Pro Tools 12 is here! Except it’s just called Pro Tools now, and instead of new features it’s actually a move over to a new licensing model. Here’s Rob to explain…
Pro Tools 12, as we’ll be calling it for the sake of clarity, doesn’t come with a slew of new features and hardware requirements. This time round, the main change has been a move to a more Media Composer-like licensing model, with changes to the way perpetual licences work and the addition of a subscription model.
The good news for anyone who hates subscriptions is that you can still by a perpetual licence – we’ll even give you £500 off RRP in an exclusive deal, if you like – and it will keep working for as long as you need to use it. It gives you access to the full Pro Tools software plus the AAX plug-in bundle and an iLok key for authentication. You’ll also be entitled to online and phone support from Avid.
However, in order to receive updates and access to new features, you’ll need to take out an Avid Upgrade and Support contract at the cost of £129 ex VAT per annum. You need to renew this every year to keep your licence current and receive updates. If you skip a year and then decide that you want to start receiving updates again, you’ll have to pay for a whole new seat.
The first year’s support is included in the cost of your perpetual licence.
A Pro Tools subscription costs £199 ex VAT per annum. The price includes both the software and the support plan, so you pay one monthly or annual fee that covers your right to run Pro Tools and any support or upgrades you may need.
Having sat down and done the maths, we can tell you that the cost of maintaining a copy of Pro Tools for five years is exactly the same on both payment plans. The initial cost of a perpetual licence is a lot higher, but then you have the lower ongoing cost of the support plan, whereas the subscription model requires smaller, more frequent payments, so the only difference is which of these is easier for you.