Prosoniq Discontinues Windows Products Because Of Pirates

Prosoniq has announced that it’s killing off its Windows products, effective June 1st, 2009.

Existing Windows products will continued to be sold until that date, and updates will be available until the end of 2009. Users who wish to crossgrade from the latest version of their Windows product to the Mac counterpart can do so for free by contacting Prosoniq via its contact form.

The company says that it can’t make money on Windows because of widespread piracy.

Do you think this is a sign of larger problems with Windows as a music platform? And do you remember when people were going to write off the Mac as music platform?

More From Prosoniq

Bernhard Bouché, CEO at Prosoniq says that the Windows platform, though having a larger market share, has become increasingly unattractive due to the widespread availability of pirated Prosoniq products. “We were, and still are, using a serial number based authorization. We believe that moving from this relatively easy and painless method to a more complicated and error prone way of protecting our products is counter productive for our users. Our past experience with dongled products shows that implementing a dongle based copy protection is prohibitively expensive for affordable add-on products like our plug-ins, and makes selling over the internet problematic”, says Bouché.

Since Windows product sales in 2008 have been virtually nonexistent Prosoniq has eventually decided to put the focus once again back exclusively on developing Mac products, which have been selling extremely well.

“Even though we are aware of the danger of being dependent on a single company we are primarily a Mac based company”, Bouché says. “Being a small company developing highly specialized products we don’t aim for the mass market”, he adds. “Our experience shows that 90% of our customers are on the Mac anyway. We believe that by tending to products on one platform only we will be able to make better products and provide better support. Since crossgrading to the Mac is free we hope to encourage our Windows users to consider using them on a Mac when they are ready”. He also says that Prosoniq will reconsider developing for Windows when he sees a potential for more sales and less piracy, or when targeting other markets.

Windows product development had been one requirement for Prosoniq’s relationship with their former distributor, Steinberg. Prosoniq and Steinberg parted in 2001 but are still successfully working together as technology licensing partners. All Prosoniq key technologies, such as MPEX, will continue to be available for licensing on both Windows and Mac.

21 thoughts on “Prosoniq Discontinues Windows Products Because Of Pirates

  1. You can get pirated software on the Mac as well so this is a little odd. Seems like an excuse to me.
    May be the are sick of the unwashed PC masses?

    I mean, even if 99% of the PC world steals their stuff, the 1% that does buy are still playing money for it. And this is money they are no longer going to get.
    Why cut out a revenue stream?

    If it costs too much to develop then they need to look at how they are coding stuff.

    I think companies are starting to learn. Audio Damage has some amazing plugins and they are cheap. And they sell a ton of them.

    More companies need to follow that model. If it’s cheap, people do not mind paying for it.

    But plopping down $281 for a plugin you many only use once or twice? If your not a studio or a producer, who wants to pay that?
    $281 is a lot of money for anything today.

    The app store on the iphone has shown that people will buy a LOT of software if the price is right.

    I would pay $40 for Orange Vocoder. $40 is a lot more than nothing.

  2. Part of the problem, quite apart from piracy and Mac vs Windows, is that we have no real frame of reference for judging value vs price on software. It’s not like we can say, “yes, a lot of raw material went into that, look at how heavy it is, you can feel the craftsmanship… this just screams quality, and I should pay more than $200 for this product.” From a physical perspective, all software looks the same: it’s just electrons. We have a harder time judging what’s worth $50 and what’s worth $500, and so we have a harder time justifying to our buying selves the price being asked for the products. Once we start to imaging a price/value discrepancy in our mind, it’s a lot easier to step to, “they’re charging too much, just steal the damn thing.” After that, the ease of sealing “just electrons” sends the whole thing sliding head first down a slippery slope… the more we steal, the less we value the electrons; the less we value the electrons, the more we feel we’re being overcharged for our toys; the more we feel overcharged, the more we steal…

  3. There’s some things that I feel are worth the Effort. Especially sampled synths/libraries. For instance, the FAB FOUR instrument is an amazingly put-together piece that’s worth every cent. A lot of detail went into this, both programming, and especially hardware collecting & sampling.
    But, $1600 for ReFX’s Nexus softsynth? No sorry, too much for a program with soundbanks. Especially in a market that is oversaturated with this type of thing.

    DAW’s and sound-tech programs are a different story, esp. something as extensive and industry-reliant as an Auto-Tuner for example. The price of those is justifiable because of what they do and their importance, (despite cubase becoming a piece of bloated crap IMO, but my money walked and went to FinalCut).

    I don’t advocate piracy of course, people need to make money on their work. But the perceived value of software is a tough battle when it’s just damn easy to copy & share it. Most piracy doesn’t occur over the internet, it’s sharing the stuff between friends & co-workers, tbh. Because not everyone is a wealthy musician with $800 to spare on “yet another virus or jupiter” softsynth. Overbloating the prices of the software makes this decision unregretful, tbh.

  4. Oh, also, why would anyone in this market leave the Windows environment now? I’m one of the rare people who started on Windows DAW and went to the MAC platform (after making sure the VSTi’s I use were available for it). There’s a lot more development on the Window splatform than the MAC nowadays, by far, and programs come out first on Windows than on OSX. Which is infuriating, but it happens. It’s a serious avenue at this day and age, why drop it? Piracy happens, that isn’t stopping anyone from making anything on either platform. That makes no sense at all.

    Yes, there’s probably more piracy on Windows, but remember, there’s 100 times more users on Windows than OSX. By far.

  5. Pricing is an issue. There’s so much free stuff available for the PC that it’s hard to wade through, making expensive plugins an even harder sell.

    iPhone developers are getting smart – releasing free versions of apps with more sophisticated commercial counterparts. Maybe more PC developers should do that.

    Or maybe PC users are just poor?

  6. All in all i think it’s a stupid move by Prosoniq. I use a PC and a MAC.

    But in all honesty, I have never used any of their products so may be I am bitching for nothing.

  7. I also agree that this is a stupid move..who knows…maybe its another sell out to Apple..Its like in the movie Demolition man, where all the restaurants in the “future” where only Pizza Hut. Who knows? In the real future, Apple might control everything with their uber priced uber fancy uber simplistic crap..

  8. seriously.. ik multimedia has made the serial number/digit id work pretty well, you don’t see them dropping out of the race. the vsti market is the biggest. if your product sits in the middle somewhere with a price that doesn’t wave it’s hand infront of anyone’s face, then it’s gunna be passed up. no matter how many copies are stolen, if their sales drop to nearly 0 in 2008 you can’t blame that all on pirating… market, adverstisment, pricing, technology, features, cpu intensity, and why does someone need another filter or reverb anyways? surely not someone willing to pay a high end price that’s for sure.

  9. Pretty ironic that Prosoniq is complaining about sales as they pretty much haven’t released any new plug-ins since 2004 – with most being released in 2002/2003! I know because I’m a Windows user who bought them all (though I rarely use them these days due to still unfixed bugs and instability). I am also of the firm belief that the people who use pirated software cannot be considered “would-be” customers. That’s very poor accounting. It’s pointless to imagine how many sales are lost to a group of people who probably can’t even find the time to use all the stuff they’ve illegally downloaded. Instead pay more attention to advancing the product line, advertising (can’t remember the last time I saw a Prosoniq ad) and supporting existing customers. Heck Sonalksis, Voxengo, Audio Damage, Ohmforce, GForce, Kjaerhus. Tritone Digital, Massey et al all make plug-ins for the Windows platform and have simple serial-number licensing schemes and yet they seem to be doing just fine. If they want to preserve their internet sales model while using copy protection, go iLok or Syncroft then. Running away from a platform and blaming it on piracy is not only insulting but it’s also an excuse for what really amounts to poor business practice. You can’t expect to keep making money when there are no new products for people to buy.

  10. Let’s face it – if you’re still using a Windows machine for music, it’s because you’re too cheap to buy a Mac.

    Most people realize that Macs make better computers for music – so people that go for a cheap computer are probably a lot more likely to steal their software.

    This is too bad for music developers that have put a lot of effort into supporting Windows – but it’s just the way it is!

  11. Mac = Windows = Mac

    its all the same now.

    90 percent of their customers were mac anyway, what does it matter? And mac piracy is JUST as rampant now. Go check out the court cases of Waves – do you think they are all running windows machines?

    Windows vs. Mac is simply a matter of what software you want to run. The OS’es are the same, the hardware is the same crap, unless you get an emachine – if you want to run logic, go mac. If you want to run everything else, go win.

  12. Active discussion on this!

    @BlueBrat: I’ve had the same observation about ReFX. Without stats showing who’s buying I can’t substantiate further, but I have a feeling if the price has stayed at that level for awhile, it’s because there are pros who consider that (generic trance sounds assembled in a convenient place and playable from the get-go) to be a nominal price, and ARE buying actively to save time and get started make productions for stock music libraries, TV ads, and others.

    I’ve seen similar behavior in the video plugin again, and this”d be a trail worth catching up on, if ReFX elects to share if this infact is the case.

  13. I use a windows machine for my music production, and it has nothing to do with my budget, I actually dual boot with OS-X just to use some Mac only software on a rare occasion. No macs dont make “better” computers for music production, rather they make simpler computers with more standardized hardware. When you get into the guts, its the same PC chips running on BSD, nothing new aside from the fact its shiny and costs more than its really worth.

    We will continue to see Windows products, because lets face it. Microsoft has the lions share of computer users world wide. But really, I think Prosoniq is screwing themselves over, I mean $220 for OrangeVocoder? Seriously, its 5mb of code! Hell yes I’ll take a free version and spend that on a new card from RME. They would have had my business if they kept the price under $50. I think as a whole, audio hardware/software is grossly over priced anyways. But this happens in such a boutique market that is so diverse with competition.

  14. I think there’s some truth to the argument that Windows users are cheaper and are more likely to steal software.

    Apple doesn’t just markup their computers more; they sell better computers. Dell recently released a new stylish, high end computer and it’s more expensive than the Mac counterpart. It probably won’t sell very well because it’s not $400.

    Pros value the quality and stability of a Mac, and aren’t going to install bootleg software on their machines. Though there are a lot more PCs, there aren’t that many pros doing music on them, so what developers see is that PC users are ripping off their software, and Mac users aren’t.

  15. Jordan, if you are seriously trying to say that the smaller the software is, the less it should be in price, i really suggest you go back to playing legos and lincoln logs and stay away from a computer. And that doesnt justify piracy.

    raymond –

    mac people install tons of bootleg software ALL the time. it is rampantly available and moreso within the past 2 years. If it wasn’t used, it wouldnt be so widely available. The warez groups pander to people that USE the software

  16. some business models increase their prices to meet the balance of piracy. that is the wrong approach. lower the prices and allow more purchases. sell by quantity. make pirating less appealing, not more by raising the prices. that is a vicious circle.

    seriously the reason it didnt sell is because it was like $299 and not much added since 2003/4 or whatever. you can go to ik multimedia and get CSR Classik Studio Reverb with 4 reverbs that hold their own for only $229. i mean it’s not rocket science. there are really nice reverbs that come with daws too. infact positive most daw verbs are used here and there in almost everyones projects. low cpu intensive, seamless workflow, familiarity and price.

    oh btw if you were interested in buying rayverb looks some are selling out of business prices.. this place is selling it for $109.

    just think if they did that before and see how many copies they would of sold. probably would of had a nice flood of sales… gotta be smart in marketing.. ik multimedia runs some very clever price drops and sales events.. you have to stay current in days of software wars…

    oh on the macs are better issue.. well if you believe buying prada shoes over a half priced, regulated construction and used by the masses is better, then enjoy your brand name. i’ll enjoy the cash to upgrade anytime with anything. you can enjoy your proprietary machine… even though they’ve slowly started adopting pc hardware components, go figure.

  17. I really wonder how people can think one sys is better than another… but most of them dont even know what an ALU is so. What they say is not worth a cent.

    Does someone really care what Prosoniq does? I mean, there are tons of similar and maybe better plugins and if not… if they truly made something that special, it wont take long until someone will reproduce that.

  18. I used to be a Mac Genius, and I have been a professional musician/producer/composer for many years now. As well I have been doing IT support for plenty of years also and I can absolutely assure you 100% that the ONLY difference between a Mac and a PC is the OS, period. I started out with nothing but Macs and Digital performer since 95′, and loved it. But I wanted to get a more powerful machine to get more involved with film scoring.

    So what did I do out of necessity? I used my years of IT knowledge and built a Music PC from scratch running Windows XP. I ordered every piece seperately from the MB, HD, CPU, Cooling Fan, Case, etc. Went into Windows XP and stripped the registry of everything I didn’t need, and disabled all network functionality.

    Flawless performace, actually more stable than any OS X machine I used when I was running Logic, and PT. I couldn’t rationalize spending almost $3000 for a top of the line Mac when I could build a PC just as powerful for close to $800.

    There used to be a difference between the 2 when the Power PC Altivecs were produced. But now Macs and PCs are using 99% identical INTEL chips. There is no difference people. I used to run Windows XP at the Apple Genius Bar flawlessly with Boot Camp. Keep believing the lie if you want. But I can use a couple of grand for more important things in life than to say I have an Apple. As for what the pros use, believe me when I say this, if you have music that someone wants that’s top notch, all you have to do is present them with a 24bit .wav 2tr master stem, or bounce down each multitrack from your project as a .wav file. People do it all the time.

  19. As for software piracy, it makes perfect since why they would quite. Would you go to a job over and over putting all your efforts into the same thing and only get paid 10% for the same task when something else pays you 100% for the same effort? Of course not!

    You can’t compare these guys to other companies like WAVES or whoever because they aren’t as BIG as Waves. They’re a small sized group that doesn’t have tons of money an unlimited resources. When they’re sales go off a little they feel it a lot compared to the same amount of people doing that to Native Instruments. And the fact that there are 100’s more people using PCs is why there’s more piracy, because you have that many more people that are purposely stealing your stuff!

    Why can’t people just buy the stuff or leave it alone?

  20. DAS;
    WAVES became big because they made and continued to make a quality product. They earned it.

    I won' t buy any hardware from M-Audio at all anymore after their lazyness in bringing out Vista drivers for their audio cards, far after other companies did. Int he long run, I went back to XP anyway, then the MAC, but regardless, how a company performs and handles change is very important in an industry that's quick to change like this one is.

    Why can't people just buy the stuff or leave it alone? Because it's easy, not everyone has $$$, esp. the kids, and not everyone has your morals.

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