Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Optional OmniFocus Subscriptions

Ken Case (tweet):

Beyond supporting this new service model, there are some other benefits to offering subscription pricing as an option. Some of you have told us that you’re frustrated by our current “a la carte” pricing model, where each edition of the app is purchased separately. That you would prefer the option to pay a subscription each year which covers the price of future upgrades and unlocks the app everywhere. That you’d rather not have to worry about when the next major upgrade is coming, budgeting for how much that will cost. That you don’t want to have to think about whether you’ve bought the app for Mac or for iOS; that instead, you just want to use it on whichever device you happen to be using. Offering a subscription option for our desktop and mobile apps would help with all of these requests.


The OmniFocus subscription will cost $9.99/month, giving you access to the web service as well as OmniFocus Pro on all your Mac and iOS devices. If you’ve already invested in OmniFocus 3 and just want to add the web service, the cost for that will be $4.99/month.


I should note that subscriptions do have significant downsides. The initial cost to start using the product is lower, but over time subscriptions will end up costing more—and unlike our one-time purchases, it’s not an investment: when you stop subscribing to OmniFocus you’ll lose access to the things that were being provided by that subscription.

This seems very logical and well explained. Not yet announced: who you’ll pay for the subscriptions. Presumably, Omni could sell them directly to customers, bypassing the App Store’s 30% and offering educational discounts if they want.

Previously: Business Licensing for Omni’s iOS Apps, Transmit 5 on the Mac App Store.

Update (2018-12-19): John Gruber:

I can imagine, a few years from now, an Omni suite subscription, similar to Adobe’s Creative Cloud, that covers all of their apps on all platforms. Subscriptions are the way of the future for commercial software.

Update (2019-04-04): Ken Case:

Tomorrow’s OmniFocus updates for iOS and Mac will add support for optional subscriptions! As an alternative to the existing one-time payments to unlock the app, you’ll be able to subscribe for $9.99/month to unlock OmniFocus Pro on all your devices[…]

Update (2019-04-05): See also: Brent Simmons.

2 Comments RSS · Twitter

Admitting there are downsides to subscriptions is very forthcoming. While I shouldn't be surprised by Omni's dedication to being forthright in billing, it's still a little shocking compared to the usual software as service transition, cough Adobe cough.

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