Concerns About Closure of Sounds.com and Compensation for Credits

sdmusic
sdmusic Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

Hello fellow music enthusiasts,

I hope you’re all doing well. Today, I bring up an issue that has been bothering me recently: the unexpected shutdown of Sounds.com by Native Instruments.

Like many of you, I’ve invested a significant amount into this platform, accumulating over 2000+ credits that I intended to use over time to enhance my musical projects. With the sudden closure of the website, it’s left me feeling somewhat stranded and a bit concerned about these unused resources.

My primary concern is whether there will be any form of fair compensation for all the credits we’ve accumulated on our accounts. It would make sense if we could get our investment back in some way or have it transferred to other resources within the Native Instruments universe.

If anyone has had similar experiences or has information regarding this matter, your advice would be greatly appreciated. Additionally, if anyone knows how to directly contact those responsible for making these decisions at Native Instruments, please share that too. It’s crucial that we voice our concerns about this sudden change so that appropriate measures can be taken.

We joined this community because we love creating music and exploring new sounds. Let’s strive to ensure fairness and uphold the shared joy of making music together.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post! Looking forward to hearing from you all soon.

Best regards,

SdMusic

Comments

  • keys0728
    keys0728 Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    SdMusic, I feel your pain. I still had 6,000 + downloads to go. Which makes my saved downloads very expensive.

    I did not receive an email or notification from sounds.com regarding its closure. Had I been informed of this, I would have gone on a download frenzy.

    I share your hope there will be some way of compensating for our credits and investment.

    But like you, I have no advice or answers, just concern and disappointment.

    As I'm sure we are not the only ones processing this development, my hope is the good folks at NI will find a way to make this transition a bit more seamless for our community.

    And like you, I look forward to the responses.

    My best.

  • BigPictureSound
    BigPictureSound Member Posts: 47 Member

    When did Sounds.com launch?

  • side-eighty8
    side-eighty8 Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    I'm also really dissapointed for a reason I'll mention at bit later ****

    but i'll first comment on your issue....

    If you didn't receive any notice then that is a real problem. To be honest communication from NI was pretty weak.

    I do have a question for anyone who has used the site over the past few weeks/months..... did the site itself give you any clear and upfront notice or reminders that it was closing? It would have helped reach those who might have missed or not received the email. I don't know if they did or did not do this... I'm just curious. I do think they should have sent follow up emails closer to the date of closure and perhaps even the day before. This lack of effort reflects on NI. I'm surprised they didn't do more to keep customers informed and to make them as happy as they can in order to keep them as customers. Anyway, I suppose I'm not really here to judge big picture objectives.

    *****

    so to my issue.....

    I did receive the email but I believe it said that the site would be closing at the end of 30th June which is also the end of the month. made sense to me.

    here is a quote from the email:

    "Can I still access my sounds? Yes, all active subscribers can continue to enjoy Sounds.com through June 30th, 2023"

    and here is another quote:

    "Your remaining access to Sounds.com will be complimentary through June 30,2023"

    the word "through" in these sentences means up to and including that date. This is how I have always interpreted the word used in that way....and I have since confirmed from a number of sources that this is the correct interpretation. If I am wrong then someone please correct me.

    The letter mentioned in one part that the site will "retire on that date".....but the meaning of that sentence is not clear and therefore the quotes above provide clear indication that the site would be closing at the end of the 30th. and to be honest it just made sense to me as it would be the end of the month. I was certain they meant the end of the 30th.

    So when I discovered it was already closed I was annoyed. Im not even sure when they closed. Im going to assume it was the end of 29th? I get that some people might say... "hey you had plenty of time before... and why did you leave it to the last minute?" but that is not really the point. My circumstances made it very difficult to comfortably do it any earlier and I really pushed a few things around to be able to download the samples on the 30th. I believe it was clear we had till the end of the 30th. from a legal standpoint that is all that matters.

    I was pretty frustrated. I really wish I could have access to these sounds for a small amount of time. And if not then I want the cost of the remaining credits to be transferred to other products.

    I understand NI are attempting to smooth the closure over by offering an extended demo of the big package... but for me (any I'm sure many others) these are products that I either own or don't need. so that doesn't really help. I wish they gave us other options to choose from. to be honest the demo really is just a sales gimmick. perhaps some will like it... perhaps those doing a 3 month album? seems a bit cheeky for NI to present the extended demo as being a great reward or gift. Although I'm sure some will like it.

    So with no access to sounds.com support I attempted to email support from other departments without success. from one ticket I did receive a generic response that did not highlight my actual issue.

    hope all of this made sense

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,525 admin
    edited July 2023

    Hi @sdmusic @keys0728 sorry that you didn't get an email from us. Unfortunately emails are the only means of contacting our users, and it was beyond our control if our emails were blocked. :( To answer your question, we displayed a banner on sounds.com website informing visitors of the upcoming changes as well.

    If you haven't already, please get in touch with the support team here: https://bit.ly/n1registr if you have questions about your account.

  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,525 admin

    @side-eighty8 says

    The letter mentioned in one part that the site will "retire on that date".....but the meaning of that sentence is not clear and therefore the quotes above provide clear indication that the site would be closing at the end of the 30th. and to be honest it just made sense to me as it would be the end of the month. I was certain they meant the end of the 30th.

    The site was shut down in the early hours of June 30, not the end of day I'm afraid.

  • mehigharou
    mehigharou Member Posts: 1 Newcomer
    Dear Native Instruments,
    
    I am writing to express my deep disappointment and concern regarding the shutdown of my subscription Sounds.com, despite having a significant amount of unused credits remaining. As a loyal customer, I have always trusted your services and relied on them to meet my needs efficiently.
    
    To provide some context, I have been a subscriber to your service for quite some time now over 4 years, and I have always been satisfied with the quality and value it offers. However, I recently discovered that my subscription is being terminated, leaving me with over 16,000 unused credits that I had planned to utilize in the near future.
    
    Given the substantial number of credits remaining, I had assumed that my subscription would be honored until I had exhausted the full amount. These credits represent a considerable investment on my part, and it is disheartening to learn that they will go to waste due to the unexpected shutdown.
    
    While I understand that circumstances and business decisions can change, I kindly request an explanation for the abrupt closure of my subscription and the resulting loss of my remaining credits. I believe it is essential for customers to be informed and given the opportunity to utilize their purchased credits fully, especially whenthey have invested a significant amount of time and resources into the service.
    
    Furthermore, I would appreciate if you could consider providing an alternative solution or compensation for theunused credits. This would not only demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction but also help restore my trust in your company and its services.
    
    I value the relationship we have had in the past, and I sincerely hope that this matter can be resolved amicably. I kindly request a prompt response to address my concerns and provide clarification on the situation.
    
    Thank you for your attention to this matter, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    
    Yours sincerely,
    
    [M Gharou]
    


  • Mox
    Mox Member Posts: 4 Member

    The E-Mail made it seem like the whole 30th would be still available to spend credits. I expressed my concerns beforehand, also submitted a ticket three weeks ago, yet received NO answer! 6000 Credits in my case, just vanished! I am a Native Costumer since day 1 and have spend 5 figures of money on your product, this is not a way to treat people.

  • Mox
    Mox Member Posts: 4 Member

    If there is no adequate response by NI to this issue maybe we should get together and think about legal action.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,025 Expert

    Adequate response will probably not come, since the whole situation has not been treated in an adequate manner…

    Quite strange that their sales emails never get lost and they even send them repeatedly (“in case you missed”, “one day left”, with also countdowns on how many hours, minutes and seconds are left…) while such an important email fall into the case of “hey…let’s send it because we have to…but let’s hope someone doesn’t see it”… And also that it wasn’t possible to close a service like this one saying “we’ll leave it for 3-6 months so everybody can take care of the situation”. No…they allowed just 3-4 weeks, like if they didn’t know before they were shutting it down (I frankly doubt any big and serious company doesn’t know their moves with more than 1 month of advance…but maybe the explanation resides exactly in the SERIOUS word).

    And also strange that, trying to write on another discussion on the argument that a compensation with a limited voucher for the NOW subscription is just an attempt to bring some people into their ecosystem, for the first time the post hasn’t been published immediately but it needed to be reviewed…

  • Monochrome
    Monochrome Member Posts: 1,065 Expert

    Just wondering... Does no one ever read the Terms of Service/Terms & Conditions (to which you automatically agree upon signing up)?

    Sounds.com once stated:

    5.5 We may suspend, withdraw, discontinue or change all or any part of the Service without notice.

    Even in case of NI's Komplete NOW subscription service, it clearly states:

    1. We may suspend, withdraw, discontinue, change or remove any audio file, software, the Service or parts of the Service at any time without notice.

  • LostInFoundation
    LostInFoundation Member Posts: 4,025 Expert

    Yes…and…?

    There are many threads now about this closure, and in none of them I see someone saying “you can’t close it”.

    It is clearly in their right to do it.

    What people are discussing is the way they did it.

    There are 2 ways of doing something like this:

    One is a little bit…let’s call it at least bitter… You send a single email (who sees it sees it, we have done it so it’s not our fault) which is also saying “you have till the end of the month to take your steps otherwise everything will be gone”. Not all NI users are professional musicians who do these kind of things everyday. Many do it as an hobby and I don’t think it’s so rare to have people who don’t open/touch anything related for several weeks, specially in a period where schools are finishing (busy with other “more important” deadlines) or people could be going in holiday (busy having a break from anything else, even music making and emails)

    The other is the good way (or best way possible), in which you notice your service is not profitable anymore, you decide to close it but you take care of your customers in an honest and caring way, because you recognize their importance.

    Announcing it with a very long forewarning (as I said, no serious company doesn’t know they are gonna shut down something like this only 1 month before) giving like this all the time for all the users to download all the sounds they bought, finish the credits they have and so on and so forth.

    Giving some serious compensation. Something tangible. Something interesting. Something that half of its users don’t already have. Giving some months of a subscription (or even one year) that will then finish leaving the users with…nothing…hoping like this that someone will end up in the fishnet and continue paying for it is, imo, more a crafty thing to do than a caring one.

    Or, if we really wanna exaggerate with the honesty, you could also say “if you still have credits you paid us for and you didn’t manage to use them, we give you the money back” (yes I know, not really typical for today economic world of multinationals, but I’ve seen it done, and I thought “THESE are very honest workers. If they will do/release something else I will keep an eye on them, cause they deserve it”. It’s called building trust and credibility (again…something not so valued in modern world…)

    As I said…no one is discussing their right to do it, nor their motivations. But I think it’s quite fair and undeniable to describe the way they did it as “not the best one imaginable”.


    About your proving their Terms of Service/Terms & Conditions allows them to do such things… yes you are right: they wrote it and if we want to use their products we are forced to agree. But…the fact that is written makes it correct? In my opinion, no…and the relevant agencies that should control these kind of things should take care of this and forbid it, instead of spending one year discussing in every single country if Microsoft is allowed to acquire Activision/Blizard or if Sony is right to make an appeal…just because these kind of cases are more appealing to the people and like this they will end up on the newspapers.

    Specially in cases like the one that our beloved NI just did: canceling part of an EULA users have agreed with because it’s not convenient for them (yes, I’m talking about the magically disappeared "Should Native Instruments for whatever reasons no longer be able to fulfil its obligations to deliver the activation key, it will provide the Licensee with a key which ensures the continued use of the software independent of changes of the computer.")

  • @16pADZz
    @16pADZz Member Posts: 2 Newcomer

    So what did they do with all the sounds. I need some of those sounds back. How can i find the sounds again???

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