Lifetime price increase, $499 -> $699

@danny
Have you guys ever thought of doing a paid upgrades for lifetime subscription instead of increasing the overall price? This is definitely good for attracting new sign-ups. Besides existing users who want to upgrade can pay a small fee. This method can guarantee some kind of incoming fund for the development of the product.

Hi all! If you meet the upgrade requirements and sent us an email over the weekend or today, please hang tight. :pray: We’re making sure everyone is taken care of, but with increased demand due to the price change and 1.7 release, response times are currently 1-2 days.

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I see one huge problem with the ‘paid upgrades’ approach… It means Roon must ensure that future upgrades are always backward compatible. That is, v1.7 must still be able to work and be supported when they’re at v3.2. That would undoubtedly constraint and complicate the development and support processes.substantially. If one of Roon’s primary objectives is to run an efficient operation, ‘paid upgrades’ would not be it.

My take is to buy lifetime or pay annual, but let Roon do what they’re best at and feel confident that they will continue to add value to your music listening.

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PS Audio is coming out with Octave next year which is a hardware based Music Server which will work similarly to Roon’s software program, but be hardware based. MSRP will Probably will be in the $5-6k range. Lofty goals set on this particular project. $699 doesn’t look so bad in comparison, at least with respect to price.

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I’ve been curious about the Roon/ Sooloos connection and found the article below. Interesting that Meridian, who bought Sooloos 10 years ago, has ceased its development as of March this year and seems to have itself switched to Roon.

I don’t think they’ve done any real software updates since 2015. However, we still support the metadata services for Sooloos users. That’s been the case for 15 years. Also, their last endpoint was Roon Ready!

I know some you like conspiracy theories, but there are no real secrets here… Open a new topic and ask what you what, as long as we aren’t under contract to not speak publicly about it, we’re happy to share.

The quick rundown is:

Meridian bought us (the Sooloos IP and team) when we had cash flow issues in 2008. We split out the IP and team in January of 2015 to form Roon Labs. We own 100% of Roon Labs, with no external investors (and that includes Meridian). They are our customer for metadata services for Sooloos. No other obligations exist in either direction. There were some indemnifications we had to do for them for the IP we left behind, but that’s all expired now and that IP is all “dead” (or at least it is to us).

We are still friends with the team that remains at Meridian (both UK and US) we have quite a bit of mutual respect for each other. Enno and I had breakfast with Bob a few weeks ago and Bob helped us debug a Nucleus hardware issue earlier in the year. This respect comes from years of working together, and it’s the same type of respect I have for many players in this audio space that we’ve had the joy of working with.

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@danny I am sure we got the better half of the split. I like hearing stories like this. I feel better now paying the extra $200. :grin:

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Oh, I hadn’t thought of a conspiracy angle, but that does spice things up a bit :joy:

I was more interested in understanding the economic context for Roon. Comparing Roon to Audirvana or HQP doesn’t explain much. So I thought understanding what Sooloos costs would help provide context for understanding Roon’s, er, economic station in all of this. Relying only upon Google, I discerned Sooloos was on some expensive Meridian devices. Another website said Sooloos costs $1000 per zone, but I wasn’t sure what that meant.

It’s easy to denounce the $699 Roon price point, but I realized I have no context in which to compare it, and thus no way to discern what’s fair or not, from a market point of view. When I look at Esoteric, I think it’s absurdly expensive, but it doesn’t seem unfair, I just don’t buy it, and there are many great and less expensive alternatives.

If Roon is comparable to Sooloos, and Sooloos was on a $7500 music server, then $699 for a Lifetime Roon license that is not bound to any one hardware manufacturer, and no recurring fees, does seem like a great value. To my wee brain, understanding your past better helps me understand your present.

Sooloos was well over $10k for a reasonable system. It was a different era and we did Roon away from Meridian because we wanted to do software only. Believe me, we tried hard to avoid Nucleus.

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I may be going way out on a limb here, but how any of us compare, rationalize and otherwise decide on a purchase is entirely individual. There is no supreme leader declaring how we must think. I totally honor that your approach has nothing to do with comparison, or what’s a fair price, etc. That’s your way. I prefer to examine and compare things, that’s my way. There world is certainly big enough to afford multiple approaches to just about anything.

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There are different ways of looking at this. And that’s ok. I’m ok. You’re ok :+1:

I’m not familiar with the concept of an unfair price being defined as “forced to buy it”. But I understand that’s your definition.

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How about “reasonable” or “justified”? I’m not attached to the word fair, its just how I think of things. Comps are used throughout the economy, houses, cars, etc, to determine a price.

I am frustrated but, of course, I will keep using Roon.

I think you would have gotten a lot of conversions to lifetime if you had given some notice - even if it were just a day. Of course, that may not be your goal.

Also, I don’t like or respect the management at other subscription services like Netflix. I expect them to pull something like this. I don’t expect it of Roon. I expect you to take better care of your customers than this - it just feels like a big middle finger however well rationalized above.

Michael

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Sugar free I hope :shushing_face:

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Thanks for clarifying.
I asked because my understanding is that there are licensing costs associated with each user. If let’s say in 6 years all lifetime users receive all updates for free , that is fine. Roon would continue developing the software anyway. No cost to roll it out for lifetimers as well. But Roon does keep sitting on all the cost (and I don’t know how much it is) for licensing meta data for all lifetimers.
So in that regard borrowing the money up front from the lifetimers can become costly for Roon in some years.
This is just speculation on my side because I don’t know how high the actual cost for metadata associated with each user is. That is where my concern came from that one day Roon might fork the software and rerelease it to get rid of lifetimers, or introduce another subscription model where some functions were pay.only.

Anyway, Just my train of thought.

I am a lifetime subscriber.
If that happened to me (being in a yearly sub and now having to pay $200 more for changing to lifetime) I would be rather angry and disappointed. I fully understand the angry posts here.
In that position I still would swallow the $200 because the option of a lifetime sub will be gone sooner than later. If Roon is a needed software, you should act now.

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Exactly.

And these ‘if Roon isn’t worth $10/month, go elsewhere’ comments don’t help - because there is nowhere else to go. Nothing compares feature wise. Yes, I can use UPnP for a lot less $, but the experience is hardly in the same stratosphere.

Roon should be seen as a hifi component, not just a software, and purchased like any other hifi component, if thats your thing.

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I think you meant option of a lifetime…but yes I would suggest if the lifetime is what you want get it before its too late.

Maybe Danny will make a Black Friday offer or a Thanksgiving special…

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thanks. corrected

Well, I for one am really glad that you failed in this instance. We would never have had the free gift of ROCK and the joy of DIY.

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