Avid has just announced the Complete Plug-in bundle, that's 51 Pro Tools plug-ins for $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year. Yes, you read that right. 51 Pro Tools plug-ins for less than the price of a coffee per month.
Plug-in subscriptions are not new, but up until now, they have clocked in at around $15 a month for about half the 51 plug-ins offered by Avid.
I'm not a fan of the plug-in equivalent of an all-you-can-eat buffet normally because just like the restaurants that offer enough food to sink a battleship for a silly price. When you do the math, most people eat about as much as they would have had they paid for just one meal, unless of course, they are a human dustbin.
So is the Avid Complete Plug-in bundle anything to celebrate?
Of course, there will be those who will want to pick the Avid The Complete Plug-in Bundle apart and suggest the plug-ins are old, or already included in various Pro Tools bundles. They may just be the growing number of people who feel entitled. But set those things aside and $5 a month for even a few of the gems in this package is still a steal.
Another thing to note is that as Avid continue to develop the collaboration option, there's one thing that can kill it - people not having the same stuff on their systems. Ask any post professional, and they will tell you what a pain in the ass that can be if you move around facilities. This offer means that you can have any system with the same 51 plug-ins for $5 a month, that's more than enough time to complete a project.
Plug-ins and Policy
In this article, I'm less interested in the plug-ins and more the policy that is at play here.
Just think back a couple of years with Avid, and the Pro Tools offer. You had a couple of choices, a native system that was more locked down than a high-security prison or software with all the features as long as you bought expensive HD hardware.
Fast forward to today and most of the features missing from Pro Tools are now part of the deal, the HD version is now unlocked so you can use any interface you like and many plans come with a bundle of decent plug-ins.
The Complete Plug-in Bundle for less than the price of a sandwich and a beer per month tells me something else. The world Avid is selling to has changed, companies are making better hardware and software and often for a fraction of the price, so it's time for Avid to get with the program or continue to lose customers and revenue.
You Pays Your Money
There have been a few things that Avid has done in the last couple of years that seem to indicate a change of attitude; this is another moment when it feels like Avid is wising up.
Rather than Avid losing their mind, it seems they have come to their senses. Whatever their rationale, the new plug-in bundle is a great deal, even if it's tied to Pro Tools AAX and for someone like me who uses more than one DAW paying £4.80 for the bundle is a no-brainer.