In December, Capture One announced that they were ditching their annual release cycle, changing its perpetual license model and switching primarily to a subscription model with more frequent releases. It’s a good compromise between only offering infrequent updates vs the lifelong subscription model of companies like Adobe and Autodesk. Capture One was offering the best of both worlds.
The only question that remained was over the announced “Loyalty Program” (or “Loyalty Scheme”, as it was called then) for Capture One users. The details hadn’t been published yet, although we knew it would be replacing the standard upgrade pricing system available under previous versions. Well, now, Capture One has published exactly what it all means and how it impacts you, the user.
Two posts on the Capture One website explain what’s going on and end the speculation from the initial announcement. It’s a little bit complicated to wrap your head around at first, covering a number of different scenarios for existing users. You’ll probably want to read through it all several times. I’ll try to break it down as best as I understand it based on the way it appears to be written.
For existing Capture One Pro perpetual license users
The first post explains what’s going to happen to existing Capture One users and how the changes will impact them and what their options are. It’s split up into multiple sections and is geared towards existing perpetual license holders. There are different discounts available to upgrade to the current version of Capture One Pro as well as annual subscriptions (should you choose to switch) based on how recently you purchased your copy of Capture One Pro.
- If you purchased Capture One Pro within the last 12 months, you can purchase the latest version of Capture One Pro for $179/£179/€209 – a 40% discount. If you decide to switch to a subscription, you’ll receive a 40% discount on the first year of that subscription – just the first year – and you get to keep your existing perpetual license.
- If you purchased Capture One Pro between 12-24 months ago, you can purchase the latest version of Capture One Pro for $239/£239/€279 – a 20% discount. If you decide to switch to a subscription, you’ll receive a 20% discount on the first year of that subscription – just the first year – and you get to keep your existing perpetual license.
- If you purchased Capture One Pro more than 24 months ago, you get no price breaks on the latest version of Capture One Pro. If you decide to switch to a subscription, you’ll receive a 20% discount on the first year of that subscription – just the first year – and you get to keep your existing perpetual license.
On February 14th, if you’re a Capture One Pro customer, you’ll receive a code that you can use to claim your discounts. You can apparently use these any time you like, although there are some things you’ll need to be aware of.
- If you decide to upgrade to the newest Capture One Pro on a perpetual license before September 30th, you’ll receive all of the free updates and new features released up until September 30th. After that date, you’ll no longer receive any free updates – although there should still be bug fixes available to you until a new major version is released.
- If you decide to upgrade your perpetual license after September 30th, you’ll receive the version of Capture One Pro available on that date and will receive bug fixes until a new version is released, although you will not receive any free updates with new features.
If you want to move from a perpetual license to a subscription plan, you’ll want to wait until February 14th, 2023. This is when you get your discount code on the first year of your subscription.
The other option, of course, is to pay nothing, never upgrade to the newest version, don’t switch to a subscription and just keep using the perpetual license version you already own.
Update January 20th, 2023: Each time you purchase a new perpetual license, that 12/24 month timer starts again, as can be seen in the discounts in their long-term price comparison, looking at each purchase option over several years. So, if you upgrade to a new perpetual license every 12 months, each license will see a 40% discount. If you upgrade to a new perpetual license, that license will see a 20% discount. Renewing after two years will receive no discount.
For Capture One Pro subscribers
For subscribers, as the second post explains, you don’t have to wait until February 14th for your loyalty program to kick in. It’s already running. The only real benefit here is that you’ll get a discount on a perpetual license for Capture One Pro – for which you will continue to receive bug fixes but not updates with new features – should you choose to end your subscription. The amount of discount you receive is based on how long you’ve been a subscriber.
- More than 5 years (60+ months) – 100% discount. Yup, it’s totally free.
- More than 4 years (48+ months) – 80% discount.
- More than 3 years (36+ months) – 60% discount.
- More than 2 years (24+ months) – 40% discount.
- More than 1 year (12+ months) – 20% discount.
So, there’s no discount on the subscription itself the longer you subscribe, only when you choose to end your subscription and switch to a perpetual license. Why might you want to do this? Well, perhaps the current version of Capture One gives you all that you need, and you don’t want to keep paying for features you don’t really need. Depending on how often you really care about getting those new features, switching to a perpetual model and upgrading every couple of years can save you a lot of money in the long term.
It’s not going to be an ideal solution for everybody. However, personally, I still think it’s a fantastic compromise that lets the company continue to offer perpetual licenses for those who want them while providing the regular new feature perks for subscribers. I sure wish Adobe had gone this route back in the day. If they had, I’d probably still be using more of their products!
To find out more, head on over to the Capture One website.
Update January 20th, 2023: This article contained some inaccuracies in the perpetual license pricing model in future years. The article has been updated to reflect the correct information.