"Rent To Own" for HitFilm Pro?

Hi there!

I love using HFExpress, it has become an invaluable tool in my content creation pipeline!

I want to upgrade to Pro, but just can't afford to drop $350 at once.

Would it be a possibility in the future to be able to subscribe to a plan that will allow me to pay say like $10 - $20 a month for access to HitFilm Pro and have that money go towards paying off the license?

I think that would be an amazing option for people such as myself who are unable to put aside $350 at once, and help make saving up for a license more manageable.



  • @MitchellRolland

    Would be a cool feature... For now though it's not yet implemented.

  • You have my vote

    As long as it's not an endless subscription, like the garbage Adobe and others are making the future of software darker and darker, I'm ok with it


  • I love this idea!

    In fact, Cakewalk does this for their Sonar DAW software. You pay a monthly installment for 12 months. After that, you own the license. I think this is the best medium between outright purchase and never-ending subscriptions.

  • Never going to work. Too many ways to a) lose money for FXHome and b) have people complaining about being "ripped off"

    What happens when you stop paying after 6 months? The software reverts to demo mode? 

    What happens if you stop paying after one, or several months, then 4 months layer decide you want to start using it briefly again? Do you make up the back payment, or do you open up a new account under another email and  just pay for another single month? Then complain that you paid for "x" months on the old account for nothing?

    What if you start paying for it 6 months into the yearly cycle and a new version comes out? Are you going to pay for the next 6 months to keep your old version active and become "yours", when you could start paying for a new version and use that instead? Will you be happy to write off the 6 months you paid for the old version when it reverts to demo mode?

    Sounds a lot like renting to me and everyone complains quite loudly about Adobe and their 'Ransomware' payment platform.

    Like I said: so many ways for FXHome to lose revenue and so many ways for people to get annoyed about losing out, entirely through the results of their own actions, and then blame FXHome for it.

    It's a lose / lose situation, and as I assume the FXHome staff can do basic maths: don't hold your breath. :)

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Palacono maybe not. If FXHOME did what I've said Adobe should do.

    So, let's assume payments are yearly. You pay. You get a year of updates. Your payment ends, and you stop getting updates, but your most recent version works forever.

    Functionally this is similar to a subscription in that you're buying x amount of time of upgrades, but your software isn't shut off, you just version freeze.

    Best way to handle it. Then one could take a year off of getting upgrades while still having working software. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    That said, Mitchell is very optimistic. A Pro license currently is $350. FXHOME has done yearly upgrades. Mitchell suggests $10-$20/month. Mitchell $20/month is $240/year . That would mean you'd be paying for Hitfilm X through half the lifecycle of Hitfilm X+1. You wouldn't have purchased an upgrade for X+1 yet. Would you like to pay $30/month, or did you really just ask FXHOME to lower the price of the product by a third? Note that I don't have an exact number--I don't work for FXHOME and, if I did, the exact number would be protected information, but it's verified that well OVER $100 of the cost of Pro goes to Boris/Imagineer and MPEG-LA among other owners of licensed technology. 

  • I am with Palacono on the lose/lose situation.

    Just assume payments are 12 and the payment value is 350/12. Someone buys 6 months before the next version is released. For this argument current version is 5. So when the new version (6) is released you still have 6 months of payments of version 5 before you have any rights to get a version 6 upgrade. Installment users would very likely complain to the moon about paying for "old" software for 6 months while the new version exists. Given them an inch and they will take a mile.

    Installment payment software would have to phone home constantly in case someone stops payment. If they stop payments before full payment is received then the user loses all rights to everything. You only have rights to keep using version X forever, once you have fully paid for version X.

  • I agree with @NormanPCN and @Palacono

    I, too, think that it is a bad idea.

  • 29$ / month, and as long as you pay you have access to the Pro version, meaning future editions of Pro as well - seems very viable to me, considering how many features that you get access to, and perhaps even more in the future editions.

    Key difference compared to Adobe is that you would still be able to buy the current edition of Pro and be able to keep it forever. I just think that giving us two choices doesn't sound that dumb in theory.

    In comparison to HitFilm, in the US, Adobe charges $40 month if you combine both Premiere and After Effects on a monthly basis, this is only good value if there isn't much competition, or if your job demands it, or personal preference, not arguing against any of those.

    It should also be noted that on it's own, AE don't have nearly as much functionality as HitFilm does out the gate, as Triem has pointed out several times in the past.

    I'm only mentioning Adobe because I'm familiar with their products... It's also possible that Express + Add ons is a better business alternative, but still, worth discussing in my opinion.

  • edited October 2017

    @Triem23 that wouldn't work either, because FXHome can't keep on providing updates for the old version when the new one comes out because: working on two products means double the coders or half the progress.  They typically stop updates a few months before the new version is released after tying up a few loose end bugs and move focus onto that. They're not going to add new features.

    And if anyone buys part way through the annual cycle they will always be paying for an old version when a new one comes out. If your argument is that people switch over to the new one and keep paying, then when 12 payments have been made they keep the new one: that doesn't work either. 

    Take the six month overlap as an obvious example: 6 months into the new cycle you now "own" the new version, but how many versions were 'active' during these second 6 months? Both? So FXHome need to check licences to make sure up to 6(4?) copies (3 (2?) per version) aren't running at once? So permanent internet access? Cue complaints about that. If they don't check they're just losing money. Or do they deactivate the old version? But what if the new one changes something that you don't like and you need that old version for compatibility? What if you stop paying after 11 months. What do you get? Nothing?

    One possible option would be: 6 months into the new cycle (current buying model) there is a period of a month or so where you can buy outright the previous version at 1/2 or 2/3 of its original price, which would potentially attract people who want "a" Pro version upgrade, but not the latest and are a bit skint.

    If you like it and want to upgrade to the latest version you pay the difference (1/3 or 1/2)  and your old version is deactivated. You want both? You pay full amount for the new version.  No going back more than one old version with this option.

    This could cause problems if people make something in the new version and can't load it into the older version, so this would have to be a clearly signposted, time-limited 'Bargain Sale' with this made very clear: "Don't expect to get something for nothing". It makes another market in between Express and Pro,  a bit like the secondhand car market, but with FXHome selling the cars for a limited time only. :) 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

     @Palacono well, I'm brainstorming. I'd be flabbergasted--nay, gobsmacked--if FXHOME shifted to a monthly/floating/"subscription" payment model, although I think some others in this thread are making things harder than they need to be. On the other hand you've overlooked another issue... 

    Technically Hitfilm only HAS to "phone home"  for initial activation. Hitfilm looks for recent tutorials and checks for updates on bootup, but the dates would attach to the account. Check your own account settings on this forum and you'll see the date you activated your software. Date information is ALREADY STORED!  Assuming something similar to my proposal where ceasing payment freezes updates, dates are basically accounted for. So, pass your expiration date all all the software and website does is check a date. It's not storing a date that's the issue, it's storing the version log. Plus I think this would be using up more storage on their website as all version installers now need to be kept online and parsed out to different users depending on payment status. At a third of a gigabyte or so per installer, with Express and Pro tending to have 8 or 9 revisions (the current Hitfilm Pro is actually the 10th update. They call it Update 9 because the initial Update 8 was replaced with an Update 8a three days later), we'll call it 10 revisions of each version. That's over 6.5 GB of new files stored per year. Yes, I'm making a couple of assumptions here, but I'd still argue storing online and meteing out all the different updates is much more complex than keeping track of payments records. 

  • edited October 2017

    @Triem23 well yes, all that and the new requirement to phone home with your suggestion would be to make sure not too many (overlapping) versions are running, on more than one/two/three/ etc. machines. It doesn't need to now because you only run the version(s) you've fully paid for, so less worries for FXHome losing money.

    Your method still has a hole if you stop paying after 11 months. Or 23 months. What do you get? 

    I'd also have to add to my "buy old version" suggestion that FXHome would have to renegotiate their licences for the older mocha and Boris plugins so they actually make some money. :D

    But, can't see any of this happening anyway. :)

  • edited October 2017

    No subscriptions. No ties.

    Stated clearly on their home page. An anti-Adobe message.


  • There's nothing bad in renting software. There are more ways, and better ways to do it than what Adobe did.

    I wouldn't mind having both options, at 29/month like what I suggested above. 

    Having multiple choices is a good thing, turning into Adobe isn't :D

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Speaking of Adobe, Lightroom is about to go subscription only. Also, the current Lightroom is about to become Lightroom Classic and will cease development. The NEW Lightroom CC lacks panorama and HDR tools along with many other features of the old Lightroom... But it interfaces with Adobe's stock library. So, new product, higher price, fewer features.

    It's like Adobe is actively trying to drive away people who have been paying customers for 25 years...

    Whatever the future holds, Josh Davies and his teams aren't going to do anything that >bleep<ing dumb anytime in the foreseeable future. 

  • Adobe subscription is pretty stupid, adobe is overcharging you as if you just bought the software once 

  • Better saving up till 350...or level up buy add-ons packs for Express, The more you buy add-ons, You will get discount toward to Pro.

    I want Pro but...still plan to buy some packs for me someday.

    That is all to it.



  • edited November 2017

    "It's like Adobe is actively trying to drive away people who have been paying customers for 25 years..."

    Triem23, I think their strategy is similar to what Apple had started to do with the Mac after Jobs' passing and the rise of Cook.

    After Steve Jobs passed away and Tim Cook took over, Apple "dumbed down" a lot of their pro-level software packages and aimed squarely at their hardware line to make their offerings more consumer-friendly. They essentially slowed or stopped production on their higher-end offerings (the only reason that the iMac Pro and a new MBP exist right now is because users tired of waiting for Apple to sell equipment worthy of their vocation started calling Apple out online and in the trades).  At my day job, at this time last year, we paid $2700 each for new late 2015 MBPs whose spec was Quad-core 4th gen i7s installed with El Capitan just before they would be impossible to get because we're still using CS6 and the powers-that-be didn't want to justify spending $50-60/month per MBP on a CC subscription...which they'll ultimately have to do in, at best, a couple of years anyway.

    (By the way, this is being typed on my personal 2013 HP ZBook with the same spec as the "work" 2015 MacBook Pro. Admittedly, the MBP was brand new and the ZBook is a refurb; still, I saved a ton of money and the ZBook is capable of doing everything that the MBP can running Windows 8.1/10 or Linux, if I so desired.)

    Right now, the ONLY MacBook one can purchase with a dedicated card in it is the 15" MBP-Retina. The others are Iris pro only. As for the packages I mentioned earlier, Aperture (which I loved) became "Photos" and a lot of their other packages became "consumer-level" applications as well. FCP has only held the line after much of the customer base complained. Loudly. And, honestly, I'm amazed that one other Apple software hasn't gone that way (I won't mention it's name out of respect for FXHOME as it is, IMHO, a more DIRECT competitor to HitFilm).

    Adobe is doing the same thing from a different standpoint. If no one has been keeping up with their current offerings, many of them hinge on the backbone of "Adobe Sensei," their new AI. Which is what many demonstrations recorded at MAX 2017 and offered on YouTube show that the goal is that the user no longer has to put in so many painstaking hours to learn Photoshop (or other packages). Adobe Sensei will automate certain workflows for the user.

    Their next step is not to bleed more money from the user...but from those who would EMPLOY the user...thus, making the skilled user redundant. The evidence is there. Emphasis on the "Marketing Cloud"...Adobe is now trying to bypass the client base on which it built it's initial fortune and go for those who have benefitted from the services of countless freelancers that employers have had to intermittently hire over the years.

    "Why pay the cow, when you can obtain the milk for free?"

    Adobe wants to go consumer...by having an AI show how easy it is to become a skilled graphic/multimedia design technician with very little knowledge or experience. The answer to "cool design" for every corporate firm in the world...(or, at least, in America).

    My vote is no...keep HitFilm Pro subscription-free. If I can't buy Pro at the time, I'll do what I have to with Blender, Ignite Express, Hitfilm Express and a couple of add-on packs. Btw, LOVE HitFilm Express as an editor for my animated sequences...got a copy of it on my work computer for specifically that reason.

  • @Pencilandinc I'm inclined to agree with your assessment of Apple. I wrote on this forum in 2014 or 2015 that the Mac has become an overpriced iPhone accessory. The newest MBP is a bad joke. Almost a thousand dollars more expensive than my most recent laptop, and mine has a faster CPU, faster GPU, my GPU has 4x the VRAM, I have 4x the system RAM and 4x the drive storage. I agree with the (former) Mac developers at the Blender Foundation who quit en masse after issuing a statement that the Mac was no longer a viable platform for professional media--a shame as media professionals are what kept Apple alive for about 15 years.

    Adobe has become an evil, morally bankrupt mafia that currently relies on holding 20+ years of VFX company assets hostage via blackmail ("that's a nice project you got there, be a shame if anything happened to it..."). I, and other users on this forum can confirm Adobe has started shutting off valid Pre-CC licenses.

    Adobe Sensei will just continue to destroy the freelance market by creating a glut of non-artists who rely on templates and pre-built filters who don't have the knowledge to charge a professional's rate (driving down the going rate to, basically, minimum wage. Fivver isn't helping, either.), which I suppose is semi-fair since they aren't professionals*. Several freelance videographer/VFX artists I know are getting out of the game because rates have been driven so low, and I'm probably about to be one of them. I suppose I'm annoyed that I'll quote someone my 1997 price for a project to be told some other guy bid a sixth of that rate. That other guy is obviously either using friends as unpaid labor or doing crap work. Doing a four camera shoot and edit for $250? So... Three static cameras and a really boring edit, I assume. My ops get $250 for a ten-hour day, and that's underpaying them for skilled shooting. They should be getting at LEAST $350. More if they're supplying gear. I should have stayed union from a money perspective, but I like to be able to help people out on set, not sit on my ass for half the day because those tasks "aren't [my] job."

    (*That's a different rant, encompassing every person who comes onto this forum asking for free templates, every user who asks for a specific "one-click" effect because they don't want to stack two or three effects together, and one user who's posted a few of his "paid gigs," for which he flat-out did someone else's tutorial project step-for-step, or used someone's free template--dude, seriously add ONE STEP to "make it your own," you lazy ass. Hobbyists can absolutely use templates, but, if you have the gall to charge for your "work," some of it needs to be YOUR work! I could name specific names, but won't. I could make a few comments about a few "tutorial" series that aren't, but, again, I won't.  This long parenthetical is me being NICE!  This also applies to the union guy who gets $50/hour to carry the slider dolly around that isn't ever actually used on the shoot--true story. I don't care what network you work for, I'm a house tech shooting for the video playback wall, this is my position, assigned by the event organizers, so take your camera and tripod the HELL out of my spot!  Oh, this is your producer? What I said stands, tell your camera op to get the EFF out of my spot, or MY producer will have security escort you off the EFFING field. Think I bluff producer is this guy nodding at you, and the security supervisor is the guy standing next to him who just said, "and we will..." But I digress...)

    You can name Apple Motion. Hitfilm Ignite is Motion-compliant, so that's just another avenue for users to discover awesome Hitfilm tech is. 

    Anyways, FXHOME is the best kind of company. Hungry, eager, in communication with the users. They won't Adobe at us because that's who they're specifically NOT emulating, and jumping from 10,000 users with HF3 to 1.5 million+ with HF2017 proves it's working. :) 

  • The most offensive thing about Adobe Sensei is Adobe wasn't creative enough to come up with their own name. If I was @HitfilmSensei I'd want to talk to a lawyer ;)

  • @Aladdin4d I meant to say that. I think I forgot, somewhere in the middle of the Storage Wars crew story. Heh. 

  • The main reason I went with HitFilm is that is is not doing the subscription fees... 

  • @NighthawkNZ

    Yes, I don´t like other products because the subscriptions...

    That´s why hitfilm is my favourite vfx, compositor and video editing product...

  • I get why people don't like Adobe's subscription model, it's an obstacle for me as well.  And now that I have Hitfilm my interest in Adobe has plummeted anyway.  But....

    The subscription plan does seem like a smart business model.  It seems to be working for Adobe, despite the complaints from many non-customers.  If I was making a living doing digital graphics I'd have a subscription.

  • I imagine that FXHOME/Hitfilm will eventually be acquired (sold) to a larger company in the same way that so many small UK software companies have gone - Mocha being an obvious example.

    This in itself may not be a bad thing but if that owning company has a subscription model, then its fate is decided.

    How about Magix  for example ? They have a shocking subscription model whereby you get updates for a year and then if you don't give them more money, they take the updates away !

  • edited December 2017

    I don't think this would've worked at the time this discussion was posted, but as soon as the new HitFilm Pro and its new payment/update model was announced, a monthly payment option was the first thing that came to mind as it would be perfect next to the current models (paying for one year of support/updates or paying for Express add-ons). I already sent the idea to HitFilm privately and was told this would be discussed by the marketing team. I sure hope they will consider it.

    The way I see it work is that you simply pay for 1 month instead of 1 year: 1/12th the (upgrade) price or, understandably, a little more. Ideally, this payment simply goes towards credit that you can use to pay off HitFilm software or add-ons later on. Much like how money you currently spend on Express add-ons is converted to a discount when you get the Pro version of the software.

    Above all, this makes the Pro software much more accessible to absolutely everyone. It allows new users to experience the full package at a low price without much of a risk or regret, and it allows existing users to upgrade right away and experience the latest and greatest without having to save up each and every year.

    People are willing to spend a small amount of money each and every single month, which is why Adobe CC is doing as well as it does. The only thing they (or rather any of us) hate about their model is that the software is never (y)ours to keep. Still, I have several friends who keep opting for Adobe, many just for After Effects for only one or two months at a time. I always tell them about HitFilm but as long as there is no such model for the fully-fledged version, they usually are not interested.

    Although the current model is a step in the right direction, it is by no means a be-all and end-all. It is neglecting those who got the Pro version a few months down the line and who now want to upgrade to the new Pro version or to Studio without having the full budget to do so. Also, Josh correctly pointed out during the Live Q&A that some people might not be using their editing software for several months, but these months are still accounted for in the annual price. Express clearly is not an option for everyone as well, especially not for those who already got Pro previously. And the current plans are potentially (and in several cases clearly) holding back power users who want or need something more than Express but who do not want to have to spend the full amount up front or who only need to use the software on a short notice and/or for a single project at the time. Also, I am pretty sure some ordinary users would opt for it over Express too, for it making the Pro version much more accessible.

    Also, one would be able to obtain HitFilm Studio for a month or two but then upon figuring that they only really use or need HitFilm Pro (or any of the other software), switch to just that the following month and/or use the Studio plan to pay off and keep just the wanted piece of software earlier, before the year has ended. Or when figuring out that Express with one or two add-ons suffices instead of the full Pro package, they could use the credit towards that. Or they could, probably like most, simply save up and use it to pay for HitFilm Pro or Studio whether they do so in 12 consecutive months or not.

    The moment the software is fully paid for by the above means, is the moment the software and its version at the time would be the user's to keep (and to keep using). No future updates/support unless the plan is continued.

    It doesn't even need to be renewing automatically, although that should definitely be looked into to make it a better and more seemless experience in the future. It might limit the payment methods a little as I believe PayPal does not have subscription/recurring payment options in some countries, Germany included.

  • Not going to work. Well, it would, but FXHome would lose even more money.

    What happens when you stop paying after 2 months? Software becomes inactive? Then you wait 2 more months and want to use it again for a month so you start paying again and it's activated again (whole can of worms around it calling home all the time to check if it should be active or not - "I can't use it on my laptop in a wifi dead spot. :(" etc.). Then you stop paying again?

    Do this a few times over a year and you've had access to the same software as someone else, on your own terms, for about half as much as someone who just bought it outright and also only used it intermittently.  So, why should anyone ever buy it outright under that model? It then becomes an 'occasional use' rental product. Rent, use, stop paying. Repeat. Or your other suggestion of testing Studio for a few months, deciding you don't need all of it and moving your 'credit' around to other products.

    FXHome very quickly go bust. Everyone loses. :(

    There are more obvious ways to make both sides happy. That's not one of them.  Neither is the new model; as it encourages people to move from a yearly upgrade cycle to an 18-24 month upgrade cycle.

    People will very quickly work out how to game the system to get the most use of the product for the least amount of money, so FXHome need to deal with that.

  • edited December 2017

    The license would simply be linked to and obtain (or even contain) an expiration date, possibly with a counter in-software checking and ensuring that people are not cheating the system. There definitely is no need to be always online (subscription software like Adobe CC don't require that either). You would only need to be online upon purchase/renewal.

    I am pretty sure the pros will easily outweigh the cons. Sure, there may be people only using the software intermittently, who will be paying just the very months they use it, but (besides them having no software that is theirs to keep then) the monthly renewal process in itself will make it much more of a hassle and less of a seemless experience for them, so I'm certain most people will either stick to their plan and keep on paying, and plenty of users would still opt for the annual version instead without having to worry about any renewals and/or just to get it over with.

    The extra accessibility in itself will be profitable. Those who currently cannot afford the full version (including but most definitely not limited to existing Pro users who cannot put down the money all at once again) will get to go with the monthly version instead, actually making FXHOME money they currently either completely miss out on or might get only at a much later moment. Same goes for power users needing the software temporarily, who now opt for the competition instead. This is a way to get all kinds of users aboard and to get many to pay and keep on paying.

    And users would still end up with the exact same version that is theirs to keep at the time they would have had the money to be purchasing the full software (if they had managed to put the money aside for the software in the first place). And would they still want the latest version, they will simply keep on paying, something that is much less of a consideration (and option, for many) with the current, annual model.

    Besides, you also said earlier that this would cause there to be "Too many ways [..] to have people complaining about being "ripped off"". It by all means is the exact opposite really. People will no longer have anything to complain about. They for once would be in complete control over their purchases, getting exactly what they want and need for a matching price (and for FXHOME a competitive price at that). People complain about having to pay a fairly large sum of money all at once to make use of the latest version, about paying full price for software they potentially might barely ever use (as noted by Josh during the Live Q&A), about having to pay more for Ignite being included while they only want or need HitFilm Pro (as also noted and now fixed), but they are not going to complain about having more options to suit everyone's needs and wants, which above all make it impossible for anyone to regret their purchase.

  • Sorry but if Hit film goes rental im ditching .....I like the choice to BUY my software not rent it..going "subscription" will be a pirates dream and you will lose money. Hit film is such a fantastic product don't commit suicide 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Hitfilmer157297 don't worry, FXHOME isn't going subscription. The new pricing model is the best way to go. You buy Hitfilm Pro, get 12 months of updates, and, if you choose not to buy another year of updates you keep the version you stop at. You own that version forever. 

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