New SketchUp Pricing Model...?

I’d like to see Sketchup adopt what I call the Agenda pricing model. I loved Sketchup before, but don’t like the pricing/subscription model that now requires me to pay rent forever to use it, regardless of my needs.

IMHO (and many others), the folks at Agenda have found and implemented the perfect balance:

They have a very robust free-forever version, just like you, but it is not online only.

Buying into their "Premium” version includes:

  • 12 months of all new features
  • Keep all of that “forever"
  • Includes all basic upgrades forever (ie it also keeps working through OS changes)
  • After that year, pay again whenever Premium features are worth it to you. Or just stick with what you already have if you don’t want the new features.
  • No lock-in to use what you already paid for

No required “subscription”, yet the incentives are perfect. Developers can just keep adding improvements and features without waiting for the next big version to entice upgrades. They are incentivized to improve significantly continuously, or folks won’t pay again. Modest entry pricing, so there is a low barrier to entry and the same low level to buy new updates helps users to buy and try Premium. No “big releases” to hold out features for, just continued improvement, and users can wait 18 months, or 2 years if they aren’t enticed by improvements and features (I suspect many upgrade after the year is up just because they love the model so much).

They also have a great user community forum, where you rarely find any complaints beyond users wanting more features. And they are always straight with users, never evasive.

There are details on their pricing model here: A ‘Cash Cow’ is on the Agenda

I hope Trimble considers this, as it really is the right thing to do, and no doubt will restore a level of trust was lost when they downgraded the free version and switched to a subscription model.


I think you’re basically describing the Classic license, but for less money and with continual support upgrades for OS changes.

Additionally, not really fair to compare Agenda to SketchUp (again, because I recall reading you post all this elsewhere before). The software packages are as different as any two can be.

1 Like

Newer software tends to make rapid advances each year as new features are added. Generally, the more complex & mature that software becomes, the more expensive it gets for the developer to add in new features.

Then, the idea of updating each year becomes less attracive to users. If Version 5 works great for you (in a commercial workflow), then why pay to upgrade to 6? or 7?
For a company, upgrading software isnt something people do just for the sake of it…there has to be a business case & budget set aside for the administration.

Adobe went through that with Creative Suite… most users just stuck with CS6 or CS8 and didnt really get excited by a lot of the newer features (which were decreasingly useful to the majority of
people who just wanted Indesign/Photoshop/Illustrator and dont care about the other addons)

I’m not sure how complex or mature Sketchup can be considered…we get some development each year but it may not be considered enough to make companies keep paying for upgrades.
Certainly some of the recent things that Trimble added to SketchUp Pro have given virtually no benefit to commercial users.

Did you mean Creative Cloud? Adobe went through that with Creative Cloud, because people stuck with CS6 (which was Creative Suite).

1 Like

Just installed the new update for BricsCAD Pro. Here are the release notes - this is just the third one after the major v.21 release - BricsCAD (Windows) Release Notes (
Compare this to SketchUP’s funny “updates” and You see how well “subscriptions” speed up the development and innovations! BricsCAD has it’s all - perpetual, subscriptions, network licenses. Just saw AutoCAD 2022 went out - another subscriptions “benefit” monster - here are the “new” features after the one year “development” costs $1,775 /year - Get to Know AutoCAD 2022 - The Connected Design Experience | AutoCAD Blog | Autodesk

1 Like

Yes, that’s what I meant… the CS to CC transition…

Incidentally somehow Adobe completely screwed up the whole CC management/update process, now we all have multiple versions installed labelled CC2019, 2020, 2021 and people just mix and match.

1 Like

I conclude that Blender, Rhino, Archicad for example but also the Mac OSX system are immature since they are significantly improved. I invite everyone to check out the number of improvements and new features, each quarter on Blender.

The release notes of the current alpha version : Reference/Release Notes/2.93 - Blender Developer Wiki

When Archicad yearly update charges (in addition to the 6000 € price) amount to more than four SketchUp subscriptions the improvements ought to be significant.

Blender isn’t remotely comparable. It’s totally free software. Nobody owns it, it’s entirely Open Source. The developers “own” Blender and can, at any point, stop development without any responsibility to supporting anyone anywhere for any reason.

1 Like

You are right, I just discussed about “mature” concept software. You may compare SketchUp evolution before Trimble and since with prices. Or compare Rhino coast on 10 years with SketchUp new subscription coast and evolution.

I think Blender cannot be compared since huge improvements are made over the course of a year. And I am even amazed at the quality and the relative stability of the alpha versions.

Now I think you are wrong about the open source status. There are 15-20 engineers who are paid by the Blender foundation to develop it. There is money, but most is invested in Blender development. The development is supported by large companies. It is another economic model.
If everything stopped, the source code being published, it could be picked up by others. For the moment the Blender foundation has priority to manage it. Blender is as old as SketchUp and hasn’t changed rule-changing owners three times. So Blender is a stable solution.

Since I discovered Blender thanks to Trimble’s announcement to abandon our licenses, I have learned about Blender, but I see that the experience with Blender has also improved as a result of the evolution. I downloaded version 2.83 in June. Today I have 2.93 with functions that did not exist 6 months ago and even functions that have been simplified !

Rhino is evolving, but their upgrade prices are rather hefty, list price is almost 2/3 the cost of a new license.

1 Like

SketchUp pro suscription : 10 years x 300$ = 3000$

Rhino first licence : 990$ (for 3 to 5 years free updates) + 395$ new version update (promotional price during 3 month, for 3 to 5 years free updates) = 1385$ for about 10 years.
You do not loose your Rhino licence if you ignore a version update, and you pay the same price if you decide to ignore several version updates.

A friend of mine had considered after the announcement of the subscription, to abandon SketchUp + Autocad to take an Archicad license. Which shows that things are more complex than a question of price for certain user profiles.

If software isn’t significantly improving why are we paying them over and over again. Rent vs own. There has to be a good reason.

No one said Agenda and SketchUp are the same. They are software and I am comparing pricing models not products.

Can’t compare products and prices unless the products are comparable.

Yes, Adobe is abusing their power of market share and size. Always looking for a better solution. Hard for anyone to compete when a company that big can spend more to out innovate or replicate your efforts, or simply buy you and the consumer loses options.

1 Like

That’s the value of the software as determined by Trimble. You certainly do pay to “rent” in essence. That’s the licensing. All these arguments for a lower price and more affordable structure are really just arguments that people don’t think SketchUp is worth as much as the price tag. Personally, I find the price to be just about right for what I get out of it, and comparing to other software packages is absolutely pointless.

1 Like

The great thing about subscription is that it traps the user and companies doesn’t have to innovate anymore. It changes the relationship between customer and business. The customer buys a product because it is good value for money. It is innovation and excellent value for money that made SketchUp a success. With the subscription, if the customer stop paying, he can no longer use the software. This is what recently allowed Autodesk to increase its prices by 5%.

The idea that subscription would allow more software to be developed is false. Just look at the Autodesk products which evolve little (but more than SketchUp), or the free software Blender, whose development is spectacular. Or even SketchUp 10 years ago.

Have-you tried Affinity softwares ?

Or by user (before subscription), if they decide or not to buy something ?

I think that price depend on number of users. In your life, you probably do not pay a lot of service at their real price, because you benefit from a community.

If everyone lives in the countryside in the middle of a field, I think the price of water, electricity and other services would not be the same.

Abobe issue is simple…go Affinity

1 Like

The price of a pro subscription is $25 a month. For most people, whether they live in the middle of a field or in the center of a metropolis, this is covered entirely by an hour of work or less. For me, personally, $25 is 15 minutes of work, and easily covers the cost of the tool to get the job done. Are you REALLY saying that some people should pay less based on where they live? That argument is ridiculous.

I don’t think only of myself.

We do not think like that, 25 $ / month (without VAT). Trimble do not think like that because they do not propose monthly subscription, which can be resumed or stopped within the month. Why not an hourly subscription ? Are there hotels that do, I believe ?

Why don’t you pay 2$ an hour to Trimble ? It remains very profitable, it never makes more than 4000$ per year.