Introducing perpetual fallback license

App subscriptions are often seen as “renting” the software. One can use it only while paying for it. This puts users at the mercy of the developer:

  • The rates are increasing? — Keep paying or lose access.
  • Support does not respond? — Keep paying or lose access.
  • No useful features for months? — Keep paying or lose access.
  • You want to cancel? — Forget about the money already spent.

No wonder users hate subscriptions.

On the other side, improving the app and providing support is a regular work with no end date. A single purchase won’t do — continuous work requires continuous revenue.

How do we make these ends meet?

Subscription as a one-time purchase

Today, KeePassium shifts from the “rent it” model to “buy it every year”. Now our Premium subscription includes a perpetual fallback license:

You get a perpetual license for any app version after which you have paid for an annual subscription (or made 12 consecutive monthly payments). Whenever you renew, the perpetual license extends accordingly.

In other words, buying or renewing an annual subscription also buys you the app as it is on the date of purchase. Whenever you pay the annual fee, you purchase the current version of the app. Plus, you get the standard “rent” access to premium support and features added while your subscription is active.

  • If you choose to renew:
    • You get a perpetual fallback license for the current version of the app
    • You get another year of subscription benefits (premium support and access to upcoming premium features)
  • If your subscription ends:
    • You keep all the premium features covered by your perpetual fallback license
    • You lose access to premium support and premium features added during the last 12 months
Screenshot: What's New screen with a perpetual fallback license
What's New screen with a perpetual fallback license.

Pros:

  • You can support the development without becoming a hostage
  • If you want to buy the app once, as it is — you can
  • Your perpetual fallback version still receives free bug fixes and updates.
  • With monthly subscription, you can buy a perpetual license in 12 monthly installments, rent-to-own style. (This will be a year-old version, however.)

Cons:

  • Short-term subscriptions remain a “rent”.
  • When subscription ends, the perpetual fallback license covers a year-old version of the app, not the latest one.
  • Most of upcoming features will be in the “premium” category.

Questions and answers

Q: What about existing subscribers?
— Your subscription just got better :) The new perpetual fallback license is beneficial for the users, so we have applied it to all subscriptions: past, ongoing and future.

Q: I have a lifetime/Pro license. Any changes?
— Thank you for your early support! Nothing changes, you still get what you have paid for: current and future premium features, plus premium support for the lifetime of the app. (There are no plans to shorten the lifetime of the app artificially by creating KeePassium Pro 2, 3 and so on. The long-term costs are covered by new purchases and the Premium subscriptions of the freemium app.)

Q: Are monthly subscribers eligible?
— Yes! If you have been subscribed for 12 consecutive months or more, you get a perpetual fallback license for the year-old version of the app. Please note the “consecutive”, on-and-off subscription won’t do.

Q: Which features are covered by my perpetual fallback license?
— Check the “What’s new” section in KeePassium settings. If you have a perpetual license, it will be shown in the list.

Q: Why the perpetual fallback license lags 12 months behind?
This way, users can see what they would lose by canceling the subscription. As a result, people are more likely to renew. With more subscribers, we can keep the subscription rates lower.

Q: Can I subscribe for a year and cancel immediately?
— Yes. This will buy you the current version of the app, plus a year of premium support, plus a year “preview” of the upcoming premium features. Re-purchase whenever you deem it worthy.

Q: What’s the long-term plan?
— There are enough premium features planned to justify upgrades for two-three years (and the list will likely grow with time). Once KeePassium is feature-complete, subscriptions would effectively become donations for maintaining and supporting the app.

Q: This license sounds familiar…
— It is very similar to the JetBrains' perpetual fallback license (the makers of developer tools like IntelliJ, WebStorm and PyCharm).