If you look into the comments under the advert-video on youtube, you will find a lot of complains about the new upgrade. People are saying that they still have problems using Ozone 8 and Neutron 2, me too, and say there were no updates of improvement at all (I can’t remember the last 6 months). It tells me only that iZotope doesn’t care too much about their loyal customers at the moment. One guy wrote, he bought Ozone 8 a couples of weeks ago, and now have to pay another 150$ for 9. Not really sure about their business strategy.
My thoughts: I own Neutron 2 and Ozone 8 Elements, which is a good piece of software. I like the most, that you can built your own channel-strip as you like, have tones of good presets to start, if you lack of inspiration and the sound-qualities are at the top of the game. I don’t use them for too long (8 month or so), BUT I will definitely not invest another 150$ for a so called “Upgrade”, which is actually an update in my eyes. One or two new features doesn’t make sense to call it upgrade, and take hundreds of bucks for it. We all know, that they need to live from it and so on, but we need to live too, and I believe that’s definitely not the right way to play with your loyal customers. That said, they don’t have to be surprised if they see their piece of software on a torrent site. (Was mentioned in the comments as well.)
I guess you all know the “Valhalla” guy, who is doing a great job with his amazing reverbs etc. He says on his site, that he does believe that a great piece of software should not cost MORE than an entire DAW. Let’s be honest: Let’s say one of us buys the whole iZotope package, that costs more than 1000$ and one year later, you need pay another 500$ for an upgrade? This can’t be right. As a good comparison I find that NI is doing it really well. If you own the whole Ultimate Bundle, the next upgrade will cost you 200$ and that’s it. You will get so much value and that’s an amazing price. But to pay that much for just one plugin, which tells you now: If you can’t mix, we mix it for you…sorry, I am not sure what they want to say with this one Not advertised to “pros” at all.
Look at FabFilter, yes they cost a lot as well, BUT you will get good and fair deals and everything they do is without a question top-notch! After they have released their Q3, I was one of few guys, who complained about the upgrade-price especially because they didn’t insert the dynamic EQ feature back then. I said: Sorry guys, I have invested 150$ for you Q2 years ago, now you put Q3 on the market and I have to pay the same price as a guy, who buys it now? Are you really serious?
What did they do? They put dynamic EQ feature in it and dropped the price to 50% for loyal customers. They’ve listened to us! That’s how it should work! Yes, they said, guys you know how much money the development costs, and how much time we have invested? We said, yes we know, but that’s just a digital copy, which you made only once and made millions with it in a few weeks. That’s not a hardware piece, which is “handmade”. That’s what the “Valhalla” said, he just made it once and press a button to generate a serial number for thousand of other customers.
A lot of complains in here, I know, but in first place, you need to make sure as a developer, that your people, who follows you and makes you A LOT of money, are happy in first place, and this is only generated with fair deals! Another example: Tokyo Dawn Records make amazing stuff, how much do you pay? 30-50$ for a plug. In the moment I see that iZotope doesn’t really focus on the real pros, mostly on people, who think their mix will only sound good after they have bought their product. Don’t be fooled! Even the greatest piece of software will never ever make you sound like a pro, that is fact. How many bad mixes I have heard from studios which costs millions of dollars. You need to already have mastered your mix, only then iZotope can give you another 5% on top.