Possible fix for the cost of Camtasia 2018 complaints

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After reading a plethora of complaints about the cost of Camtasia 2018, it is clear that TechSmith might need to revise their sales model. My suggestion would be to adopt a pay as you go model, like is being done for many other software offerings. This alleviates the bill shock issue, allowing customers to reliably budget for the cost over time. It also provides consistent cash flow that may be used to increase your R&D budget so that everyone wins when more problems are being solved and features being implemented.

Instead of a $250 up front cost for maybe 2 years worth of fixes and improvements with the software. A monthly fee of $15 looks better and lowers the barrier to entry, and actually adds up to $360 over 2 years. This allows for any major improvements to be included in the existing fee.

I understand that there are technical and investment barriers to the transition, but maybe it can be considered.
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Jenm

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Posted 5 months ago

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Mal Reynolds

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They went down this path a year or two back, offering it through Steam. I don't think it worked that well.

I have no issue with them offering a subscription model provided that they continue to offer a perpetual licence, up front payment option as well. Microsoft still does that with Office.

Adobe does not offer that with Creative Cloud, and have adopted the dual principles of "Our hand in your pocket for life" and "Our hand deeper and deeper in your pocket over time".

A person can retire, lose their job, suffer some kind of misfortune that cuts their income. If they have bought software up front, then that's a sunk cost. They can go on using it for as long as they can, without any further cost. If they have to pay every month, then that's one of the costs that needs to be offloaded. It reduces their quality of life, it reduces their ability to maintain or enhance their skills, and reduces their chance to get back to earning income.


A company which is going through a cycle can put off upgrading software for a while until things improve. But not if they have to shell out every month for it to prevent losing access to it.


Subscriptions are fine, but not when they remove a perpetual licence option.

And frankly I don't think that this goes to the heart of the complaints. The complaint isn't that it's $99, it's that it's "$99 for not very much of value". Change it to a monthly payment and the complaints will simply change to "I've been paying $15 per month for 2 years and you've given me nothing that improves my workflow".
(Edited)
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Jenm

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I must say that sunk cost is a 2 sided coin. Many people could not afford the up front cost, if they don't have a job and want to get into an industry, or they might want the flexibility of being able to change providers at any time if some other offering is looking better.
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Mal Reynolds

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Exactly. That's why the dual option thing is the "best of both worlds". I don't know why the Steam experiment was pulled; my best guess is that it wasn't generating the kinds of sales that Techsmith hoped for.

Why that is... I couldn't say. I could speculate that one reason may be that Steam wasn't the right platform in the sense that the vastly overwhelming majority of the content there is games, and it may just be that not enough people knew that it was there. The other may be that a monthly fee is less tempting when a piece of software is relatively low cost. I'm not saying that Camtasia's up front cost is negligible for everyone, but it's not in the ballpark of a lot of productivity applications. In my part of the world the cost is low enough that anyone using it professionally could claim a tax deduction in the first year; it falls under the the threshold where you need to amortise it, and there aren't very many productivity applications that fit in that basket.
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Jenm

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;-D
(Edited)
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Jenm

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Good points.

Adobe does have a yearly option that is heavily discounted for organisations, and other package and discount options. So this kind of thing would be good.
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JMichaelTX

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I, and many others, generally do not like a subscription model.  My main objection is that it locks you into paying whether or not you want or need the upgrades.  For example, I've been using MS Office 2011 for 7 years now, and it provides everything I need, and most of everything I want.

So, over the long run, subscriptions costs much more.  SW apps are different from services, like an anti-virus app/service that is almost daily updating my virus signatures.  I am more than willing to pay a subscription for this.

Like most things, it is a cost/benefit analysis for me.  The new features of Camtasia do not warrant a full $99 for the upgrade, after I just purchased it 6 months ago.

For more on a fairer method of upgrade price, see:
https://feedback.techsmith.com/techsmith/topics/camtasia-2018-s5b3nu8mf78aq?topic-reply-list[setting...
(Edited)
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rg

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I am dead set against software that requires an ongoing subscription in order to use it.  This is why Adobe lost me some time ago, and won't get me back with their Creative Clod model.  I would be willing to buy software that is discounted for the basic version, with a subscription fee or a permanent add-on price for a la carte shopping.  Some video editing programs are starting to do this.  I wouldn't give a nickel for 60fps capture/editing/output (my clients don't need it yet) but I'd gladly pay extra for a set of stylish, pre-made lower-third trick reveals.
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Mark

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I guess I could just use Final Cut Pro where you pay for it once and get free fixes and not have to worry about upgrading every year.
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Melissa Criderr

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Help us spread the word that Camtasia is not worth spending money on. My husband and I are having the worst experience with the program and the people who work for this comp. no help at all, just deleting our help requests. We will definitely look into what you shared.
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Mal Reynolds

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The fact that you think that Instagram is a support channel makes me suspect that you and your husband don't have the first clue about what you are doing. That's a personal opinion only, but I regard it as a well founded one. If you can't even raise a support request through the correct channel, if you can't think to uninstall the upgrade and go back to the earlier version to see whether the upgrade really IS the problem, if you can't specify the previous version that you were using and the current version, and if you can't describe the issue with more precise details than "we have a top of the line PC", I think I might decline to join your crusade.

Personally I think that they were right to delete your comment. It is not something that is of even the remotest interest to anyone who follows them on Instagram. "My husband and I have a problem with the software, therefore it sucks, boycott it, boycott it!" Yes, that sort of thing always gets people to side with the complainer.
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Naomi Skarzinski

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Hello everyone, they have an add on maintenance program, which is only $49.75 a year. This covers all major upgrades and updates.  For $50 a year, that maintenance program is well worth it.

Add one year Maintenance - $49.75
  • Free Upgrades - All majors and updates
  • Priority Support - Dedicated phone queue & expedited handling
  • Volume Benefits - Cumulative discount with 5+ and same key
  • Camtasia Certification - Exclusive training to expand your skills
https://www.techsmith.com/store/camtasia
(Edited)
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Melissa Criderr

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So I hope I’m understanding you, but you have to spend more money to have this program functioning properly? This sounds like a scam. Not okay.
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Melissa Criderr

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Give us our money back and I will shut up.
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Naomi Skarzinski

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This is not a scam. You do not have to purchase the maintenance program to have the software to work.  It's a maintenance program.  The same as purchasing an air conditioner.  The air conditioner will work and many people hire a HVAC company to help maintain their air conditioner.  Then a lot of people don't hire a HVAC company and just let the HVAC do its thing.

TechSmith is a highly reputable company.  I have been a loyal customer of theirs since version 7.5, I think it was 7.5.  Many years.  Here is the support system to ask for help and/or ask for your money back.

https://support.techsmith.com/hc/en-us
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Mrs.Notetaker

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I agree with Naomi and have owned Camtasia for years for both PC and MAC using the maintenance program for Camtasia/Snagit for both operating systems.  Yes, upgrades have their issues and there is no perfect product out there.   Just look at Microsoft Windows track record.  We now have a very stable operating system with Windows 10.  Tech Support has been great to work with when there are issues.  I even clicked "reported an issue" just recently and they opened the ticket from that report and were quick to try and get me to send them what they needed.  I could not at that time and so the ticket was closed.  That was my choice. I know that if I need them again, they will be there. 

Melissa, you really cannot think they can solve your problem with just words... do you?  You need to open a ticket and let them look at why your system is doing what it is.  Do they know your system?  your video card? your storage solution? your memory? your CPU?   Sometimes it can be software like the virus protection running at the same time causing the issue.  Too many programs running behind-the-scenes can also uses up resources that Camtasia might need to do its job.  They need to determine what processes (machines) is running at the time of your problem.  Allowing them to check your system can quickly narrow down the problems.  Use your previous version since it was working until the problem can be identified. They are willing to work with you and no, i don't work for them. Just have a realistic approach.. there is no perfect program, product or machine any where.  
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Melissa Criderr

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My husband bought Camtasia and after one year of having this, after a recent update, it just stops functioning like it was made to. We have contacted them through email, and instagram. They will not help us and instead of trying to help us they deleted my help request on Instagram. I made it known what the issue was and that we have not been helped very well and that if we can’t get this fixed it’s just not worth $200 plus the $100 updated version. I have screen shots of this and it’s terrible.
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ron

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I have never had a problem with any techsmith product that tech support have not had a simple solution for me. I have used both Camtasia and snagit for some years
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rg

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I have also used Camtasia almost since its first release.  I've seen support for MOV as an input format go (and return), but have avoided upgrading past v8.6 due to the lack of MP3 as an output option.  The many complaints about v9, the lack of embedded audio EQ and the subscription-based pricing for v2018 are all additional turnoffs for me, despite some of the additional features offered.  I'm hanging on for now, however, since I recall how (many years ago) the response to my complaint that video became a freeze-frame whenever I inserted a dissolve: Camtasia support patiently explained that the product was not and never would be a video editing program -- yet here we are, today, with a video editing program.  So maybe MP3 will return as an export format.  Maybe audio EQ will be incorporated soon.  Maybe a non-subscription option will survive.  I have hope.
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Paul Middlin, Employee

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Just to make sure everything is clear, we do not currently offer any subscription pricing for Camtasia 2018. While you can pay for yearly maintenance (and I recommend it!), that option has been available for almost 20 years. So, we have not made any changes with this.
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Mal Reynolds

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I suspect that rg is thinking of the Assets package which, as I've described elsewhere, is quite a different kettle of fish from a subscription model for software itself.

The first makes sense, the second is Adobe eyeing off your wallet and liking what it sees.
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rg

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I don't generally worry about many of the additional features in the newer release; I would, however, like to retain the simplicity of the v8.6 interface and its MP3 output capability.  Additional audio tools -- only a few, no need to re-invent Audacity -- would be nice.  So would the ability to have more attractive options for lower thirds (I guess this is the Assets package).  Instead, I see many complaints about troubling audio problems with v9 and with product instability.  I'm not ready to surrender what works in v8.6 given these risks.
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demowolf

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There are definitely pros and cons to both pricing models... and strong opinions on both sides. There is no right answer... but if Techsmith wants to attract the greatest number of clients, I think they'd be well served to offer both options... a one time payment option as they do now, and also an ongoing monthly (or annual) subscription model.
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Naomi Skarzinski

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They do have both options. They have a yearly maintenance agreement (maintenance/subscription potato/patato).  I mentioned this above; however, I'll put all the information below, so hopefully someone will read this. (I'm not an employee, simply love TechSmith and their service and support.)

https://support.techsmith.com/hc/en-us/articles/224923528-Sales-Frequently-Asked-Questions-FAQ-

Is this a one-time fee?

When you purchase TechSmith products, you pay a one-time fee to permanently own the version of the application you purchased. Updates are included in the license price, but major release upgrades are not. If you would like to purchase a license upgrade when a newer version is released, the upgrade is available at a reduced cost. You can view current pricing by visiting our online store.

******
We do offer and recommend optional software maintenance. If you are covered under an active maintenance agreement when a new version is released, then you’d receive the upgrade for no additional charge. Stay covered under active maintenance, and you’ll always be running the latest and greatest version of the program!  You can learn more about our maintenance agreement program by visiting: https://www.techsmith.com/maintenance.html.

******

https://www.techsmith.com/maintenance.html
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Fred Grover, Champion

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Nicely stated Naomi and I feel the same way. I have been a long time user and nothing has really changed as it has been offered for awhile for the Maintenace Upgrade Plans and the only thing that is new is paying a subscription for the New Assets and that is not neccessary to use the software unless their are things you want to use they offer in that paid yearly subscription service. In the long run if you use the Assets and have to pay for them individually they would cost a lot more than the purchase of them individually.
Thanks for all the links Naomi and posting your input up here for everyone. Have a great day/night.