Retiring Sounds.com - An idea

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Vagus
Vagus Member Posts: 424 Guru

Hey Native Instruments, and Patrick specifically of the Sounds.com team

So I read on the website that you're retiring sounds.com, which, given you've removed support for NKS a while back, I would assume this is a good idea, and a better use of resources to bring to bear on new instrument QA and to bring the sounds.com catalogue into the NI ecosystem.

However, I noted this line from your messaging:

"Our teams are focusing on delivering new sounds and instruments through the Komplete Now subscription which includes fan-favorites like PLAYBOX, ALICIA’s KEYS, and DUETS as well as MASSIVE X, BATTERY and more. We invite you to try it for free for one month to explore the offering."

What you're basically telling us, is that Komplete Now is the way forward. I'd really like to ask a couple of what I think are important questions, and suggest a better way forward.

  1. Komplete Now is ok, but it doesn't replace us buying EVERYTHING. I buy a lot of things, and there's very little that NI creates that I don't buy. But there isn't a subscription offer that beats the Ultimate or Ultimate CE. Are you considering a new subscription offer for those who do spend hunderds, or thousands of dollars every year?
  2. If the sounds.com team is focused on Komplete Now and Play Series, would it not be a good idea to reward what I imagine are your higher paying customers with a better offer?

As of right now, Sounds.com has less than 100,000 visitors per month, so a very small portion of your userbase. NI has an oppertunity here not to just do the right thing, but capture a larger market share, something I'm sure you're thinking about given the link to the store (website) on Native Access.

Cross-sell to these very different customers with compelling offers. You have the data on purchases, conversions on sale periods, NKS partner sales, new instrument launches, as well as the purchase data from Sounds.com. Even if annonymized, this would show you the crossover between these customers.

Do I use all the machine packs included in Ultimate? No, I never touch them, and I'm sure your usage data shows you three-four different customers types. Why not sell more to them with a better subscription offer that also includes SoundWide partners?

Komplete Now - £89 for the year

This is actually a great offer. Real value for new customers, or those who want regular content updates. Not really good if you spend a lot.

But what if you had a new offer?

Komplete Now Ultimate - £199 for the year

Literally Everything - Including the Sounds.com back catalogue that supports NKS.

I would imagine you'd make less from the Summer Of Sound (but better lifecycle management will mitigate this), but you'd make more with ongoing subscriptions, and users going for the higher bracket subscription more easily than having to outlay £1619 for Ultimate.

It would also allow you to not include some of the really old stuff, and perhaps reuse some of that content in newly designed "best of / compendium product", like you did with 25 - only this time, sell it instead of giving it away for free.

If you compare Sounds Online, or other competing subscriptions, an ultimate subscription would make a mockery of the competition.

I'd just like to see NI take steps like this, rather than be late to the party, when everyone else is thinking of leaving.

Also, sounds.com is an unbeleavable domain name - save it for the 1st/3rd party storefront to emulate Steam - Welcome to Steam (steampowered.com); don't dispose of it for quick booking on your accounts. But that would be a change in licesing proceedure, and offer NI the ability to molopolise the market, and an entirely different thread.

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