Audiobus: Use your music apps together.

What is Audiobus?Audiobus is an award-winning music app for iPhone and iPad which lets you use your other music apps together. Chain effects on your favourite synth, run the output of apps or Audio Units into an app like GarageBand or Loopy, or select a different audio interface output for each app. Route MIDI between apps — drive a synth from a MIDI sequencer, or add an arpeggiator to your MIDI keyboard — or sync with your external MIDI gear. And control your entire setup from a MIDI controller.

Download on the App Store

Audiobus is the app that makes the rest of your setup better.

Breakout discussion of pricing/business models from Loopy Pro thread

«13456789

Comments

  • Happy to pay for both iPad and Mac version - and an appropriate amount commensurate with value. Thinking $A50 and $A150 respectively would be reasonable and recognise what it takes to make something like this, of this quality.
    Having been gouged by the likes of Steinberg, that even seems a bargain!

  • @zzrwood said:
    Happy to pay for both iPad and Mac version - and an appropriate amount commensurate with value. Thinking $A50 and $A150 respectively would be reasonable and recognise what it takes to make something like this, of this quality.
    Having been gouged by the likes of Steinberg, that even seems a bargain!

    Thanks for the input! It’s a tricky decision!

  • @Michael said:

    @zzrwood said:
    Happy to pay for both iPad and Mac version - and an appropriate amount commensurate with value. Thinking $A50 and $A150 respectively would be reasonable and recognise what it takes to make something like this, of this quality.
    Having been gouged by the likes of Steinberg, that even seems a bargain!

    Thanks for the input! It’s a tricky decision!

    My opinion regarding price is that it should be high enough so that I get to complain and request stuff. Also so that it makes financial sense. @Michael you are undeniably a reference and good developers should be able to make decent money making amazing apps. It’s frustrating that all these great devs have to work on the weekends cos they can’t make a living off this. I might be shooting my own foot but maybe we should start paying what makes financial sense to try and keep this going. I’m afraid there might be a lot of “they won’t buy it if it’s over 10€…”, id rather pay more and have quality apps, with updates and solid features. I can’t complaint about some important missing feature when I’ve paid 4’99€ for an excellent piece of software!.
    So yeah, pricing… hard one, I’m sure you’ll make the right choice.

  • edited August 9

    Sell an upgrade in macOS version (could be anything, such as using it as a VST) but give the same basic experience as iOS iPadOS IMO

    For actively developed apps, I like subscriptions because it helps me continue to support development. It’s nice if the sub isn’t completely necessary though.

    Subscriptions incentivize devs to RETAIN, not just gain new users. Doesn’t always work out for the end user and the minimum subscriptions are somewhat expensive for many

  • wimwim
    edited August 9

    Blech.

  • Yeah...subscriptions are the elephant in the room. As far as I can see, they're the only viable long-term business model; charging just once for lifetime updates for an app is a recipe for disaster, and I would be silly not to use a subscription model if I want Loopy Pro to continue into the future. But there's a vocal cohort that really vigorously hate the idea (for reasons don't fully understand, but can sympathise with to a limited extent), so it's a tightrope exercise.

    I tend to lean towards preferring the model that commercial software (Ableton Live, for instance) has followed for decades - you pay once to get the latest version, and have access to it indefinitely, but if you want to stay on the latest-and-greatest, then you buy updates to support development. Maybe some discount upgrade pricing to give existing users a little love.

    It provides a more sustainable business model – i.e. supports further development over abandonware – but also might be a little easier for those among us who dislike subscriptions to cope with, as one keeps what one buys, as it were, rather than 'renting'. Feels fairer.

    Downside is that it's messy to deal with on the App Store, as one has to release separate apps each time, so incoming App Store links break, App Store Optimisation efforts may be compromised, etc. And having monolithic updates means having to hold onto new features for some length of time, rather than being able to release them straight away, which is a shame. But I feel it's worth the hassle.

    Other alternative is In-App Purchases for new features – but that introduces some rather annoying user experiences in the app, and some not insignificant overhead in providing gated access to features.

    Any better ideas?

  • The reality is that if iOS musicians want to have great software, they have to fund it. In some cases, especially where apps have taken years to develop, that could mean subscriptions are necessary to fund development.

    The alternative is apps that get abandoned because they're not financially viable to develop. iOS musicians have been complaining for years about the lack of a full-featured DAW on the platform, the reason is simple: it's not financially viable to develop a DAW that sells for $50 in a niche market and then have to release free updates forever.

    If we want what desktop users have, we need to get closer to paying desktop prices.

  • edited August 9

    100 x £10 = £1000
    20 x £50 = £1000

    I like the subscription model broadly but it doesn’t sit well with ‘I only use the app once a month’ attitude.

    I don’t know what do the stats say but it’s not unimaginable that the amount of money in the music app economy would stay the same if not actually diminish.

    People would spend more carefully, especially if there were trials available. Thinking of the amounts of cash I spent on apps so far it would probably cover a targeted app expenditure for the next 30 years.

  • @supadom said:
    I like the subscription model broadly but it doesn’t sit well with ‘I only use the app once a month’ attitude.

    I agree, it certainly can make it hard to justify. I feel like paying for each major version update mitigates that, though. ScreenFlow, the software I use for video production, releases a new paid upgrade every now and then, and I usually end up getting an update, skipping a few, then getting another one; I feel like it works reasonably well.

  • The thing is that commercial software like Adobe that uses subscription model aims at people that are using that software professionally or at least regularly. iOS music production is a hobby for most people. They do it in their free time and most probably do not make any money from it. So paying for something regularly that you only use once in a while will scare a lot of people away. Especially if it cost more than 5 bucks a month.

    There are professional apps on the app store like Ravenscroft Piano or the new Mixbox Effects Plugin that go for 50 or even 90 bucks. People pay it because of the quality. LoopyPro will enable so much that isn’t possible on iOS alright now that people will likely be willing to pay more up front. I think 50 bucks isn’t that far off.

  • I understand the subscription concept but I always avoid all subscriptions, If I see a subscription fee I just don’t download it. As soon as Adobe did that I looked elsewhere and found Affinity. It’s a massive turn off for people like me who don’t make a cent out of what we can do with the app

  • Loopy Lite $9.99 (4 track)
    Loopy Pro $19.99~29.99 (8 track)
    Loop Pro HD $34.99~49.99 (max track limit)

    Like ableton, maybe offer multiple versions. And then on numbered updates, offer upgrades, similar to how Fabfilter did with Pro-Q2 to Q3.

    On lower models either offer IAPs or upgrade offers. New features within same numbered release could be IAP.

    If you go the subscription route, offer a "free updates until next numbered release." Which would require a purchase of Loopy Pro 2.0 etc.

    I thought that the cheap apps were great when I first started, but I quickly realized how limited and frustrating it is to create something complete. Lots of work arounds and starting in this app and then going to that app. And oh, apple's update broke this. To where I don't really use iOS much but to kill time when I'm away from my home studio.

    If the ecosystem was conducive to profit for devs I think the landscape would get a lot better. Be the pioneer. Get what you deserve for all the hard work you've put in.

  • edited August 9

    I don't think the subscription model works very well for the members of the Audiobus forum in general. We pretty much all have tens, if not hundreds of music apps on our devices. If all app developers decided to introduce subscriptions, we'd either be bankrupt or 'missing out' on a ton of apps we would otherwise love to buy (whether this is entitlement culture on our part is a whole other debate!). That's not to say that a subscription wouldn't be justified for certain apps - I do think that 'big' apps like Loopy Pro have a much better case than most in this regard - and the question of how app developers can make a decent wage from their work is a massive issue.

    @Michael For me personally it comes down to whether:

    • You want and can gain access to the Jimmy Fallon style audience again (but I assume you don't have him on speed dial and can't guarantee that Loopy Pro would be featured!), in which case you should price low with all the associated support nightmares in the hope that sheer sales volume makes the app financially successful, and its presence in the App Store charts creates the same kind of snowball effect as last time.
    • Or whether you would be happy with a smaller but dedicated enthusiast audience, in which case you should price highly if you only have a one-off fee.

    As far as updates go, I would support the desktop model where you charge for a version which includes a certain period of updates, and then charge again when you reach certain milestones. But I do understand that iOS isn't currently built for this and it could be a major pain to have to launch 'Loopy Pro 2.0' as a new app, not least in terms of annoying some customers. You know what, Apple are really the key to helping out devs - they need to allow less rigid pricing models and methods of distribution. A monthly subscription? Hmmm... Loopy Pro is honestly one of the few apps I would consider supporting in this way, given the pedigree of yourself as the developer responsible for Loopy and Audiobus, though the price would have to be right.

    I don't know if you've been looking at the situation with Nanostudio 2, where a pretty successful first app went on to a long-delayed sequel that was markedly less successful. I do reckon, though, that there were many factors behind that outside how good the app is, and you seem more tuned to working out how to get users on board. Matt is undoubtedly one of the most talented developers out there in iOS-land, so what happened to Nanostudio 2 is genuinely depressing, but while it's a cautionary tale I can see how and why it happened and I don't think you'll meet with the same fate.

  • I would gladly pay for major updates or IAP for new features. I want expect bug fixes to be free. I will not sign up for subscription. For Loopy Pro I would pay around 30-50 euros for first version and then 20-30 euros for major updates.

  • edited August 9

    I like others think one of the reasons people are opposed to subscriptions is the sheer volume of apps that are owned and the fear of a substantial monthly bill if many of them were heading in the subscription direction. I have gathered approx 230 apps over my time - if say 10% of them were subscription at £2.99 per month I’d be looking at the best part of £70 per month.... which would be the most I spent on apps in any month (apart from the first two months) and I would have no new apps to show for it 😃. Not only that I will probably have paid for several that I didn’t use. I would then be faced with deleting some apps to bring the cost down only to find that I want to use one again a few months later and be required to resubscribe. I’d also have to be regularly remembering to check my balance because it’s not linked to a bank account. I don’t have any subscriptions. I tend to just top up my credit when it’s low by buying a card to hover around £20 - £30 then I’ll just buy something if I fancy it.

    I would much prefer and be more comfortable buying an app then paying via In-App purchases for updates and new features. I am more than happy to do this in fact I think it’s a perfectly reasonable expectation.

    What’s the annoying user experiences you were meaning @Michael for purchasing In-App?

  • edited August 9

    @Michael said:
    Yeah...subscriptions are the elephant in the room. As far as I can see, they're the only viable long-term business model; charging just once for lifetime updates for an app is a recipe for disaster, and I would be silly not to use a subscription model if I want Loopy Pro to continue into the future. But there's a vocal cohort that really vigorously hate the idea (for reasons don't fully understand, but can sympathise with to a limited extent), so it's a tightrope exercise.

    I tend to lean towards preferring the model that commercial software (Ableton Live, for instance) has followed for decades - you pay once to get the latest version, and have access to it indefinitely, but if you want to stay on the latest-and-greatest, then you buy updates to support development. Maybe some discount upgrade pricing to give existing users a little love.

    It provides a more sustainable business model – i.e. supports further development over abandonware – but also might be a little easier for those among us who dislike subscriptions to cope with, as one keeps what one buys, as it were, rather than 'renting'. Feels fairer.

    Downside is that it's messy to deal with on the App Store, as one has to release separate apps each time, so incoming App Store links break, App Store Optimisation efforts may be compromised, etc. And having monolithic updates means having to hold onto new features for some length of time, rather than being able to release them straight away, which is a shame. But I feel it's worth the hassle.

    Other alternative is In-App Purchases for new features – but that introduces some rather annoying user experiences in the app, and some not insignificant overhead in providing gated access to features.

    Any better ideas?

    Can totally live with the Ableton or Bitwig model where you upgrade to get the new features as been doing that at least with Bitwig for the last 3 years.

    The Wotja model would work perfectly with Loopy Pro. Neat idea.

  • The problem for this app is that it is (very) late to the party.

    Most people who want a DAW on iOS have already found it and built their workflow around it (and whatever limitations it might have).

    They have already spent their $50 or $60 on Auria, or Cubasis or Drambo or whatever (plus extra for the IAPs) and asking them to shell out again is going to be a hard sell.

  • @robosardine said:
    What’s the annoying user experiences you were meaning @Michael for purchasing In-App?

    It might be a personal niggle, but I don't love running into paywalls in apps generally, and I feel like it degrades the whole experience, pulls you out. Yuck!

  • The Wotja model is another option, a new version number each year as a separate app but then free updates during the year.
    It’s a bit like an annual subscription but you get to keep the old version is you don’t want to buy the latest one.

  • @GrimLucky said:
    The Wotja model is another option, a new version number each year as a separate app but then free updates during the year.
    It’s a bit like an annual subscription but you get to keep the old version is you don’t want to buy the latest one.

    Yeah, that's pretty much the plan

  • @GrimLucky said:
    The Wotja model is another option, a new version number each year as a separate app but then free updates during the year.
    It’s a bit like an annual subscription but you get to keep the old version is you don’t want to buy the latest one.

    I was gonna suggest that too. Kind of like iPads/iPhones you don’t need a new one every year but gradually new features stack up enough that you’re missing out if you don’t update.

    But no on comes along at the end of the month/year to demand you give it back.

  • @seventyfour said:
    The thing is that commercial software like Adobe that uses subscription model aims at people that are using that software professionally or at least regularly. iOS music production is a hobby for most people. They do it in their free time and most probably do not make any money from it. So paying for something regularly that you only use once in a while will scare a lot of people away. Especially if it cost more than 5 bucks a month.

    There are professional apps on the app store like Ravenscroft Piano or the new Mixbox Effects Plugin that go for 50 or even 90 bucks. People pay it because of the quality. LoopyPro will enable so much that isn’t possible on iOS alright now that people will likely be willing to pay more up front. I think 50 bucks isn’t that far off.

    This 100%

    That’s why left Adobe for Affinity apps. Im not a professional and 0 money with it. And on top if more apps would go the subscription route, i guess people would far less apps to download because of the increased monthly cost for all the apps.
    And new or not so popular apps would probably fall behind because when I’m paying around let’s say 50$-80$ monthly for all the music apps i would not thinking of increasing that cost or deal with the decision to switch apps monthly.

    I would prefer to pay more for apps. If for instance NS2 goes up to around 50$ and for big updates every 2-3 years pay again the price. Or Iaps for features updates (like Drambo’s Wavetable Synthesis update).
    And definitely Developers should start including a tip jar in the app.

  • @Michael said:

    @GrimLucky said:
    The Wotja model is another option, a new version number each year as a separate app but then free updates during the year.
    It’s a bit like an annual subscription but you get to keep the old version is you don’t want to buy the latest one.

    Yeah, that's pretty much the plan

    I like this model, too. I mean probably it shouldn’t be every year. I like how it is on the desktop where every couple of years there is new major version that you need to pay for and upgrading is discounted. The bad thing about subscriptions is that if you don‘t use the app anymore and you cancel the subscription you also loose the access to all the work you had done with it. With the model to pay for the major version upgrade you can continue to use the old version. Price must be calculated that upgrades and new sales must cover the development of the new major release. For me that sounds very fair.

  • Please ,please do not make it a subscription mode, Am 62 living on PIP withartritus in feet, knee, hip and hands and the only thing that gets me out of bed is the ipad and making music. I love Beatcutter and Enso and know I would dearly love Loop Pro but I cannot for my life afford to go down any subscription model.
    I know as a dev you have put a exhaustative amount of hard effort into your app and should be rewarded.
    How about an intial cost of £9.99 plus extra for IAP to open new doors, that way we could also pay for new development. Thanks for listening.

  • I'm with @GrimLucky and @BiancaNeve for the Wotja model. It's fair and easy to explain and understand.

  • @Pierre118 said:
    I'm with @GrimLucky and @BiancaNeve for the Wotja model. It's fair and easy to explain and understand.

    I agree

  • Having bought hundreds of apps since the Korg iMS-20 app, I'm finding that I don't necessarily want Desktop apps on the iPad. On the whole, apps that work well on the iPad are simpler and have a better thought out UI that takes advantage of the touch screen. Even more so for the iPhone which has a smaller screen for many models.
    If I wanted to use a DAW like Logic or Ableton then it would be on a desktop with screen and mouse because that sort of software lends itself to that environment.

    I don't know what the answer for developers wanting to earn a living is. The 4pockets guy seems to do brisk trade but I can't see myself paying much more than his prices for many software on iOS. I'm trying to move away from music on the desktop for a reason, so I don't welcome the idea that iOS needs bigger, more complicated apps. In many ways I miss the more experimental noise producers and quirky UIs of less 'professional' apps.

    Getting back to the topic. I would be inclined to buy Loopy Pro at a price between £20 and £30 (GBP) with a major paid update every couple of years if I found that I was continuing to use it.

  • edited August 9

    @Michael_R_Grant said:
    I don't know if you've been looking at the situation with Nanostudio 2, where a pretty successful first app went on to a long-delayed sequel that was markedly less successful. I do reckon, though, that there were many factors behind that outside how good the app is, and you seem more tuned to working out how to get users on board. Matt is undoubtedly one of the most talented developers out there in iOS-land, so what happened to Nanostudio 2 is genuinely depressing, but while it's a cautionary tale I can see how and why it happened and I don't think you'll meet with the same fate.

    What happened with Nanostudio is simple: the first version was an early hit in the App Store, that was visible to casual users in the App Store due to the fact that very few music apps were available at the time, and because of that visibility the app sold very well.

    By the time v2 came out, the market was far more crowded and the App Store was very different, so the newer app simply wasn't visible to casual users and sold considerably less (NS2 had 5% of the sales of NS1 according to Matt).

    This is not the developers fault obviously, it's simply down to a changing market.

    Loopy had a similar slice of good luck by being featured on Jimmy Fallon a couple of times, which drove a ton of sales from causal users. There's no guarantee this will happen again, and unfortunately for most devs the reality is that without reaching the casual users sales are generally pretty modest.

  • edited August 9

    I can understand people's reluctance against subscriptions. But at the same time I feel the irony of the general expectation that a dev keeps developing and adding to apps with no compensation for many years. So people want the advantages of a subscription model, but without the cost factor.

    I don't expect a lifetime of upgrades from an €8 Whopper menu, but people do expect this from an €8 app for some odd reason :)

  • edited August 9

    @brambos said:
    I can understand people's reluctance against subscriptions. But at the same time I feel the irony of the general expectation that a dev keeps developing and adding to apps with no compensation for many years. So people want the advantages of a subscription model, but without the cost factor.

    I don't expect a lifetime of upgrades from an €8 Whopper menu, but people do expect this from an €8 app for some odd reason :)

    I think we are all on the same page that the „€8 once including all updates“ model must die for serious apps. But if all of these apps turn to a subscription model there won‘t be so many subscriptions. I think the golden middle way is paying for major version updates. Well, I think there should be maybe at least a support period for compatibility with newer devices and OS versions also for these older versions until some end-of-life date. For people with a small budget I could imagine a rent-to-own model. What do you think?

Sign In or Register to comment.