When it was announced last year that Plugin Alliance and Brainworx were joining forces with the already-in-bed-together Native Instruments and iZotope, the idea was that all four brands would be part of an umbrella company called Soundwide. As of today, though, that’s all changed, as it’s just been confirmed that iZotope, Brainworx and Plugin Alliance are now part of Native Instruments.
If you’re a little confused, rest assured that you’re not the only one. By way of explanation, the bosses of the company formerly known as Soundwide are now saying that they’re moving forward with the NI name on the masthead because it’s “more familiar to our community,” which is certainly true.
This is more than just a rebranding exercise, though. In the future, you can expect to be able to use one login across all the brands, while NI’s Native Access will become the preferred destination for installing and authenticating a broader range of products, negating the need for multiple similar tools. There will be one customer care centre, and we’re promised a “one-stop shop” that will enable you to explore all products, loyalty offers and upgrades. Expect a more “tightly-connected” experience across all products, too.
No timeframe has been announced for all of this to be implemented, but you can expect to see some changes this year. These include more iZotope products in Native Access (with more Brainworx titles to follow next year) and more cross-brand content on the NI blog and social media channels. There could also be cross-pollination of features and new bundle offers.
Because it’s a vendor for third-party plugins, Plugin Alliance will remain distinct from the rest of the brands, but sales and special pricing offers will be coordinated across the year. Evidence of this can be seen in the current Summer of Sound campaign, which features savings of up to 50% on iZotope, Native Instruments, Plugin Alliance and Brainworx products.
Earlier this year, Soundwide confirmed that it was laying off 8% of its workforce, citing “challenging market conditions”.