We need apologize for, and clarify, Sparkle’s pricing communication.
Some customers are concerned that as Sparkle Pro purchasers, they are now automatically opted into a Sparkle Pro subscription.
This is troubling because it suggests a poor opinion of our business practices. We are not that kind of company.
So setting the record straight here:
- you can trust us to never charge the cost of something you haven’t expressly asked for, we never would.
- there is in fact no technical way for us to charge you money if you haven’t authorized it, we sell Sparkle via the Mac App Store and via paddle.com, they have your credit card information or your PayPal account number, and we have no technical means to force a transaction for an account that wasn’t originally a subscription plan. On both channels a purchase is very clearly labelled as recurring, and that’s the only way you opt-in to a subscription.
- even if we did have the technical means to charge your credit card (we don’t), the legal basis would be very shaky, why would we want to risk our company, our reputation and Sparkle on this?
With all that out of the way, I realize the user interface of the “Your License” screen in Sparkle is confusing, and might suggest you have a subscription if you have a Sparkle Pro license, because it’s straight under the “Sparkle Pro” column.
We introduced subscription as an option, because we think some customers will prefer it. “Who would prefer a subscription” you ask?
First, the first time cost of the Sparkle Pro subscription is significantly lower than the perpetual Sparkle Pro license. $71.99 vs. $119.99, so 60% lower.
I don’t think anybody expects software that is regularly maintained, with new features added all the time, to never have upgrade pricing. That would be disingenuous. Worse, it would be bad strategy. By using Sparkle you are investing in Sparkle’s future, you want Sparkle to live on as long as possible.
This brings us to the second reason you might want to subscribe. At some point in the future we will be adding features that aren’t included in Sparkle Pro (perpetual license). Purchasers of Sparkle Pro will need to pay to get the additional features, though it will be entirely optional. But Sparkle Pro subscribers will get those additional features included in the subscription.
So to reiterate, we will be introducing a package of features at a cost, the subscription will include that, whereas the one time purchase won’t. At that time you will have the option to buy the package, subscribe, or keep using Sparkle without it.
The third reason to subscribe is supporting the development of a truly innovative software platform that brings communicating on the web out of the realm of tech-heads and mega corporations.
As of 2.8 nothing has changed for existing customers.
With all that said, you should still strongly consider subscribing. We have a huge list of features we are working on, it is not a public roadmap, but I’m sure you will like it.
If your business revolves around Sparkle-generated sites, Sparkle provides a whole lot of value to you. You can think of the subscription as a way of funding development and showing your support for our small team. Or pre-paying for features that you’ll be buying anyway when they come.
We are very thankful for every dollar, euro, pound and yen you decide to spend on Sparkle. We turn all the money into cool software. We are partners in this.