Waves Announces The Return of Perpetual Licenses

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Waves Announces The Return of Perpetual Licenses

Earlier this week, Waves shocked the music/audio community by announcing a stop to plugin sales, in a move to a subscription-only model known as Creative Access, with two plans available for customers to choose from. They announced Creative Access platform which offers a Waves Essential and Waves Ultimate plans.

Waves Essential offers access to over 110 plugins at $14.99 per month, while Waves Ultimate offers over 220 “industry-leading” plugins for $24.99 per month, with Essential also receiving select new plugins while Ultimate will receive new plugins on a regular basis

Many Waves users were shocked and questions whether or not they would continue having access to their perpetual licenses for the expensive plugins and bundles they purchased. Waves addressed this concern on Twitter in a response to a user (@happy__yorkie) who wrote, "The hell…. I just bought many plug-ins from you guys…are they a waste now?" to which Waves (@WavesAudioLtd) responded, "You continue to own them, at the latest version you bought or updated to prior to the launch of Waves Creative Access. You can continue to use your plugin/bundle licenses and software, on all systems and host applications that are compatible with the versions you own.

Outrage from Waves users spread across all social media platforms in the form of videos, memes, and angered posts. Many music production content creators addressed the news on their pages, and comments sections were filled with angry Waves users.
Today, Wednesday March, Waves responded to the feedback from the music production community in an announcement on their website, and across their social media platforms. The post, entitled, "Important Update: Perpetual Licenses and Updates Will Be Back Alongside Subscriptions," includes a letter from the CTO and Co-Founder of Waves, Meir Shashoua, which reads,
"Dear Waves community,
Over the past few days, many of you have expressed concerns about our decision to discontinue perpetual plugin licenses and our move to an exclusive plugin subscription model. I would like to start by apologizing for the frustration we have caused many of you, our loyal customers. We understand that our move was sudden and disruptive, and did not sufficiently take into consideration your needs, wishes, and preferences. We are genuinely sorry for the distress it has caused.

After respectfully listening to your concerns, I want to share with you that we are bringing back the perpetual plugin license model, side-by-side with the new subscriptions. You will again be able to get plugins as perpetual licenses, just as before.

Loopcloud Sounds

In addition, those of you who already own perpetual licenses will once again be able to update your plugins and receive a second license via the Waves Update Plan—again, just as before. This option, too, will be available alongside and independently of the subscription program.

We are currently putting all our efforts into making perpetual licenses available to you again, as quickly as possible. In the meantime, you can keep up-to-date on this webpage, where we will post real-time updates as they are available.

I would like you to know that we are committed to you, our users. We listened to your feedback, and we will continue to listen to you. Waves is a company filled with users and creators, just like you, and we are all as passionate about the products as you are. With this in mind, we will strive to find the way to make things right by you, and hopefully regain your trust.

Thank you for your feedback and continued support—I wish you all the best,

Meir Shashoua
CTO and Co-Founder
Waves Audio" 

Surely, many producers and audio engineers are happy about this news from Waves and are excited to have their perpetual licenses back, as well as keeping the perpetual license business model in places alongside the subscription model.
I think both models are great and have their pros and cons. For new producers/engineers, the subscription model gives them access to a variety of tools for a small entry price. For experienced producers/engineers, the perpetual license model allows them to purchase license of specific tools needed for their toolkits, without crowding their computers with plugins and getting locked into a monthly contract. Both models have their pros and cons.
It is interesting to see the evolution of this industry, as this announcement is coming on the tail-end of Splice announcing that they are shutting down Splice Studio, their flagship product, in a shift towards a deeper focus on Splice Sounds and Rent-To-Own Plugins.
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