I kind of feel like yearly renewals are bad for both parties for a few reasons;
- For customers: A lot of people buy add-ons in batches which means they expire in batches and it can suddenly be a few hundred dollar bill that sneaks up on them. Replaced with a monthly subscription model, it'd be a lesser amount albeit more frequently. To justify my rationale on this I look at Netflix/Hulu vs Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime is $99 a year (I think, I don't even know because it's so infrequent) and it sneaks up on you. Netflix is $96 a year, not much difference but because it's monthly it's no big deal.
- For developers: I don't know if I'm the only one, but it seems like a small percentage of the license holders actually renew yearly. Sales typically go up year over year (granted, small sample size) but not everyone renews. It seems like people don't renew because the features they wanted still exist, they're happy with it in the current form and can't justify the renewal fee, or they legitimately just forget about it. My theory is, if it was a smaller amount and presented to them from the start, more people might subscribe to an automatic payment and be more content with small amounts frequently. These small amounts would make it easier to fund ongoing development on a month by month basis as well.