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In defense of VSL... (the VIP pricing debate rages on...)
Last post Wed, Nov 30 2005 by THoffelt, 21 replies.
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Posted on Sun, Nov 27 2005 22:14
by james_b
Joined on Wed, Jun 04 2003, Posts 164
I thought I'd be the one that sticks my neck out and actually defends VSL here. While the split of the library and which portions get the discounts seems a bit odd to me, the actual discounts I've seen corresponds with what I would expect to see. If I could, I'd like to explain why I feel this way, and why I feel straight comparisons to existing sample libraries is hugely unfair to VSL.

First and foremost, you are NOT just buying a sample library upgrade here! I don't feel it's reasonable to apply the full price of a previous library against the purchase of an entirely new product, especially considering it's not just a sample library. Let me explain my reasoning:

Let us assume the total value of the new Vienna Instruments is 10,000 dollars or euros (let's make it easy for calculation here). Keep in mind what we're receiving in this package - A new software package AND a collection of samples to go with it. Some of those samples are essentially the same as what are already in use, some are new, but keep in mind that they've all been upgraded and re-edited for use in this new system. This is also of value to the customer.

So, we have three elements of appreciable value here: new software, the value of upgraded samples (24-bits remember), and the totality of the sample library content (of which there is some overlap with other libraries).

Now, we should assign value to each of these components. Let's assume that the instrument software is given a value of 1500, 15% of the total value. The instrument editing/upgrades? Let's assume that's an additional 15% of the product value.

We now have a split of 15/15/70 in value. So, the last component is the value of the sample library itself. This is now down to 7000, which represents an equivalent sample library as those we've previously purchased.

Now, let's assume a user has purchased x edition(s), which contain approximately half the samples that exist in the Vienna Instruments. In keeping with the VIP spirit, what would the appropriate discount be?

Answer: -3500

This means that you've already paid for the samples, exactly as promised.

Again, does everyone understand that this is simply not more samples tacked onto an existing library of samples? The VIP promise does not guarantee that money spent translates directly into equivalent discounts on new products. It only means that you don't pay for existing samples twice. It doesn't matter if you've paid more earlier versions of the sample library.

Tweak the percentages or values if you will - that's not the point. The point is, you can't treat this like a straight sample upgrade. It's just not that simple.

Make sense?
Posted on Sun, Nov 27 2005 22:53
by musos
Joined on Sun, Dec 08 2002, Johannesburg, South Africa, Posts 916
Well said James.
There's even more to consider:
Many folks have been trying to compare their existing sample libraries (eg ProEdition) with the Standard version of the new instruments. I feel this is wrong. I see the Standard versions as an entry level for new buyers. They are only getting a small percentage of the the Cube and as such, they are paying a lower price.

Existing users must look at the Extended versions in order to compare "apples with apples." When I do a rough calculation based on Herb's posts, I can work out that I will only pay a few hundred Euro or dollars at most to upgrade to ALL the Extended versions.

The difference is that we will all be paying a basic price for the development of new and complex instruments which allow greater ease of use, more flexibility etc. If one looks at the total price of the Extended Cube and what one gets as an existing user, it is quite pricey but you definitely get credit for what you have already bought.

I'm prepared to vote with my credit card.....
Regards - Colin
Posted on Sun, Nov 27 2005 22:56
by Christian Marcussen
Joined on Mon, Nov 10 2003, Posts 1508
The real question we need answered is. What does this extended stuff actually include. I hope this will be answered soon.
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 11:21
by JWL
Joined on Sun, Jul 20 2003, Posts 1274
It seems to me that the most genuine complaints come from those who bought PE most recently. It was not always 100% clear just how different the SC would be and what it would cost to upgrade. I feel that if some of those, especially those who purchased substantial amounts of VSL with the past 6 months, might have been willing to wait to just dive into an early bird SC deal. There is at least one member I know of who was encouraged to buy the PE just four weeks ago with the understanding that upgrading (or cross-grading) to the SC would have benefits. But for this person and others like him, there are no real VIP benefits because within a month's time, he'd be out of pocket about 10k if he wanted an SC now. This is what really makes the SC cost-prohibitive.

For those who got into VSL three years ago, the recent clarification of the VIP plan is certainly a bit less of a blow than it is to more recent members, but had those who bought PE most recently been told that SC was a COMPLETELY different ball of wax-- and that they'd be, in effect, buying TWO DIFFERENT libraries at 5k each in such a short period of time, the consumers might have been able to plan their buying strategies a bit better.

For those who went from FE to PE, I think the shock sank in when it was clear that SC was not going to be the same sort of amendment bundle to PE as PE was to FE. Veteran members have certainly made their own arguments on other threads, which I'll not reiterate here.

But even for me, jumping in to SC is not going to be as simple as I thought it might be, even though I understand the VIP concept. When I consider that VSL FE/PE options for Mac were limited to Logic/EXS24, I had to buy Logic as well just to use VSL. Platform restriction also had its price. Getting new hardware, including a new G5, had to be factored in as well. These purchases were made strictly for VSL, regardless of how much fun it is to get new toys or the many different ways they can be used. So, you bite the bullet and take the leap-- only to find out that you're still behind the curve to the tune of another 5k. Someone joked that the PE was "so 2003". It made me chuckle, but something inside of me said, "ouch".

Even if all of this software and hardware are for the purpose of generating income, the consumer must monitor not only the amount of money re-invested in his enterprise, but the rate at which that money is re-invested.

So far, my VSL "membership subscription" is costing me about $4,000 USD per year. Not all of my income is generated using VSL, so getting this library (wonderful as it is) to pay for itself is a challenge.
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 12:22
by charl
Joined on Tue, Mar 30 2004, Posts 96
It is indeed very important that everyone understand that there is some new sampled material in the VIs.
I also agree that the new interface must have a price.

None of these arguments will however logically justifie the 'one single price' on standart S-cube applied for new and VIP users.

The VIP 'privilège' should be logically reflected at both steps of access to the S-Cube. Standard AND Extended. This is not the case.

VIP users are forced to buy into the extended versions if they want their money's worth. Not new users. This is pretty lame I think and does not match the VSL pricing philosophy.

I have not read a single argument from the VSL team that will specifically comment on this issue (which is the core question), or provide a logical, convincing & acceptable argument that will justifie their decision.

Quite frankly I'm not surprised of this because I don't see how their position is defendable.
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 13:11
by Markus S
Joined on Sat, Jan 31 2004, Posts 18
charl wrote:

I have not read a single argument from the VSL team that will specifically comment on this issue (which is the core question), or provide a logical, convincing & acceptable argument that will justifie their decision.

Quite frankly I'm not surprised of this because I don't see how their position is defendable.


Well, I *looks* to me like -- I said it *looks*Smile, so maybe it's all diffrent -- that the idea is to force current users to buy both versions of the product :
To get the VIP price you have to buy the standard edition first. So you'll end up buying both.
If you want to just use the new interface (like me), you have to get both products, too, because, once you have payed full price for samples you already own (more or less), you want to take advantage of the products (your investment) you already have, so you will get the extended version for less money (VIP price). So, the strategy *seems* to be to sell both versions to current users.

New users have the advantage that they do not need to invest too much in the beginning, they still have the choice of upgrading and choosing a "lighter" version.

If this is the idea, I'm afraid that strategy won't work at least for me, because I can't afford the whole upgrade-package, so I'll just go on working the way I did before. If there *would be* another upgrade path, just for the samples I own (more or less), I'd take this seriously into consideration.
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 13:17
by DG
Joined on Wed, May 12 2004, Posts 8608
Markus S wrote:
charl wrote:

I have not read a single argument from the VSL team that will specifically comment on this issue (which is the core question), or provide a logical, convincing & acceptable argument that will justifie their decision.

Quite frankly I'm not surprised of this because I don't see how their position is defendable.


Well, I *looks* to me like -- I said it *looks*Smile, so maybe it's all diffrent -- that the idea is to force current users to buy both versions of the product :
To get the VIP price you have to buy the standard edition first. So you'll end up buying both.
If you want to just use the new interface (like me), you have to get both products, too, because, once you have payed full price for samples you already own (more or less), you want to take advantage of the products (your investment) you already have, so you will get the extended version for less money (VIP price). So, the strategy *seems* to be to sell both versions to current users.

New users have the advantage that they do not need to invest too much in the beginning, they still have the choice of upgrading and choosing a "lighter" version.

If this is the idea, I'm afraid that strategy won't work at least for me, because I can't afford the whole upgrade-package, so I'll just go on working the way I did before. If there *would be* another upgrade path, just for the samples I own (more or less), I'd take this seriously into consideration.


Do remember that Standard is not the same as Pro Ed. You get some Horizon content in Standard and not all of Pro Ed, so what you could do is upgrade bit by bit. That way you will always have what you already have to use and you will get the new interface and extra articulations and possibly new instruments on the bits that you choose to upgrade.

DG
Nuendo 6.03, 4.3
2 x Intel Xeon x5675 3.07GHz Hex Core
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Windows 7 (x64)Pro
RME Multiface II
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Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 13:41
by Markus S
Joined on Sat, Jan 31 2004, Posts 18
DG wrote:
Markus S wrote:
charl wrote:


Do remember that Standard is not the same as Pro Ed. You get some Horizon content in Standard and not all of Pro Ed, so what you could do is upgrade bit by bit. That way you will always have what you already have to use and you will get the new interface and extra articulations and possibly new instruments on the bits that you choose to upgrade.

DG


Hi DG,

Of course, if you plan to buy all VSL products it doesn't really matters (if the price is the same at the end for new users and upgraders). But if you just want to buy the standard version, as an previous user of VSL, this pricing politic would "suggest strongly" that you want to get both. Smile

PS : there are some users that have the pro edition and the horizon series. I personally have parts of both.
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 15:56
by tele
Joined on Wed, Jan 12 2005, Posts 110
I think the missing link for some of the upgraders is a package, where you get a similar range of samples/articulations and the Vienna Instrument VST for a price that is not more than 50% of what you paid for originally. There is a missing step in the offer.
Example: I got VSL Chamber Strings and I don't need or want even more samples or articulations. I'm happy with 31975 samples. Smile
I'm just interested in the new engine/VST Instrument. What I'd love to see is "just an engine upgrade" plus the same samples with 24 bit, if necessary, so to say.
But Maybe it's not workable. Info on how many samples are included in the
STANDARD LIBRARY
EXTENDED LIBRARY
FULL LIBRARY
is not available yet and my wish would only make sense if the extended library had far more samples, let's say 45000 for my example, which is Chamber Strings.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying something is too expensive or such a thing. The upgrade path looks great to me for those who want to be playing with the Extended Version

tele
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 17:16
by Rodney_G
Joined on Mon, Aug 01 2005, Posts 61
I think some very good points are made here, and I don't think anyone questions the fact that the VI software is a brand new product which has to be payed for by customers.

What I think has been confusing for many is the VIP guarantee, and since it probably also has been a major factor contributing to many buying VSL products, the matter is extra sensitive.

Before VI, the statement "never pay for the same sample twice" was pretty simple and straightforward, as it basically was all about samples and sample upgrades. Now however, there is much more to consider and the matter is rather complicated.

I think what many have objected to (as others here have already mentioned) is the fact that old customers might be forced to upgrade all the way to the Extended version in order to make use of their discounts, whereas new customers can upgrade one step at the time if so desired.

Problem is, in doing this, the old users will in effect have "payed for the same samples twice" which is exactly what they were guaranteed to not have to.

Even if you only pay for one single sample twice, this can stil be viewed as a violation of the VIP guarantee, since it clearly includes the word "never" which is very absolute and definitive.

Yes, you can of course argue that the new samples are 24 bit as opposed to the old 16 bit, but if I'm not mistaken...from a legal point of view, they are still to be viewed as the same samples. The fact that VSL does not offer an 16 bit version upgrade as an alternative might also influence this.

I do think that DG had a very good point when he said that this is actually more of a platform change than a sample upgrade. Personally, I agree with him that this might indeed be the most accurate way to view this problem.

It might eliminate some of the "missing links" in the upgrade path mentioned by Tele here...and it would not force old customers to upgrade immediately to extended version...but in the end it's still what VSL decides that counts.

The discount calculator is still not up, which for me is a very good sign. This mean that VSL is taking this matter extremely serious and I'm confident they will do their best to solve this in a manner as fair as possible to all customers (old and new alike).

We'll just have to wait and see to know for sure I guess.

R
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 18:24
by Chinablu
Joined on Tue, Jul 19 2005, Milano, Italy, Posts 147
Rodney_G wrote:
Before VI, the statement "never pay for the same sample twice" was pretty simple and straightforward, as it basically was all about samples and sample upgrades. Now however, there is much more to consider and the matter is rather complicated.


I'd like to know how much costs a sample.

Confused:
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 18:35
by Paul
Joined on Sat, Aug 03 2002, Vienna, Posts 13648
0.0115 Euros / Sample if you step into the Symphonic Cube (no discounts included)

And don´t forget the included Vienna Instruments...
Paul Kopf
Product Manager - Vienna Symphonic Library
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 19:20
by tele
Joined on Wed, Jan 12 2005, Posts 110
Paul wrote:
0.0115 Euros / Sample if you step into the Symphonic Cube (no discounts included)

And don´t forget the included Vienna Instruments...


Compared with some of the bread and butter stuff, 16 bit, that i have this price is lower - don't want to mention any names here. [Wink]

Poor Paul, you got a tough time these days with all theese discussions going on. [[Wink]]

tele
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 19:30
by Rodney_G
Joined on Mon, Aug 01 2005, Posts 61
Paul wrote:
0.0115 Euros / Sample if you step into the Symphonic Cube (no discounts included)


Wow, that's cheap. [Indifferent]

Can you please post a complete list so I can pick out the exact ones I want to buy? Stick out tongue

R
Posted on Mon, Nov 28 2005 21:39
by Laurent
Joined on Thu, Sep 05 2002, Paris, Posts 337
Well it gonna happen, you'll be able to select witch instruments you want to buy and authaurize on your Dongle key
Posted on Wed, Nov 30 2005 06:13
by Wolf Wein
Joined on Sun, Jan 11 2004, Vallejo, CA, Posts 123
I already posted this elsewhere and I think it is implied but not outlined in the posts above: How about deviding the VIP discount between the Standard and Extended version. So I, owning the complete Pro Edition, would get $2280 discount when buying VI Standard and another $2280 when then upgrading to VI Extended.

My example is for the complete package, but could of course be applied to buying individual segments as well.

This would give me a chance to fall in love with the VIs for half the price and would be less of a blow for recent VSL buyers and might enable more people to upgrade to VI and also fall in love with it and want to upgrade to Extended and many people would be a lot happier and VSL might not lose any money at all (so may ands...).

Wolf
2013 MacPro 2018 MacBookPro; MacOS 10.13.6, ; Logic 10.4.4; VSL cube a.o., VEPro, VIPRo, MIRPro,VSPro
wolftrackaudio.com
Posted on Wed, Nov 30 2005 08:43
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9145
wolf, maybe you should consider to exclude the collections which don't appear in the pro (with and without solo strings, because this is a special case related to horizon solo strings or not) - this gives you 4.255 $ discount on 9.240 and results in an upgrade price of 4.985 and doubles your content.
again (as mentioned in another thread) comparing the pro strings (1.520) with orchestral strings std. (1.130) should make clear this would not be an upgrade (pro strings to SC strings) regarding the content, although you would get the 24bit samples and the new mapping.
upgrading from pro strings to SCstrings full costs 1.195 (2.500 - 1.305), so the discount covers almost the total cost of your earlier purchase, even more if you got it for a reduced price (summer, holiday)
christian
and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Wed, Nov 30 2005 09:08
by Wolf Wein
Joined on Sun, Jan 11 2004, Vallejo, CA, Posts 123
Christian,

I understand that may calculation is just a simplified example and maybe the numbers distracted from the idea itself. I am also not complaining about the total amount of discount you offer - I'm quite ok with this.

The core of my idea is just to devide the discount (that you already figured out) between the two stages of the VI Libraries instead of only applying it when a VIP user buys the Extended VI.

Another way of seeing this idea is: initially we pay for the upgrade to the VI platform (the mapping, 24 bit, the convenience), but we get 1/2 of the discount because we are already loyal customers owning substantial licenses and the VIP promise. Then, when upgrading to Extended, we pay for the extension of the library and get the second half of the discount (for the same reasons as the 1st half). Seems to me this is partly how VSL is marketing the difference between Standard and Extended.

applying the disount this way would make the transition easier both on the financial planning and the analytical customer-mind.

Wolf

(another Austrian in California - but not in politics)
2013 MacPro 2018 MacBookPro; MacOS 10.13.6, ; Logic 10.4.4; VSL cube a.o., VEPro, VIPRo, MIRPro,VSPro
wolftrackaudio.com
Posted on Wed, Nov 30 2005 09:57
by THoffelt
Joined on Tue, May 17 2005, Posts 38
I was a bit awestruck by how it appeared to be priced to begin with. And to be honest I think it all spawned from the fact that SOOO many people were throwing opinions out left and right that had no idea what was going on due to the discount calculator not being up and the small update that VSL ended up changing on the pricing list of the products that just had the Standard Edition Price, Extended Edition Price, then FULL Price listed.

At this point in the game I think I get the intention of the pricing and the realization that I get the massive FULL llibrary for $4500 or whatever less than a new user makes complete sense. The fact that I'm paying the bigger price to get the initial package is somewhat irrelevant, because I'm looking to just get the whole shi-bang at once.

Consider the actual logistics of the way the pricing is set up - the reason the Standard version is the pricier version as far as VIP pricing is because it allows VSL to garner a substantial income for what was obviously something that took indefinite man hours to create and like Herb said, allows the relationship between them and t he resellers to be as simple as possible, so you can still get the Standard edition elsewhere for reasonable prices.

With the upgrade to the Extended edition what they are telling YOU, as in the prior edition owners, is that they ARE honoring their commitment to give you more by allowing you to get the GARGANTUAN increase of possibilities in the Extended Library for mere pennies in comparison of someone picking up VSL today. In retrospect it HONESTLY isn't a skewed business model, because all the things for which you are getting discounts can be paid for in a more simplified fashion (aka via online) because the content comes with the discs and requires just to be unlocked.

I won't lie. I complained at first and part of me wants to now. But where I stop myself is when I realize I will be able to get the best stuff (the extended content) for WAY less than a new user, which is what I expected and want.


So two suggestions to all ye naysayers -

You can accept something that is not going to change...

OR

You can keep complaining and give yourselves more to think about when it really is not going to benefit you or anybody else in the long run...
Posted on Wed, Nov 30 2005 13:16
by tele
Joined on Wed, Jan 12 2005, Posts 110
THoffelt wrote:
So two suggestions to all ye naysayers -
You can accept something that is not going to change...
OR
You can keep complaining and give yourselves more to think about when it really is not going to benefit you or anybody else in the long run...


I choose not to resign but continue to ask to also satisfy the needs of current customers that do not need the complete edition, but would like the Standard edition

from the VSL FAQ
Quote:
The Standard Library contains much of the Pro Edition sounds and some new stuff,


Therefore it should be possible for VSL to offern us a path to the Standard Edition.

tele
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