Software as a service (SaaS) is nothing new. But what is new is the number of major professional software vendors that are going down this path. I know there are people who like the idea of SaaS. But beware, as all paths do not lead to the same destination. Are you buying software, or merely renting it? Unfortunately, it depends. Let’s take a look at some popular pro audio and video applications, and examine their licenses to see exactly what you’re getting, and whether you or the company benefits most from the SaaS business model.
Avid Software has released Media Composer 8.2.3, the latest update to the video editing tool used by many major motion picture studios. While you can still buy the program outright for $1,299, the subscription price for Media Composer is $79.99 per month. The licensing terms are obviously written by lawyers, which means you may need one to decipher exactly what you are paying for. However, this summary from the Avid website is very clear: