When will the annual subscription go up, and what will it be?

Given that you didn’t buy it at the lower price, you wouldn’t.

Given that you didn’t buy it at the lower price, there’s no real need to be annoyed at the price being higher now.


That is an oversimplification…
Maybe Peter checked Roon with 1.6 and said to himself „if they just add that one feature which is a must have for me, I will buy“.
And maybe 1.7 just fulfilled it, but at the same time the price rose.
Is that new feature worth paying 40% more? 10% for sure, but 40%?
Life is much more colorful than your black and white, Bill.

The point is Roon does not want to sell lifetime subscriptions. They want to sell annual subscriptions.

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The idea of lifetime is quid pro quo … lifetime subscribers take on risk (and potential future benefit) in return for their cash. As I said before you can’t have your cake and eat it. It’s based on the offer at the time and the offer has changed!


It’s risk versus reward, and your financial ability to afford the subscription. The litany of complaints from persons with the “I was going to buy a lifetime subscription” still have that opportunity, it’s just going to cost them more. That’s the financial penalty for not making the purchase @$499. If you really want the lifetime subscription, buy it while you can.

I always assumed the lifetime price would go up or go away. Not sure why anyone is surprised.


True, and perhaps it’s also worth pointing out (or re-iterating since I suspect it’s been said before) that Roon also take at least two risks that I can think of in return for a reward.

Roon’s reward is getting more money up front presumably to use for funding development, marketing etc.

Roon’s first risk is that they get a customer that delivers them (at new prices) a total lifetime revenue of $699 whereas had they not offered a lifetime option it is possible (but not guaranteed) that that customer might have paid annually for 10, 20 or however many years thus generating far more revenue over their lifetime as a Roon customer.

The second risk is that the lifetime customer stays engaged with Roon for a very long time e.g. 10 or 20 years. If Roon does use the majority of the upfront money to fund immediate operations and expansion then after some number of years all of that lifetime sub might have been spent. At that point the lifetime member is no longer contributing to his/her “upkeep” in terms of the percentage of cost to run the servers, license the metadata, pay the salaries of the staff, etc, etc. At that point that lifetime member whose initial payments has been spent is all costs and no revenue so becomes a drain on the profits being generated from annual renewals and new lifetime customers (if that option even still exists at that point).

Things tend to balance out as well. Some people may buy a lifetime subscription and be unable to use it to the breakeven point. Death, illness, etc. No doubt the user base has some mature users in it.

True although personally I suspect that the duration of engagement of a lifetime user will be longer rather than shorter but that’s all guesswork.

Also, the equation might change whereby in early years Roon does want to use a bigger percentage of that upfront fee for development/expansion whereas in later years (again assuming lifetime exists at that point) it might be able to accrue more of the upfront fee for running costs in future years and thus be playing more of the “how long will this customer last?” game. If the customer “expires” (maybe literally!) before the accrued revenue is used up then Roon wins, if the customer turns out to be Connor MacLeod (Highlander - “There can be only one”) then Roon loses on that one.

It might be worth recalling, here, the concept of net present value.

Imagine a customer who lives forever and continues to subscribe to Roon at $119/year indefinitely. At a 5% rate of return, the net present value of that subscription is $2499. That is, Roon Labs LLC should be indifferent between that customer plunking down $2500 today, and never paying another cent, versus paying $119/year from now till eternity.

Of course, nobody actually lives forever. So the net present value of the subscription of even the most loyal and long-lived subscriber is considerably less than $2500.

That’s a fallacy.

Whether the “lifetime” customer hangs on for another 20 years or quits using Roon tomorrow doesn’t matter at all. The incremental cost of one more user of the software is negligible. Roon Labs LLC has gotten his $699 up front; what happens to that user subsequently is irrelevant.


Not irrelevant…Otherwise Roon would collect cash 'til the cows come home by announcing a lifetime subscription price increase or termination. Roon has cost outlays, and lifetime subscribers eventually become a drag on funding…they don’t need the pre-funding like when they were a start-up.

Roon’s costs are mostly fixed costs, independent of whether that subscriber continues to use the software. So, yes, once Roon has collected his “lifetime” subscription, what happens to that subscriber is irrelevant.

Metadata costs still apply to both user bases. Maybe @danny could explain that. The lifers still have associated costs.

Servers certainly aren’t fixed costs, they need to scale to service the load of the active user base whether physically owned or using a cloud provider (Amazon, Microsoft etc). How is meta data licensed? It could be fixed or it could be per registered user.

Higher C-level management is a fixed cost (effectively, although there are probably changes in compensation package as a company grows in size, a CEO of a Fortune 500 company almost certainly earns more than the CEO of a 10 person company) but if a decent service level is to be maintained then support staff need to scale with the active user base together with overheads for that increased head counts (bigger accounts & HR departments, office space etc). Roon might not be at that stage yet but it is a point that can come in a company’s evolution.

That’s true, but the server load of an additional user is (I would wager) a relatively small perturbation on the rest of Roon LLC’s costs.

A lifer who stops actively using their subscription never has to actually cancel anything. So, as far as metadata licensing fees, they cost the same as a lifer who continues to use the service.

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Marketing has always a strong connection to psychology. As a company, how can you gain more customers thus making more profit?
So if potential customers feel penalized (your words) the company is provoking the opposite effect.
It would have been by far smarter if they rose the lifetime subscription by only 10% but with every new major release (1.4 ->1.5->1.6 etc.)
Better customer acceptance, same result after some years, but much wiser in terms of marketing/sales.

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Good points, but Roon doesn‘t want to acquire more lifetime subscribers. My guess is if there weren‘t Roon partner equipment manufacturers including the lifetime subscription option with expensive gear, the lifetime option would have been flushed. The psychology at play now is FOMO.

And so they flush away a part of their target group. Not very constructive.
It seems as Roon considers lifetime subscribers as negligible. Instead of focusing on FOMO they‘d rather think about how to make those puny lifetime customers more profitable without lessening the customer experience.

the most expensive stuff is per user per month or per listen per month

they sure do, in some cases, regardless of whether they use it.

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Never the pessimist…

There seems many facets highlighted by the age analysis

As I approach 70 , a 7 break even seems unattractive, even assuming I make 77 will hi fi still be in my mind I am already losing hi end hearing it can only go down from here

An annual fee seems the most logical business model, I can see the.startup need and risk . As a pensioner I am quite happy to budget my annual subs rather than stump up 699 now

I rate Roon highly but will the demand for this type of service/software be valid in say 10 years time, who knows. Who could have predicted the cell phone revolution when I started my computer antics in 1981, other than Gene Rodenberry off course

Hindsight is not an exact science

My 2p

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