunk is the bundled lifetime with hardware. There’s no reason those can’t go on independent of this decision. I didn’t do a lot of research on what products lifetime is available with, but I believe most of these are in the $5000+ bracket at minimum. This is a small, probably immaterial, subset of Roon customers and I would guess most subscribers are not even aware of these offers. Roon could have easily allowed that to continue while discontinuing direct lifetime plans. This explanation makes ZERO sense to me and I find it to be an excuse.

The day-to-day cash flow reasons are at odds with what the realities are. How many lifetime sales are they going to make now? Not many. If that difference in cash is the reason to maintain the offer I’d worry about the fiscal health of Roon. Not only that, they also say they don’t want lifetime subscribers. Keeping the plan at $699 also makes no sense.

Roon has made a sensible business decision but they want to have their cake and eat it too. Fair would have been to discontinue lifetime immediately as they continually have indicated they would. If they had done that I don’t think anyone could have taken offense to the decision. As currently offered, the customer anger is justified and earned.

  • I am an early adopter at the discounted lifetime pricing, and happy user of the product. Even while not being impacted by the pricing change, I am disappointed in Roon’s decision making process.