Understanding Avid Licensing: Comparing Perpetual and Subscription Models

Avid is thrilled to announce the return of Perpetual Licenses and Upgrades for Pro Tools Artist, Pro Tools Studio, Pro Tools Studio Education, and Pro Tools Ultimate.  

What is an Avid perpetual license?

For Avid Sibelius, Pro Tools, and Media Composer, a perpetual license is a license that does not expire.  You own it, unlike a subscription license, which is more like a rental.  

There are positives and negatives to both.  The idea of owning a license sounds good initially, but after careful consideration, many users opt for subscription licensing instead.  This is partially because subscriptions come with service contracts automatically, whereas perpetual licenses come with a “term” service contract that requires a conscious decision to renew it before it expires.

What is the difference between Avid’s perpetual and subscription licenses? 

 Avid uses two types of licensing models for Media Composer, Pro Tools, Sibelius, and other products.

Perpetual was the most common form of licensing for years, but that has changed more recently.  A majority of customers – both individuals and enterprise facilities – are now using subscriptions.  Originally, the bulk of editors buying perpetual licenses did so in order to operate their edit systems fully disconnected from the internet.  However, having discovered that subscriptions can also be run for long stretches of time detached from the internet, the extra costs and workflow requirements of perpetual licensing became antiquated.  Plus, with industry-wide changes in firewall and virus protection over the last 10 years, “being on the internet” is a much less critical concern for Avid customers.  In fact, most now consider it a benefit.

Here are some advantages of both subscription and perpetual licenses to help you determine which option best suits your needs:  

Subscription License 

  • A lower up-front cost to get up and running. 
  • Access to the latest versions of software with the most recent feature upgrades, bug fixes, and compatibility. 
  • All subscriptions and renewals include support, automatically. 
  • Much friendlier towards remote-editing workflows. 

Perpetual license 

  • The user owns the license forever even if the Update & Support Plan is not renewed. 
  • The software can run forever (on a compatible operating system). 
  • The overall cost of ownership can be lower after a number of years if a user chooses not to renew their Update & Support Contract. 
  • Dongles can be easily moved from one machine to another (Note: Avid Link is still required for Media Composer starting with MC8).

Annex Pro has a team of post-production solution specialists ready to assist with any inquiries. From providing a quick quote and specifying the right equipment combination to overseeing commissioning, implementation, and offering post-sales technical support, you can rely on Canada’s largest Avid Partner. 


Annex Pro enables storytellers to create and share their dreams with anyone, everywhere. We are Canada’s leading Media & Entertainment solutions provider, with thousands of enterprise, education and freelance customers using the media production solutions we supply to create (and teach) awe-inspiring animation, visual effects, video games, music, immersive experiences and digital media on all kinds of platforms.  

Founded in 1983 and headquartered in Vancouver with offices in Toronto, Montreal, and Los Angeles, Annex Pro is strategically partnered with top companies such as Autodesk, Avid, Wacom, AWS, Apple, Adobe, Dolby, Lenovo, Dell, Eizo, HP, Blackmagic Design and hundreds of others.  

Annex Pro was recognized as number 59 among the Top 100 IT Solution Providers in Canada for 2023, also winning the “Remote Work and Collaborative Workspaces Wunderkind” award for Channel Innovation in Canada, presented by Channel Daily News. 

Sep 22, 2023 | Audio Post & Music, AVID, General

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