Ableton Live Rent-to-Own: Common Questions Answered

There are now many different options for Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) to use, and each one has its respective paywall structure.

Currently, Ableton Live software is purchased with a once-off fee. But, a lot of media editing software is switching from a once-off paywall model to subscription-based or rent-to-own.

We would like to answer some commonly asked questions regarding Ableton and any possible options to “rent-to-own” this DAW.

Here’s What You Need to Know about owning Ableton Live:

Ableton Live can only be purchased with a once-off payment. Ableton does not have a rent-to-own model. However, some third-party services offer payment plans. DAWs with a rent-to-own payment method are Studio One and Bitwig Studio. Pro Tools has recently introduced a subscription-based model.

Are There Any Places to Rent an Ableton License?

After extensive research, we have not found any places (physical music stores or online stores) that offer Ableton Live licenses on a rental agreement.

There may have been instances of this in the past (through Splice, for example), but as of January 2023, we have yet to find any option.

Does Ableton Have a Subscription Option?

Ableton does not offer a subscription option for Live. The 3 editions of Ableton have once-off fees, the prices are as follows:

  1. Intro – $99
  2. Standard – $449
  3. Suite – $749

There are, however, other methods of payment for those who cannot afford the once-off costs.

Are There Other Ways to Pay for Ableton Live?

Although Ableton does not offer a “rent-to-own” payment method, there are a few other ways to avoid paying the full amount up front.


Klarna is a Swedish-based finance company that offers a “Pay in 30 days” option for purchasing Ableton.

You can purchase Ableton from their website and receive your license upfront. You then have 3o days to pay for the product interest-free.

Unfortunately, this service is only available in select European countries:

  • Denmark
  • United Kingdom
  • Sweden
  • Norway
  • Finland
  • Austria
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium


Splitit is a payment method supported by Ableton, enabling the shopper to split the cost of Live over 3 installments.

Splitit requests authorization from the shopper’s bank to reserve the total cost of Ableton and then subsequently collects the total amount over 3 split installments.

This service is available to people in the following countries:

  • The USA
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Japan

Credit Card Installments

The other method of payment is simply to place the full cost of Ableton on your credit card and then pay off the product, including interest added.

Some banks do offer 30/60/90-day interest-free offers, which could make this payment option feasible.

However, the management of these payments is strictly up to the buyer.

Online Ableton Retailers

Some Ableton Retailers will offer Ableton at a reduced price compared to purchasing the product directly from the Ableton website, so a good shop-around is recommended.

These retailers will often give the option to finance the purchase in installments as well. Some of these Ableton Retailers include:

  • Thomann
  • PMT Online
  • Andertons

Buy Used Ableton Live Licence

This requires some research and opportune moments, but Ableton does offer the ability to transfer a license from one person to another.

The cost of this is dramatically less than a brand-new license which may be a fantastic option to pursue.

We have included a link at the end of the article for some more information on the process of transferring a license to another user.

Should I Get Ableton Lite and Then Upgrade?

Ableton Live Lite is a pared-back version of the full Live package; it uses the same engine and is only limited by the number of tracks that can be added and the effects on offer.

If you are unfamiliar with Ableton, then using Ableton Live Lite will be a good introduction to the DAW.

Lite often comes free with the purchase of many audio interfaces and MIDI keyboards. From Live Lite, users can then upgrade to any of the 3 editions: Intro, Standard, and Suite, at a reduced price.

It is cheaper to upgrade from one edition to another as opposed to buying an edition without owning a previous version.

How Can I Get Ableton Live for Free?

Below we have a list of different ways you can use Ableton Live for free:

Ableton Live Lite

Ableton offers a “basic” version of Live called Ableton Live Lite. It has all the same look and feel as the paid editions of Live and is a great way to familiarize one’s self with the DAW.

Live Lite is often offered free with a variety of different music hardware and MIDI instruments.

It does, however, have some fairly strict limitations to it in terms of the number of tracks and effects that can be used.

90-Day Free Trial

Ableton has recently started offering a 90-day free trial of the full version of Ableton Live 11, where users can try out all the features before committing to a purchase of the software.

This is an extremely useful offer as it gives users who are generally interested an opportunity to see all that Ableton Live has to offer.

Free Licences for Schools, Charities & Youth Clubs

Ableton also offers free Live Intro licenses to schools, charities, and youth clubs teaching music to students primarily under the age of 19.

There is a simple application process to enjoy this benefit which can be found at the end of this article.

Win Ableton as a Prize

As a last-ditch effort to acquire Ableton Live, one could enter the plethora of competitions being run with the prize being a Live license.

These competitions can be found online or on social media. It could be your lucky day!

What Alternatives to Ableton Offer Rent-to-Own?

Studio One

Studio One, a product of PreSonus, is a powerful and highly customizable DAW that offers a “rent-to-own” option off Splice.

The payment plan is $16.99 per month for 24 months. There is a link at the end of this article with more information on this option.

Bitwig Studio

Bitwig Studio is another DAW that might be the best option for you if you are looking for something offering a “rent-to-own” option.

Also available on Splice, this DAW can be owned by paying $15.99 per month for 25 months. Splice also offers a free trial for 14 days.

What DAWs are Subscription-Based?

Avid Pro Tools

Pro Tools has long been thought of as the industry standard for professional DAWs.

Historically, this product has been purchased and owned by paying a once-off fee, and Avid has only recently shifted Pro Tools to a subscription model.

  • For $299, you will get a 1-year subscription to Pro Tools.
  • There is a month-to-month payment option priced at $29.99, this works out to be 17% more expensive than paying the yearly subscription.

Final Thoughts

Owning software is undoubtedly far better than renting software if there is definite longevity to your usage of the product.

It can be quite difficult to decide what DAW to choose, given the variety of software options and payment options. We trust this article has been insightful and has opened up more options for affordable music creation.


Get Live Intro free for your organization

Ableton Accepted Payment Methods

Studio One 5 Professional

Buying a Used Copy of Live