Chris Randall Interview

Podcast interview with Chris

A lot of this is quite technical, but there's an interesting discussion on app pricing on the end.

TLDR - basically it's very hard to make money on any platform, and Chris says he only really has a viable business because he can generate plugins for OSX/Windows/IOS. Audio plugins just aren't a big market, even for someone as established as Chris.

Also - while he grumbles about IOS pricing, he states that he makes about the same amount of money on IOS apps due to how big the market is, as he does on the other platforms (despite charging 10x as much). He seemed reasonably okay with IOS as a platform.

Comments

  • Yeah, thanks for posting. Interesting, and they do match with my views. Why iOS plugins aren't worth the same as desktop plugins etc for overall lastability and workflow. And the way the modular plugin hosts are the main draw for the platform.

    But overall it seems iOS is pretty healthy according to the numbers. Think he said they sell 8 x the desktop versions so pay their way. :)

  • Haven’t watched yet but fan of his plugs (massively in to Quanta right now!) so will check it out some point.

    Sounds like he has his head screwed on. Coding seems like any other profession. Full time hours = full time pay. If a dev has a non-iOS coding job and is coding for iOS outside of that in spare time, it makes more sense to weigh up whether it’s worthwhile by assessing their overall income. Not just the income from iOS ;) This Guy has the right idea for anyone wanting to make any kind of living from music software. Cross platform. Same way as an artist will look for revenue from music, merch, tours, royalties...hit as many revenues as possible at once. What someone gets out of something is almost always equated to what they put in... Good to hear that ios is apparently a feasible zone for devs like AD to want to enhabit :)

  • A sister to quanta!

  • @reasOne said:
    A sister to quanta!

    Is one in the works? Haven’t listened to the interview yet...

  • @EyeOhEss

    Sounds like he has his head screwed on. Coding seems like any other profession. Full time hours = full time pay. If a dev has a non-iOS coding job and is coding for iOS outside of that in spare time, it makes more sense to weigh up whether it’s worthwhile by assessing their overall income. Not just the income from iOS ;) This Guy has the right idea for anyone wanting to make any kind of living from music software. Cross platform. Same way as an artist will look for revenue from music, merch, tours, royalties...hit as many revenues as possible at once. What someone gets out of something is almost always equated to what they put in... Good to hear that ios is apparently a feasible zone for devs like AD to want to enhabit :)

    If you listen to the interview it's a little bit more complicated. First of all he's making an okay living - as a developer you could make far more (which in the US would include what we laughingly call health insurance) - but probably not one you'd want if you have kids. Secondly it took several years before the company made enough so they could make an okay living. As a business proposition it doesn't make a lot of sense - high risk, low payout. This is really something you'd do professionally if you either don't have a lot of other choices (probably true of Chris), or you REALLY want to make audio plugins. He also makes it clear that they don't make enough money to provide the level of 'professional' support that a lot of people on this forum expect from developers.

    Secondly, he's able to make it work because he obsessively focuses on making everything cross platform (which is only possible because of JUCE incidentally). Which is fine, but that only works for things like vanilla synths and effects. There are a bunch of things (Elastic Drums, AUM, some of the midi AU apps) which really only make sense in an IOS context. Those are never going to make enough to support an okay US/Western Europe middle class lifestyle.

    If a dev has a non-iOS coding job and is coding for iOS outside of that in spare time, it makes more sense to weigh up whether it’s worthwhile by assessing their overall income.

    Well not really. If I make 100K from my normal job, and $5 an hour from what is basically a hobby - then the hobby is always going to result in hobby quality software. It also means that if I get busy (promotion, kids, new girlfriend) - it's going to be put on the backburner. Fine for the developer, but not great for musicians who depend upon this stuff.

    But generally my take away from this interview was that if you're very dedicated, patient, focus on lowest common denominator plugins for all platforms you can make an okay living from being an audio developer. Assuming JUCE doesn't go away. Still - compared to Eurorack this is a great market :)

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