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"Lifetime" vs "One-time payment"?

"Lifetime" vs "One-time payment"?
Life-time License vs One-time Payment

Nick on Twitter asked, what is the difference between "Lifetime" vs "One-time payment"?

It's mostly to set the right expectation.

1. Life-time Deal (LTD)

The term "lifetime" is popular amongst LTD communities and it's usually for a SaaS product.

It implies that the business is going to support the license holders the entire lifetime of the product.

Doing it right, you can get a great influx of cash while receiving useful feedback from early adoptors.

Some experienced founders can also use this as a marketing strategy.

My problem with this is that it's very hard to do it right. And most customers are too focused on the "deal" and less on providing feedback for the product.

2. One-time Payment (OTP)

Pretty straightforward: it's for products with a one-off, non-recurring payment option.

Unlike LTD, it doesn't imply the "lifetime support".

For a desktop app, a popular license is perpetual fallback license. It was popularized by the Jetbrain team.

One license key allows users to use the current app version indefinitely. They are also eligible for one year of free updates (depends on your terms).

If they don't want to renew the license after one year, they can continue to use the last version of app that they have access.

Other common model is to sell year-pass for access to certain premium services.

So it's one-time payment, but not "lifetime".