One argument in favor of subscriptions is, “If you have upgrade with every version anyway, then you end up saving money.” Which is actually true. But how many people upgrade with every version of the software? If a software suits my needs today, and a new version is released tomorrow, that does not mean that my version that worked fine yesterday, will no longer work. I prefer not to upgrade unless I need to, or simply want to. In my opinion, upgrading just because a new version came out, is no reason to upgrade at all.
Some have said, “But businesses need to get all the latest versions! If you are in business you should get the latest version.”
This I can say from personal experience, is not always 100% accurate. One of the businesses I work for was using the same version of graphic arts software for about 8 years, and it worked fine. And they are very professional. Additionally, my brother who works in the animation field, noted that a lot of movie studios don't use certain versions of software such as Maya (for 3D animation) and Final Cut Pro (for video editing) because the newer versions are worse than the older version. Instead they stick with the old versions of the software. They don't always upgrade with every version.
Another argument I hear is, “If you are in business, you can afford to keep paying for a good software.” Sure, but why would I pay for something I don't need to pay for? If one DAW makes me pay forever and I can get equally good audio from another DAW that only asks me to pay for it once or even gives itself to me for FREE, where is the “logic” (<-- DAW pun) in that? I'll use a metaphor:
One business man buys high quality gas for his car every week.
Another business man found a place where he can buy high quality gas that never runs out. Ever.
Which business man sounds wiser with his money to you? Hint: the second one.
I could talk about the DAWs that made good or bad pay models, but we need to move on to today's DAW Shoot Out post, which by the way has an excellent pay model: buy one version of their software and get free upgrades for LIFE! Now that sounds like a good way for a business man (or woman) to buy “gas”.
On a spiritual level, I believe God wants us to remember that the money and resources He blesses us with, are still His. We should always constult Him about how to manage and how to use what belongs to Him wisely. Amen? Amen :)