Pixelmator Photo comes to Mac with a new subscription-based model, TechCrunch


Pixelmator Photo, the long-standing iOS and iPadOS image-editing app that’s a companion to the popular Pixelmator Pro, is accepting subscriptions when it makes its way to the Mac. The app was previously available for $7.99 upfront, but will now offer monthly or annual pricing.

Going forward, the app will now cost users $4.99 per month (about $24 per year) and will include a $54.99 lifetime purchase option. Current users will be allowed to continue as they are.

“[This] Pixelmator is the best way forward for Photo and will make it the best photo editor it can be,” the company said in a press release. statement.

Pixelmator as a whole was originally launched in 2007 as a ‘Classic’ version and later rebranded as ‘Pro’. 2021 Pixelmator Photo has been launched on the iPhone. The Photo app is currently only available for iPhone and iPad and includes some of the same editing features seen in Pro, but it’s not a complete graphic design solution. Instead, it mainly focuses on photo editing.

The company explained that its current one-time pricing model was becoming unsustainable for continued service. This led to slower development and left the company in a pickle when deciding whether they should do paid upgrades instead.

It also highlighted other problems with the App Store’s paid upfront model, including existing lower-priced apps, lack of cross-device purchasing integration, lack of free iOS and iPadOS trials, and lack of upgrade discounts. Additionally, the company notes that users who shop at different times either get more or less value for the money they spend, depending on where they shop in the release cycle. Additionally, the model meant that Pixelmator had to prioritize investing in acquiring new users rather than being able to rely on revenue from its loyal customers.

“So what is the problem? just keep releasing major updates, okay?” the company said in a statement. “Well, you can certainly try, but if the update doesn’t go as well as expected or is delayed, you’re in trouble. And eventually, your pool of potential users shrinks so much that you need to release a paid upgrade that existing users have to pay for as well.”

Image credits: Pixelmator Photo:

In addition to the subscription model, the company announced plans to release Pixelmator Photo for Mac.

The app, which is designed for macOS, is expected to launch later this year or early next year. However, the company is yet to share any specifics about the Mac app. (TechCrunch reached out to Pixelmator for more information, but did not immediately receive a comment.)

The company noted that there could be a potential increase in the subscription price once the Mac version is released, but current subscribers will be able to lock in their price now.

Pixelmator acknowledged the downsides of the subscription-based model, but hopes that with a dedicated set of users, development will continue long-term.

These changes do not affect other Pixelmator products, such as Pixelmator Pro, at least not yet. The flagship Pixelmator Pro app remains available as a paid download for $39.99.



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