Value of Lifetime Subscribers to Roon

Aaah perceptions…some could easily say Roon + Lifetime is double the cost of my preamp/dac or anything else in their audio chain. I really don’t think the cost of your hardware has much to do with the value of Roon.

The way I view the cost of Roon is in comparison to alternatives.

Roon is certainly no bargain; it’s by far and away the most expensive streaming software on the market. Neither here nor there if it’s good, works seamlessly, sounds good etc.

Alas, that’s OT and doesn’t address the topic: ‘value of lifetime subscribers to Roon’, rather than to the individual.

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I love Roon, and had no hesitation to buy the lifetime subscription. Not trying to steer you one way or the other, but just some food for thought below on what happened to me:

Very happy with Roon on my iMac, and then later on a Mac mini as a standalone audio player. The user interface (IU) blows me away. The sound quality is very good. I was happy.

Then I saw a bunch of internet input on Euphony and tried their trial version of Euphony OS (on my Mac mini) and compared to Roon, Roon to Stylus EP, and the native Euphony Stylus player alone, and unfortunately the native Stylus player sounds just a bit nicer to what I like. Not that Roon is bad, but Euphony Stylus player was a bit more analog - vinyl sounding, which I like. The Euphony UI is a bit clunky, so I would go back and forth to Roon, but I ended up buying the Euphony OS and running that for about a year.

Then I decided to really upgrade my digital path with a new DAC (Chord Dave) into my Mscaller and upgrade the player, so I moved from the Euphony OS Mac mini to Innuos Zenith Mk3 and wow the native sound quality is really great and the unit is very easy to use. There are various apps that run the user interface, and those UI’s are good / ok, but nowhere near what Roon does. Even though I really love the Roon UI, I have to admit that prefer the Zenith native squeeze box player, which has the best SQ for my ears and setup.

So for now I run pretty much only on the Zenith native player, with iPeng for the UI, and open the Qobuz app and/or Roon app (running on my iMac) in the background if I need to look up something, or do a playlist or favorites save in Qobuz. The Zenith side is great, but it’s a bit clunky flipping over to the other apps when I want to look up something, or see the UI’s that I prefer. I am hoping that the Roon to squeezebox integration evolves to where the SQ is the same are close enough. Then I will run Roon for the UI and output to the Zenith for the player, and have the best of both worlds. Btw, I know people are very happy staying on Roon with the Zenith and the difference in SQ isn’t enough reason not to use the better Roon UI.

If you love the Roon sound, or love the whole house setup, or how much flexibility you have across different brands and systems, and feel it fits into HW - player plans, then go for it. The lifetime is very nice to get out of a recurring renewal. However, If you are thinking that you are changing your system or player in the near future, then you might want to reconsider waiting until you upgrade and see where you are at that point.

Lifetime subscriptions are not bad for Roon Labs. A payment of $700 plus the time-value of money is as good as an annual subscription at $120 for 6 years. How many Roon customers have been around for more than 6 years? Lifetime subscribers are probably more likely to purchase a Nucleus also.

Just going by what Danny said. Please re-read this and let me know if I have misrepresented.

Obviously, Roon Labs needs and wants an ongoing revenue stream. That is far from saying lifetime subscriptions are bad for Roon Labs. I paid $500 for a lifetime subscription plus $1119 for a Roon Nucleus. Nobody at Roon refused to take my money.

Lifetime is not bad. I really have to disagree. If it was bad they wouldn’t offer them. As noted it takes well over 6 years at current annual subscription rates for the latter to be better (well over 6 years vs just 6 years because of the time value of money). If a subscriber quits before this – as many roon users have --lifetime is massively better than a monthly or annual subscription. Additionally, I use lifetime roon gifts for my nieces and nephews to get them to try and (hopefully) continue to use Roon by trying to remove all barriers. They would just use spotify left to their own devices – netflix, amazon, hulu, apple music, spotifiy are all more important to the average kid versus roon which they know nothing about. If they start and continue to use roon from my lifetime gift, their friends may try it and use it too (and pay for it and they would likely be subscribers). If they don’t then Roon makes way more money on them than a monthly or annual subscription. So it’s not a black and white issue – lifetime bad, subscription good. It’s much more complex than that with many shades of grey.


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.

A quote from the post Danny wrote and I shared. It is on this basis that I have speculated that Roon Labs will not be promoting Lifetime with discounts.

I know Danny’s quote. But I stand by my last post. I did not say that I think they will promote Lifetime with discounts. I am not holding my breath for that. And I’ve now bought 3 lifetime licenses and a nucleus+. Guess I’m bad for Roon’s business…:slight_smile:

Correct, Roon Labs will not be promoting Lifetime with discounts. In fact, they will probably stop offering it or raise the price. They clearly want/need an income stream. However, Lifetime is not a bad thing for Roon, as you stated. How can an influx of $700 cash be a bad thing? That customer might have gone elsewhere had he not bought Lifetime. It would only be a bad thing if everyone bought Lifetime and Roon ran out of operating capital in a few years.

This sounds bad to me, but perhaps I’m not reading it properly.

Look. You guys are obviously proud Lifetime subscribers. And I’m proud to support Roon Labs with my annual renewal. We all want Roon Labs to be successful now and in the future. We’ve just gone about contributing to their success in different ways. Beyond that, all we have is speculation.

Sorry for (unintentionally) taking this thread away from the Referral Program topic. Now get out there and share your referral link with a few folks (after the Black Friday offer expires). :slight_smile:

Just a reminder, Lifetime is not and was not free. We paid plenty of money for it. And, the dollars we used were worth more than today’s dollars.

@David_Snyder is just defending his position on lifetime discounts based on my words.

He’s absolutely right. We will never discount lifetimes again. We’re happy-ish with the lifetime % right now. Like the Fed, we have a dial we can always turn to control that %, but no reason to turn it now.

@Craig_Palmer is taking offense to my very simple conveyance of the dilemma. He’s absolutely right. It’s much more complex and has many shades of grey between “lifetime good” and “lifetime bad”. Even within the team, there are some of us that want to keep it at $499, some want to raise it to $999, and some want to kill it altogether.



Jut to confirm “some of us that want to keep it at $499”? Have you seen the light and reduced the rate? You could be making a lot of life-long friends starting with me.

How many years was the price $499?

1st May 2015 to 20th November 2019.

It was 449 if you signed up in the first few days after launch.

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I realize that your comment was addressed to @danny, but the point I think he was trying to make in the post that I referenced is that a true life-long friend provides the kind of support that their friends need, when they need it. And these needs may change over time.

In the early days, Roon Labs needed a burst of short-term revenue to start the company. Lifetime subscribers stepped up to provide it. We have the great Roon software and service that we do today because Lifetime subscribers were true friends, taking a risk, and giving Roon Labs what they needed back then.

Going forward, Roon Labs needs steady revenue to pay employees and cover the cost of delivering services to a growing subscriber base. Committed Annual subscribers are stepping up to provide it. We’ll have great Roon software and services tomorrow because Annual subscribers are true friends, giving Roon Labs what they need to keep growing and improving.

I’m grateful to all of the Lifetime subscribers who took a risk so that we could enjoy the amazing service that Roon provides. I’m sure they will be grateful for all of the Annual subscribers who enable that service to continue long past their four to six-year “break-even” points.

Like @Jim_F suggested, you missed the window to be a hero and risk your $499 to help Roon’s founders start the company. If you like using Roon, join the next generation of heroes by becoming an Annual subscriber.

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Can we please stop with the lifetime is bad and you’re only a hero if you subscribe business. This is just not true. What is true is if you want to maximize value to Roon, then:

  • If you plan on leaving before 6 years is up (the break even point for a lifetime vs an annual subscription) buy a lifetime. There will be many many of these users.

  • If you plan on staying longer than 6 years buy a subscription. There will hopefully be many of these but roon hasn’t been around 6 years yet…:slight_smile:

You’re a hero in both situations. If the first point wasn’t true there would be no lifetime license offered by Roon.


I paid Roon $499 for lifetime plus $1119 for a Nucleus for a total of $1618. Of course, the Nucleus does have a cost associated with it. Please stop the nonsense that lifetime subscribers are somehow inferior to annual or monthly subscribers. I will not be around to reach my break-even point.

Fair, but I assume that most people who buy a Lifetime subscription do so thinking that they will be using Roon far beyond the break-even point. Along the same lines of what you are saying, I’ve commented elsewhere that a limited Lifetime subscription for people who buy Nucleus could be pretty cool…locked to the host ID of the Nucleus purchased with it.

I can’t wait for Roon Labs to eliminate the (unlimited) Lifetime subscription option so that we can stop having these discussions. :wink: I was not going to say anything this time, but comments like, “Have you seen the light and reduced the rate?” really bug me because they seem to completely miss the point.

The fact that there are differing opinions on this even inside roon and they continue to offer a lifetime says that this isn’t a no brainer. When roon has been around for 6 years or more and can look back on how many lifetime users stayed for 6+ years (or not) vs how many subscribers stayed for 6+ years (or not) and can then assess whether money and profit was maximized then there can be a factual discussion on what was the right strategy. Before this it’s just conjecture as to what was right.