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FiLMiC Pro Acquired by Bending Spoons – New Subscription Model

September 8th, 2022 Jump to Comment Section 13
FiLMiC Pro Acquired by Bending Spoons – New Subscription Model

The company behind FiLMiC Pro, one of the few truly professional video apps for smartphones, has announced they’re joining forces with (aka being acquired by) major app developer Bending Spoons from Italy. While the company promises that FiLMiC Pro will benefit from this merger, it also announces a move to a subscription-based model instead of perpetual licenses.

You may not be familiar with Bending Spoons but have heard of one of their (quite popular) apps: Splice. This is a mobile app for smartphones and tablets that allows filmmakers to edit their videos right on the spot, wherever they are. So, the company is no newcomer to mobile filmmaking and especially editing.

FiLMiC Pro - Dolby Vision HDR on iPhone 12 (Composed with GFX by FiLMiC Inc.)
FiLMiC Pro – Dolby Vision HDR on iPhone 12 (Composed with GFX by FiLMiC Inc.)

Therefore, it seems only natural that FiLMiC Pro would be a perfect fit for their portfolio and that both Splice and FiLMiC Pro could potentially benefit from the merger. However, there are some concerns among their users and especially the new subscription-based pricing might be a bitter pill to swallow for some.

The future of FiLMiC Pro

So FiLMiC is becoming a brand instead of remaining a standalone company. While this may be good news for the customer base in terms of future feature upgrades, as the much larger Bending Spoons can offer more workforce and thus development time, things stand differently in terms of the upcoming business model.

Sure, the core team of FiLMiC Pro remains the same, all the great men and women working on this very popular app in the filmmaking world are still there. But large corporations are usually more interested in sheer Excel numbers and profit margins, rather than putting all their energy and love into a specific product… I don’t blame Bending Spoons here, I blame the mechanisms of capitalism, to be honest. Big companies need a lot of money to survive, it’s as simple as that.

FiLMiC Pro
ProRes recording options. Image credit: FiLMiC inc.

With all that in mind, here’s the kicker: FiLMiC Pro will no longer be available as a one-time payment app, but you’ll have to opt for a subscription instead. And although FiLMiC, the company, states that pricing is not 100% finalized yet, what we can already tell by looking at the available iOS App Store in-app purchases, well, it ain’t cheap:

  • Cinematographer Kit $13.99
  • Filmic Weekly With Free Trial $0.99
  • Filmic Weekly With Free Trial $2.99
  • Filmic Weekly With Free Trial $4.99
  • Filmic Weekly No Free Trial $2.99
  • Filmic Weekly No Free Trial $4.99
  • Adamant Film Pack $2.99
  • Novus Film Pack $2.99
  • Charcoal Film Pack $2.99
  • Infrared Film Pack $2.99

The pricing structure is a bit… confusing, to say the least. But ultimately, considering we used to pay about $20 for the app, a weekly fee of $2.99 (or $0.99? …or even $4.99?) is significantly more expensive, especially when we’re paying for something we might not even need on a regular basis, but only for a few occasions a year. For everything else, we reach for our real camera. In that case, would a subscription to FiLMiC Pro make any sense at all? 

FiLMiC Pro
Free trial or subscription? Image credit: FiLMiC inc. (iPad app)

In my case, the freshly installed app on my iPad greeted me with the option to get one week free, which would then seamlessly increase to €3.49/week. For me personally, this is too much.

FiLMiC’s statement

Here’s a statement from FiLMiC’s Instagram page on that matter:

For those who have bought the app (or made any in-app purchases), you will be able to use that app version and any additional purchased functionality without issue without having to upgrade to a subscription.

In a prior release, some existing users saw a subscription screen and felt they were being required to subscribe to an app they already bought. That was an error. We appreciate your patronage and recognize that the purchase price for the app is a considerable expense for some of our users.

Going forward future apps will be moving to a subscription model and we hope to arrive at the right pricing model soon but we are not there yet. Expect more tests and pricing options in the weeks and months ahead.

Hopefully, the team behind FiLMiC Pro will work on the pricing a bit because the app itself is great, undoubtedly.

Link: FiLMiC website | Bending Spoons website

What do you think? Are you a FiLMiC Pro user? Please share your experiences in the comments below!

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