Historically, MuseScore has had two mobile apps for Android: a paid one (Songbook) and a free one (MuseScore). There's also a desktop version of MuseScore where users can have Pro accounts that are not linked to any of the apps which means they can't use their premium features there.
The vast majority of users use MuseScore Android to browse scores and in only a couple of years of its existence, about a million users have launched it at least once. These numbers inspire us to move forward and continue improving MuseScore products even further.
Today, I want to announce a significant update that will be released shortly and after which MuseScore will transition to a cross-platform Freemium model.
This means that we'll unify subscriptions and accounts of the two existing apps and the desktop version of MuseScore. This way, Pro users from desktop will finally be able to use all premium features of the mobile app which will help us concentrate our efforts on improving it.
Why are we doing this?
Our business model is 'Make products, not content'
We put a lot of effort into improving our products. Mobile apps are a direction that we deem one of the most prospective ones and where we put the most effort into.
While some companies make their apps free in stores but ask money for the access to scores, we negotiate with right holders of the scores in order to give our users free access to all public scores provided by our community.
We're searching for new competitive monetization models that will allow us to stay on par with market's powerhouses and we want to achieve this by continuously improving our services.
All scores should be available to everyone
This is our core value. Any user from any device should have the most convenient way of accessing scores. The main advantage of the freemium model is that it allows all users to explore the app and upgrade their access if they like it enough. And by 'like' we firstly mean quickly and easily finding what users need or getting a lot of views on their own scores.
Freemium works, it's how the majority of the mobile apps operate
We believe that the freemium model is the most prospective way of the mobile app development and that it'll let us accumulate more resources for turning MuseScore Android from a simple score browser to an invaluable tool for any musician.
Pro users shouldn't have any restrictions when they use our products. From the very first day of our work, we've been thinking how to give more value to pro users. Since then, we've introduced a lot of new features most important of which is being able to access all features of the mobile app. Users who previously bought MuseScore Songbook will soon get the access to the full version of the MuseScore mobile app (to get the access you’ll need to log in to your new account).
Freemium means free
We'd like to note that these changes don't mean our apps will be hidden behind a paywall. The key functions of the app such as search and playback will remain free. However, some extra features like the offline access, opening scores from the local storage and a couple of others will be paid.
We want more feedback and more ideas
We want to make our apps the best and the most useful for beginners and pros alike. That’s why we want to implement as many helpful instruments as we can and looking forward to receiving feedback from you. Bringing all products together will let us concentrate on developing them. If you have any questions or ideas, feel free to share them here or in the ‘Improving MuseScore’ group. Thanks for reading!