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A note from Giancarlo about Acustica pricing schema

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A note from Giancarlo about Acustica pricing schema

Postby giancarlo » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:35 am

Ok I read here and there that several acqua product is too much expensive, the company should change its manifest and things like that.
So I decided to start a topic, explaining things and even discussing with existing users and future customers.

First of all let me explain the reason about our 3% pricing schema.

- first of all it is a simple rule. Everyone understands it
- we decided this rule after having released several acqua plugins. We studied our company incomes and we realized that an acqua product should be priced around 100 eur in order to keep our company alive and feed our research, pay bills, pay developers. Acustica today involves 10 full time workers, almost all of them are dedicated to the audio segment, and we need also to invest all our money in order to create better things.
Acustica is not a single-man company. Costs in italy are nothing less than stellar for just keeping a single company alive. We could explain this simple concept forever with thousands of examples if you are curious about that.

I think 100 eur for an acqua plug-in is also fair. In the past we released products at every possible price, even a 29 eur nebula2 and we suggested to our 3rd party developers low prices in every possible way.
The company even provided free products to poor people coming from poor countries. This company is not evil. But we are running a business.

So if 100 is "too much" for a plugin (and very often there is NO an other software competitor, and lately even there is NO an other hardware competitor like I explained in the homebrew thread in this forum section)
I really suggest to evaluate nebula. The acqua line, being a library created by a company composed by 10 people cannot be as much affordable as libraries created by single-man developers, and even our 3rd party developers. They are almost all single man companies, for the exception of a case or two.

Yes, we deliver at the moment a product which they cannot deliver (ie a complex eq, strip or compressors implementing all possible functionalities), but it should noted that they never paid us in any way for the previous tech, and we are feeding our current tech using money we earn NOW. So it is perfectly normal we have something which they don't have. We even decided to not release nebula libraries in order to not break their market. We are just creating standalone products, keeping the nebula world alone.
When there is a new bug fix, or a new tech (ie Core7) we introduce it also in nebula. Several things we introduced in nebula (a fixed lookahead, a faster program rate) were already used by many developers, they are already taking advantage from a development paid by us, and we did not asked money for it.
When nebula4 (a skinned nebula) will be out they will take advantage from it. Even for free. So I think it is fair for everyone.

Now let me speak about ultramarine. When we sampled it- a 40-50k eur hardware unit- we realized the final price would be too much. At that time I planned to reduce the price a bit, and create a 500 eur plug-in. I think it would be fair alone, like I said we are pretty alone on the market. Even if someone reports that he does not like our "compression" behaviour (there are mixed feelings about it) I would say this software model recreates exactly what makes a 40k unit sound like a 40k unit. When you buy ultramarine you do not buy just a compressor. You buy an esotheric unit which makes the mix "expensive", alone, and without efforts.

Anyway I decided to reduce to price further, to limit it to 300 eur. Than we released it in presale at 239. Now I understand 239 eur are not a joke (and I understand complains for a failed mac osx release, but it happens), but let me tell you that if we decided to sell things around 100 eur price-tag, than 239 eur for the most expensive product is MORE than fair. It happens we have many 80 eur products, even a 30 eur one, now there is an incoming free product, our nebula3 is also delivered as nebula3 free with so many free libraries.

So please don't blame us. It is pretty obvious that 300 is not our common product, and it should be pretty clear that even if other software competitors have good vari-mu clones, we are maybe the only company which recreates an authentic vari-mu soul. There are so many libraries for nebula, if 300 eur are too much you could use them togheter with other software emulations and you get it for a cheap price. Once again the company delivers to you an alternative plan.

NOW LET ME EXPLAIN CLEARLY TWO IMPORTANT CONCEPTS.
During these years they were repeated a lot of times, but I think they are somewhat lost in the crowded acustica board and even other crowded 3rd party boards like kvraudio or gearslutz


POINT NUMBER ONE
About prices: we have SO MANY CHOICES. When we decide to put something out we decide the price. You could buy or not. We are not forcing anyone. We started from a 29 eur plugin which costed 2 years of developement, so we know perfectly how much a product should cost for a concept company, a single man developer company or whatever. We are very PROUD of ultramarine, we can forecast how many copies we will sell, and even in this case our forecasts were correct.

And beware: even if we FAIL it is not a real issue both for us or for you. We have so many other products or alternatives. We are like a shop, there are several things in the shop. Something is cheap and bought by everyone. In every possible shop in the world there is also an expensive item. This item is also for the "lover", or just someone who needs exactly that item. It is possible it will never be sold at all. Sometimes it just attracts customers. Or it makes people dreaming about. There are so many reasons even in the real world why you enter a shop and most of things are priced 100 eur but there is some esotheric item priced 5000. They are not crazy. It is there if you want to buy it. There are several reasons why it is priced 5000, and I'm seriously convinced that our Ultramarine worths 300 eur alone, and it is even CHEAP.



POINT NUMBER TWO
Our company, my company was always clear on a simple point. BUY ONLY IF YOU LOVE US. If you are not convinced by
- our general attitude
- our manifest
- products
- the business model
- website-shop-discount policy
- what we say on forums
- our passive/aggressive attitude (yes someone even described it in this way. But are not passive/aggressive. We are just politely aggressive like all proud companies; but we are also a fair company, we play only fair games)


I'll tell you a thing. DO NOT BUY OUR PRODUCTS!!!!

Why I'm telling that?
- you are a client, a customer. The customer is always right. It is true. The customer decides how to invest money, and sometimes money comes from a passion, and sometimes money is really difficoult to earn. Especially for musicians, or producers.
- but we are a company, and just telling you what I've just said WE MAKE A SELECTION. We want ONLY active customers who DO LOVE what we do in the way we do, who DO LIKE our products, who DO LIKE our attitude, who DO LIKE our soul. So we are MAKING A SELECTION ON YOU! If you can handle what I've just said you are OUR PERFECT CUSTOMER. And we'll be more HAPPY to answer to ALL your questions, mails, requests.


One last thing. We never deleted a SINGLE post on our boards even when it was OFFENSIVE or derespectful.
As I told you, we play ALWAYS a fair game. We do things when promised till going even broke if we promised too much.

Decide by yourself if you want to LOVE or HATE us. If you LOVE us, we'll LOVE you.
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Re: A note from giancarlo about the pricing schema

Postby mtalavera » Sat Aug 08, 2015 7:00 am

I'm what may be called a bedroom producer, a hobbyist, non-professional audio engineer, musician, composer. I do not make music as my full time profession and can only devote an hour or two an even between putting my kids to sleep and going to bed at a reasonable hour. I doubt I'm the only one active on this forum who is in that same category. That being said, I spend my own hard-earned money on only the products I believe in. Two years ago, I had a large collection of plugins by a wide variety of developers. Then I took a chance on Nebula 3 Pro and spent $180 USD as an experiment. Long story short, I have never looked back and don't use anything other than a gain plugin and a VU meter besides Acustica products.


Using Nebula changed my workflow, made me make decisions and commit to them, study the products I was purchasing, and the result for me has been nothing but exceptional with all the Acustica products and 3rd party developers.


100 Euro price-tag for any of the Acustica products is more than fair in my opinion. I see other developers selling their products for twice or three times that amount. When a product is priced higher, it always seems well warranted. AA has always been responsive, honest, transparent about their business practices, and attentive to their customer needs. Two years ago there were no Acqua products, no demo versions, no homebrew, not even an office if I recall correctly. I'm amazed, encouraged, and excited to see where this small company is going to take the audio world.


Thank you Giancarlo and everyone at AA for what you do, and know that at least for this one customer (I have Pearl, Murano, Magenta, Honey, and others besides Nebula 3 Server), your efforts are very much appreciated.

Michael
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Re: A note from giancarlo about the pricing schema

Postby jfjer379 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:38 am

I love Acustica the most of the time(98%), does that count me as a customer you like? hehe :) i hope so :)

!00Euro price-tag is very fair :D , if its not then you have to go nebula :D
its in my best interest that Acustica earn money and can continue what they love to do so we get those incredible plugins Acustica make in return :)

i wish Acustica the best and i think when we see core7
more people are gonna go in to aquas ,
and the free Ochre is really gonna bring in new customers :)
all your hard work are gonna pay off big-time soon and you deserve it :)
For me everything from 100 and up to 200 Euro is fair :)
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Re: A note from giancarlo about the pricing schema

Postby kylen » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:16 pm

giancarlo wrote:One last thing. We never deleted a SINGLE post on our boards even when it was OFFENSIVE or derespectful.
As I told you, we play ALWAYS a fair game. We do things when promised till going even broke if we promised too much.

I always like reading your well thought out posts, soul and inspiration is catching and seems to still be alive after all this time at Acustica-Audio. I agree with the spirit of the above snippet, you've made every effort to be as transparent as possible and explain, re-explain, re-explain again in public when there are misunderstandings.

I'm not worried about Acqua pricing, I buy what I can afford and need, can't have everything in the candy store. I have picked up Amber, Acuamarine, D361, Green, Silk, Titanium, Trinity along the way.

Because I have a ba-zillion megabytes of Nebula libraries I'm also waiting for Nebula4 and appreciate understanding your views (mentioned above in your post) concerning the economy and implications of that release. I'm sure the upgrade price for Nebula4 will be fair also.

Good luck with Homebrew, it seems like a natural thing to do! :)
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Re: A note from giancarlo about the pricing schema

Postby Avgatzeblouz » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:24 pm

I like this honesty, especially in our business... So many backstabbers smiling at you, so many companies not answering emails, not participating in boards, and all of a sudden sending you an email saying they have a special offer just for you... Tired of this hypocritical way of making business. So I completely dig Giancarlo's way of running his relations with customers. It is HONEST. I got replies from them when it was 11pm in Italy ! Noone else is doing that ! And the price ? Look at the top of the line if you want to compare, not the other ones. McDSP, S****x, DMG Audio, are as expensive ! But don't have any mojo. So Acustica seems cheap in comparison. We all read about the 670, and how it is supposed to be amazing, and the most amazing thing on earth, etc... just because it is rare ! Of course it is not the best compressor ever made. No such thing exists, anyway. But in this world, where people absolutely want it because of Gearslutz marketing (and believe me, I am into it !), when someone offers it for 300€ instead of.... impossible to reach ! How can someone say it is too much ? Everyone can say he doesn't like it. But too expensive ? No way.

Keep up the good work, guys, and ENJOY YOUR HOLIDAYS !!!!!
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Re: A note from giancarlo about the pricing schema

Postby NoNameComesInMind » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:34 pm

i'm down with mtalavera, i'm in the same league so to say, but just hearing what RED did, after longing for some realism for so long i got so hooked, that i could not let this company go.

also just by reading you can tell there is a passion flowing, and that keeps me confident in buying products and also willing to support this movement. I'm glad you put this info out there Giancarlo cause i'm trying to not be a sort of "spokesman" and i'm no voice of acustica at all, so i'm not to be taken seriously, but intuitively i can tell that some people just need to focus a bit more on listening to their plugins than complaining about problems that obviously occurs everywhere in this business - only difference is that other plugins plain and simply s*ck to my ears.

i started with pEArL to feel special, now i own 7 products and still feel special, with the exception of a daily meal of noodles!
EQualizer, Nebula, Coffee.
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Re: A note from giancarlo about the pricing schema

Postby tkrizic » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:38 pm

cool, i hope they will stay around 100
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Re: A note from giancarlo about the pricing schema

Postby ce1909 » Sat Aug 08, 2015 5:42 pm

I sure wish a customer loyalty discount program was possible based on past amounts of purchases.
Even with Pre-Sale (which I don't always want or am able to do) there's no way I can continue to invest in products as much as I'd like to help with your company's future revenue for development.
With the price points all over the place it would seem to be a viable solution.
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Re: A note from giancarlo about the pricing schema

Postby giancarlo » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:16 pm

ce1909 wrote:I sure wish a customer loyalty discount program was possible based on past amounts of purchases.
Even with Pre-Sale (which I don't always want or am able to do) there's no way I can continue to invest in products as much as I'd like to help with your company's future revenue for development.
With the price points all over the place it would seem to be a viable solution.



this is a good idea indeed. We are doing it in the background. For example we are providing already educational discounts, and when sometimes a customer drops an email telling us: "listen, I'm a supported and I bought a lot of products" we try to satisfy him in every way possible. Sometimes we even make a discount or provide something for free. Anyway it would be better if we build a different system, maybe based on vauchers, like for example UAD is doing. I hate to ask things, and I suppose it is valid for our customers too.
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Re: A note from giancarlo about the pricing schema

Postby giancarlo » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:21 pm

tkrizic wrote:cool, i hope they will stay around 100


well our price tag is that one. It was a bit higher just for 3 products, and they were for several reasons exceptional, and we tried to cover costs.

Aquamarine required a complete new tech, and it was an expensive product for us. I coded for almost 2 months, and we had even a big delay in our release. When a delay happens we don't earn too much in the meanwhile, and we need to recover costs because the lacking of other releases
Pearl is a stunning product in limited edition, so the higher price is fair. It would not make a sense otherwise
About Ultramarine we lowered the price as much as possible. It is an incredible device, not just a commmodity thing.

Several months ago I planned "scarlet" as a product around 400-500 eur. Anyway I changed my mind quickly (not just because someone said Ultramarine is way too much pricey). We decided to create an homebrew version, and doing so we are entitled to get a lower price (even if building it has a cost!). About the real deal, we finally found a device and we'll try to get it as much cheap as possible. Anyway it is not easy to find one of them, a lot of people refused to make us sampling it, for example.
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