remote profiling is a pain in the ass, and does a great disservice to everyone involved, except when trained end-users are the ones getting the profiles. People need that training in addition to the profiles. If you don't give them that training bad things happen. .......
........... When I have made exceptions to my rule about only working with existing clients, I've been flooded with support emails from these people. "Prints from your profile don't look like my monitor" because they aren't calibrating their displays correctly or using good lighting, "Prints from your profile look too good, can you desaturate your profiles?" because they're used to over-saturating their files to compensate for their previously poorly color managed printing process, etc. Or worse yet, they continue to get poor results and don't bother to tell the remote profiling service provider at all. You get the idea.
I don't agree at all that remote profiling does any disservice to end clients at all. I also think it’s pretty insulting to the majority of remote profiling customers to suggest they can’t use custom printer profiles without being trained by the profiler.
Maybe if you’re finding running a remote profiling service a “pain in the ass” you’re getting your approach wrong or have unrealistic expectations of how this service actually works in practice. I don’t think anyone can make a living from solely providing this service, these services end up being a supplementary offering from bigger businesses ensuring that their capital investments in CM get better utilisation.
I've been running a remote profiling service for about ten years now and at least 95% of my clients are delighted with the profiles and service they get from us and present no undue support burden to us. Most of the remaining 5% might need an extra email exchange to sort out any misunderstandings and usage problems, but only a tiny minority need more than a couple of emails to fully resolve their issues.
Despite offering a money back guarantee for anyone unsatisfied with their profile, no one has ever asked for a refund.
Our service is targeted at individual photographers, rather than print shops and higher end clients and most know exactly what they want and how to use the profiles correctly. I'd also guess that most wouldn't spend the extra involved with on-site consultations as a significant number live in remote locations where the costs of on-site visits would be totally uneconomic. It’s these small scale clients that will loose out if X-Rite try to eliminate remote profiling services or charge licence fees that make the profiles prohibitively expensive.
I can't understand why X-Rite would try to shut down small profiling businesses at all. I very much doubt that our profiling business has any negative effect on X-Rite’s sales, probably the reverse. Often our clients go on to invest in more and better CM hardware like monitor calibrators and some I'm sure go on to invest in printer profiling kit of their own having seen the advantages of custom profiles on their own systems.