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Technology / Software

Why is Autodesk looking to move to a subscription model?

Design software vendor Autodesk this week unveiled a new subscription model to help buyers use some of its high-end software without breaking their budget.

Autodesk’s applications have been instrumental in creating films, with designers for the last 17 Academy Award winners having used Autodesk software.

Engineers, resellers, bridge builders and clothes makers also use Autodesk software to design, visualise and create ideas. So with all kinds of businesses using it, why are they introducing a subscription model?

This year, Autodesk, which competes against Adobe, Intuit and F5 Networks, saw its second quarter revenue of flagship software products, which account for more than half of the company’s revenue, drop 11% to $289m (£183m). Net income also fell to $61.7m from $64m a year earlier.

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Rental pricing may incentivise more users to buy the software. The plans are expected to charge at 5% the cost of a perpetual licence, with subscriptions for Autodesk’s Entertainment Creation Suite, including Maya, 3ds Max, Softimage, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, and SketchBook Designer, ranging from $525 (£334) to $4,200.

But can the pricing model alone do enough to boost sales? CEO and executive producer Will Cohen of UK-based start-up Milk told CBR that the visual effects industry is undergoing plenty of challenges.

In recent times, visual effects businesses responsible for some of the most impressive fantasies have been struggling to survive.

R&H, the visual effects company behind the Life of Pi, Narnia and Babe, went bankrupt earlier this year, while Dreamworks Animations had to lay off 25% of its workers.

Other companies like Asylum Bisual Effects, Illusion Effects and CafeFX have also been forced to shut down their doors.

Challenges are said to come from international competition, tightened budgets, increased complexity and the dynamic nature of the VFX business.

With so many challenges facing this community, will the new pricing model benefit both Autodesk and its customers? Let us know your thoughts.
This article is from the CBROnline archive: some formatting and images may not be present.