Wotja Subscriptions

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Wotja Subscriptions

Postby animal » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:18 am

Hello dear intermorphic-TimandPete-,
Your latest announcements made me shiver, because they sound like, in the long run you are going to abandon development of Noatikl, to concentrate on the new Wotja-subscription-route... . Is that right? I was reading through your statements, and I get your reasoning, needing food on the table and everything, but please don't forget: your customres also do! I, for one, will not jump on the subscription-train whatever (too many little things amounting to too much as a whole, I need to eat, too, you know), but would be very sad, if I had to replace Noatikl in the HEART of my setup.

Please elaborate on: will Noatikl be kept up to date with future versions of ios, or are there no such plans at all.

To be clear: you have my best wishes for your subscription-future, but it's not for me.

Cheers, t

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby imtim » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:14 pm

Dear Animal (and others interested in this topic)

EDIT: Wotja Pro 2017 is now available (Feb 21). For link see: https://intermorphic.com/wotja/#downloads

EDIT: We have now decided we will each year create another non-subscription app, the first year being Wotja Pro 2017 (see below). Thanks for everyone's feedback.

Thanks for your post and I know you have been on the forum for a long time. Thanks, too, for reaching out and asking your question in a pleasant way (as have a few other people, too), and I am happy to do my best at answering it for you and them.

If you just want to just skip to our suggestion at the end, then please do.

I can assure you that we dearly love our customers and always want to to do the best for them and we do not want to lose any (although we accept we might; change is not for everyone). As people, it hurts us to cause upset to our customers which is why, for those who want it, this post goes into more detail than it really needs to. We are NOT greedy, or insensitive or scammers or anything else like that - we are completely the opposite.

For us, this time of change is about our SURVIVAL. Assuming there is survival (and that is not a given) it is also about what that future looks like for us and our apps.

Because of the seriousness of the matter I cannot apologise that we have to take tough decisions. However, we DO want to make sure we make the right ones. We have always listened and will always continue to do so and, where there is room, good reason and time to change, we most often do. Like everything in life it is about balance and we do want to find the right balance.

The fact you have felt the need to ask why we have moved to subscription means, in part, that I have not successfully communicated the rationale underlying our changes, i.e. some of the issues driving it. I tried to keep things relatively brief as I value people’s time, but also because it would take us too long to go into even a few of the twist and turns that we have had to make because of a very complex set of interlocking issues that have been brewing for a long time.

If you just want to just skip to our suggestion at the end, then please do.

It is important to say this right at the start: you can of course continue using the creativity apps you paid for for as long as your OS supports them. That could be many years indeed and it will not cost you another dollar. We spent a LOT of time last year working on improving and doubling down on stability. We did that because we have been planning this move to Wotja for a long time and we wanted to ensure our existing customers had stable apps that would last them a long time, too, should they decide they did not want to journey any further.

To aid understanding it can help to see us as master luthiers or artists or musicians or craftsman or engineers who have built up their domain knowledge over 26 years of unrelenting toil and who build unique and bespoke things. There are just two of us who work very very hard; we are not just A N Other fresh faced VC-funded “app developer” with a blank check in front of them (I am not suggesting for a minute that you think that; besides, the former and their money can do amazing things, too, and all credit to them). We are just who we are.

Against the backdrop above, and to *help* offset the costs of development of new features, we had for several years been operating a “Fullgrade” model where every major version was charged for as a new app (e.g. Noatikl 2 > Noatikl 3), and we always intended a roughly annual release cycle even if other things got in the way to prevent it. We adopted that model because the market for our tools has to date been small and the model of a “one off payment of a few dollars for all features for all time” was a non starter for us. Even in that Fullgrade model we had to charge a lot less than we needed to but at the time there was a race to the bottom going on in terms of pricing (precipitated by the massive influx of Venture Capital in to the app space all going for land grab). One of the big issues for us with Fullgrade arose because for every new version we released we had to start all over again in the App Store (app discovery is a massive issue for developers) and a number of people got cross because they expected to pay once for all time. A good number of users also felt that they never needed to upgrade (that was of course their choice and we totally respect that). That all fed into a mix that meant we were not generating enough to allow us to keep developing new features and move things forward as fast as we wanted to.

To compound matters (and remember, there are just two of us), since starting Intermorphic we have developed 5 apps with multiple versions that all need maintaining just to stand still, let alone extend. Each of the many rebuild and test cycles needed before each release (e.g. OS or device change) soaks up considerable time. And that is just for starters; there is of course a lot more to it all than that including adding new features, improving productivity etc…. These apps and variants include: Noatikl iOS, Noatikl macOS, Noatikl Windows, Noatikl VST Plugin, Noatikl AU Plugin, Mixtikl iOS, Mixtikl macOS, Mixtikl Windows, Mixtikl VST Plugin, Mixtikl AU Plugin, Mixtikl Android (GP), Mixitkl Android (AZ), Liptikl iOS, Liptikl macOS, Liptikl Windows, Wotja iOS, Tiklbox iOS. That is just too many apps for two people, and it meant we were spread too thinly. We had to take action and we had to find a way to consolidate things (and it is possible that we may look at Liptikl too), and that is Wotja 4. So, we took a deep breath and last year started that consolidation in the interests of longer term survival for us and those customers who want to see our apps survive and grow. The Wotja iOS consolidation took us about 6 months of really, really hard work - a huge undertaking and massive investment for us.

To be clear the capabilities that were in Noatikl and Mixtikl are not dead, they just live on in Wotja which will continue to evolve. Your noatikl and mixtikl files will play in Wotja. And, as we said above and it is worth re-iterating, you can of course continue using the Noatikl and Mixtikl creativity apps you paid for for as long as your OS supports them. That could be many years indeed and it will not cost you another dollar.

OK, I need to try to bring this all back together now.

With now one principal mobile music app to focus on and develop we can make improvements faster (we are already working on an improved controller and a user playlist feature should follow that) - this should be great for customers. A concern for us, though, is that is it also means that all our revenue streams collapse into one, which is also why the future is uncertain, and is also why we moved to a subscription model. We prepared a FAQ that sets out what subscription is and the benefits is brings, so I won't rehearse or rehash that here. See: https://intermorphic.com/wotja/#faq-subscriptions

However, we do understand that some of you really do not like subscriptions, at all, despite the benefits.

So, to cut to the chase.

SUGGESTION

We will continue with subscription because of the many benefits it has, but for those who just don’t like it and if there is sufficient demand (see below), we will ALSO create every year at roughly the same time of year a new paid for app that we price somewhere above the annual subs price (in the expectation that most will either never buy another version, or will skip versions).

Because we still need to consolidate there would be only one version of this app, and it would have the same capabilities as the PRO subs version. We would call it something like Wotja 2017, or Wotja PRO 2017 (TBD). This app would get the same updates over the year as the PRO subs version.

We would also be explicit that we would not further update the full version once the next full version was released (e.g. no updates to Wotja PRO 2017 after Wotja PRO 2018 was released), however most apps can work just fine for many years without updates.

In order to make Wotja PRO 2017 palatable for as many people as possible we would also propose reducing our PRO subs price (we understand that anyone who has already bought the PRO subs would get a refund of the difference).

This is a clear summary of what we would propose for this year for Wotja for iOS (likely pricing, but subject change):

WOTJA - ESSENTIALS
Annualised Subs - $10

WOTJA - PRO
Annualised Subs - $20

WOTJA PRO 2017
$25 one off payment (just a tad higher that our current 3 app Creativity bundle)

We do understand that even this will not suit everyone as some may still consider it expensive but ESSENTIALS at its price already allows way more editing/mixing capability than Noatikl ever did (as well as the new TTM capability, mix randomisation, audio loop support, album player etc). And, more features will be added to Wotja over the year, too.

If the above (WOTJA PRO 2017) is something you would like to see, would better meet your needs, and you would purchase it, then please let us know ASAP - we would then get onto it straight away (it be a couple of days before we can get it live, but it will be soon).

To do that you can either +1 this post or contact us directly via our support form.

We hope this suggestion is a solution that works for those who are opposed to subscriptions.

With best wishes

Tim

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby animal » Fri Feb 17, 2017 3:59 pm

Dear Tim,
Thank you for responding, I will happily buy every yearly ProVersion, that's not paid via subscription, I promise (though I think Noatikl is much cooler name, than Wotja...:)..), because I do wish to help you maintain these great Applications.
This counts as long as I myself receive enough income, year to year, I'm a freelancer, and the times are tough... .

Cheers, and thank you for your suggestion,
T

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby imtim » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:08 pm

Hi again Animal

Thanks for responding so quickly and we are glad this sounds OK to you.

We have now also heard from some others that this will work for them, so we will now look to do this.

If there are any practical issues to be aware of then we will note them here. By that I do not mean issues in doing it [unless anything totally major and unforeseen crops up], but in terms of files and iCloud folder etc.

We understand only too well about the pressures of finances/income etc, so no worries on that front. It seems to be the new world.

We will add any news to this post.

Thanks again for your post, too.

Atb

tim

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby animal » Sat Feb 18, 2017 9:52 am

Well I just thought I make a fast post about my experience with the latest Wotja-related discussions at the Audiobus-Forum... . People are really angry at you guys, it seems. I've had my share of an icewind of anger blowing into my face, because I tried give MY impression of intermorphic NOT being a bunch of multinational corporate "Schweinehunds". It seems, there's need for a lot more communication about your ideas, but I wouldn't know where to start with that, really. The Appstore mentality seems to be: entitlement to get whatever each individual wishes for, for a onetime price, under € 2..., updated for free indefinetly . I don't envy you just now, but I hope for the best, and maybe some people find their way over here to communicate with the real Tim and Pete (for starters...). Keep up the works, all the best, t.

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby imtim » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:26 pm

Hi Animal

Thanks for your support and for sticking up for us, which us greatly appreciated. We are sorry you had to experience an icewind :(.

As you and hopefully others will have seen from our postings and dealings with us, we are actually good guys - we do listen, we do respond. We are doing this out of passion and play a long game, we are not out to make a quick buck. If we had $20m sitting around somewhere that we could invest in growing our team of 2 then that would indeed be nice. :). In fact, I really don't even know if we would want that these days.

Yes, it is a tough environment to exist in but we want to stick by our friends (many are long term ones) and the best way for us to do that is to try to stay alive and to keep moving forward. Software for complex tools like ours IS hard to build and maintain and extend. It is like a supertanker under the hood with lots of moving parts, and we try really hard to make sure content doesn't break when we extend our tools/engines or trim our sails to miss an iceberg (to mix metaphors :)).

Haters will always hate and it is easy and effort free to hate and spout hate. Love takes time, effort and care to grow, and that is what we have always been about.

Thanks again!

Atb, tim

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby imtim » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:28 pm

Just a quick update, as we said we would post that here, but Wotja Pro 2017 has now been submitted to Apple for review. It should be available in a day or two for those that want it!

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby oldlibmike » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:31 pm

Hi Guys,
Reading some of the rants and raves about subscriptions - these are new to iOS and obviously a hot topic - not terribly popular yet. You do have my sympathy and I hope that you find a way to balance sustainability and continuing evolution of the products. One thing I'm starting to see on the app store to "sort of" charge for upgrades is the "complete by bundle" option - which you might have seen.

With your idea to put out an annual release at a somewhat higher price than subscription, one option you have is to create a bundle with the prior year's version and have a "complete my bundle price". If someone has the prior year's release, they can pay the difference on the bundle to get the current year's - which, of course, is basically an upgrade price. There would really be no reason for anyone to buy the bundle otherwise. This can cause confusion for new purchasers, but I've seen it used with some music software already.

I think the touchy side of the subscription model is that when you stop subscribing, functionality disappears. I've loved the products so far and have the desktop versions as well. I can live with the "mobile only" moving forward since I can easily connect my iPad to my iMac for Logic use - though I DO wish the LUA scripting was allowed in the App version (I know that's Apple's doing).

Hope things settle in soon and Wotja 4 becomes a success. I'll be using the Noatikl functionality and some of the Mixtikl...still trying to "grok" the text to music thing - is it just a randomizer seed or more?

Mike

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby impete » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:31 am

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the feedback, which is food for thought!

>>>
is it just a randomizer seed or more?
<<<

It is used both as a randomiser seed, as well as directly informing various properties of the composition :)

Pete

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby nick » Sun Feb 19, 2017 4:16 pm

Did you just drop the price of the Pro subscription? I'm not complaining – I'm actually pleased to have had a chance to get in early and pay something a little closer to what your apps are actually worth to me – but I see the App Store is now quietly quoting $9.99 rather than the original $14.99. Whether permanent or introductory, this seems like something worth getting the word out on; even for people with a pathological antipathy to the subscription model for supporting the developers they love, it really is stupidly great value at that price.

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby imtim » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:09 pm

Hi Nick

Yes, because we decided to create/release Wotja Pro 2017 then in order for that to have the right price point we decided to reduce the PRO IAP.

The good news is that we are led to believe by Apple documentation that you should receive a refund for the difference. Please let us know if that does not happen - it should!

We really do appreciate your positive appreciation for the new subs model and its pricing. We only adopted subs because we genuinely think there are real advantages to it for our customers, it is not just about us despite what some may think: we really do see it as a win-win.

For what we are delivering, we agree with you - it is a very good price. What we create is specialist, high quality niche software and to do that means (as strange as it may seem) that we are, in effect, a service business. This is because software requires constant attention to keep it alive and relevant.

Everything in life costs something, whether or not one is aware of the true cost. If something is free or stupidly cheap (i.e. $5 one off payment for software updates for ever) then either it is a simple throw away toy or you are the product, you are paying for it in some other way, you will pay for it later in some other way, or it will soon no longer be maintained or developed as there is no money to sustain it and it will die. There may be other similar scenarios, but everything worth having always comes at cost, somewhere - no matter how hard one might wish it otherwise. As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. That reminds me, as we are talking about services businesses.... Who in their right mind would go into a deli and say "Here is $5. I don't just want one sandwich, give me your best food for ever!" Exactly.

So, thank you again, and we hope you enjoy Wotja as we continue to develop and improve it!

Best wishes

Tim

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby nick » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:08 pm

Thanks so much, Tim – I'm quite happy not to have a refund (I thought £14.49 for 6 months was an absolute bargain for what's effectively Wotja Pro 4, Noatikl 4, Mixtikl 8, and Tiklbox 2 in a single app) – but I'll let you know what Apple actually do. Any cashback will probably go to buying the Pro 2017 standalone for archival purposes anyway; I like keeping old versions around, not least for monitoring what's new in things like the wavetable sounds, and so positively appreciated the old system of separate new paid versions, but also it seems worth supporting as a component of what seems to me a very well thought-out and user-responsive business model. And while I'm at it, special thanks for making 9.3 the base iOS version for v4 rather than 10.0 as originally announced; I feared I'd have to give up my jailbreak to run Wotja 4, which would have been a tough choice (having missed the 10.2.0 jb window by a matter of hours – but now I'm so glad I did).

I had a look at the Audiobus forum discussion Animal referred to, and while some of the lazier and more entitled postings are just dispiriting – particularly from those who haven't even bothered to look at the new app, even though it's free – it did make me realise that there are a lot of dabblers out there who maybe only use Intermorphic apps in bursts every few months, and who might see a one-off payment, even one on which they lose money in the mid-term, as a safer commitment than a subscription that might run out or auto-renew without their ever having done anything with it. I think I'd feel that myself about most of my music apps (and I have well north of 400 currently installed alone, of which maybe a quarter ever get used with any regularity). But then most of my music apps – frankly, all of them – are a lot less feature-rich, deep, and mature than Wotja 4, which isn't really comparable to anything (and certainly not to the other fine but vastly more limited generative apps that get mentioned). This is an app you could live in forever, and with luck we will.

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby impete » Mon Feb 20, 2017 8:17 am

Many thanks to you all - your feedback and support has been very much appreciated!

Best wishes, Pete

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby impete » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:50 am

Hi all,

Just to let you know that Wotja Pro 2017 has now gone "Live" on the App Store.

The link is here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wotja-pro-2017-reflective-generative-music/id1207322762?ls=1&mt=8

Best wishes,

Pete

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Re: Wotja Subscriptions

Postby animal » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:23 pm

Found and bought. Thank you guys for this opportunity. Now diving into it (much more to find now, since I played with Noatikl mostly, up to now). Cheers, lets hope all works out nicely for you (Tim and Pete), financially. Cheers, t


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