« The Mobile Music Minstrel: Taming iVCS3 - Part 3 | App News | Zeissler Media - Insomania »

Audeonic's StreamByter is Now Free

Audeonic has announced that his StreamByter app will now be free. Good news for you, but bad news for Nic.

Released last year as a spin-off AUv3 from MidiFire, the niche app allows users to create custom MIDI effects. Nearly a full year later Bram Bos released Mozaic, a very similar app that sat at a price point of exactly $1 less than StreamByter.

Sales of StreamByter slowed to a trickle in the following months. Nic shared his sales data with me for this article. In the last 30 days Audeonic sold 6 copies of StreamByter, and one of those was refunded. Faced with competition in this tiny niche of a tiny niche, Audeonic had some tough choices to make. He could have started a price war as they raced to the bottom, by pricing StreamByter below Mozaic. At that point his profits would have been next to nothing anyhow, so he's just giving it away.

In the last 24 hours he's had more downloads of StreamByter than it achieved in the last 12 months.

Bram Bos was kind enough to share his sales data with me for the sake of comparison. In the 3 months since its release, Mozaic is averaging less than 100 sales in a month. After Apple's cut, and taxes, Bram takes in €2 per unit. Less than €600 is a tiny payoff for the amount of work that goes into making an app.

He notes that Mozaic also requires a lot of customer support, so factor that into the total time committed to the app for a €2 pay day.

Everyone knows, and I've said it many times before, that our current app economy is unsustainable. Today marks only the latest victim of that unsustainability. Nic has revealed that he doesn't intend to release any new apps. After over 8 years of independent music app development, it just isn't economically feasible for him to continue. We as consumers need to take note. We need to pay developers a fair wage if we want them to continue to bring us great apps. Developers need to feel that they can charge whatever it takes to recoup their time invested. Otherwise making apps for us in this tiny niche is a waste of their time, energy, and talent.

Reader Comments 23

I think musicians will need to evaluate how important iOS apps are to them as I believe there will be fewer independent developers who will be able create these niche sorts of apps. Nic has been there for us from the get go and I wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
September 04, 2019  | person PLU Collective
Amazed that Mozaic is selling less than 100 units a day. With all the scripts uploaded to patchstorage, you really don't have to be a coder to get value. Perhaps that should be on the App Store description? Maybe prospective buyers are scared off by the idea of coding. Maybe Bram Bos could curate the user submissions and include some of them in the plug-in? Will go and review it right now.

We are seeing higher price points, which I hope is helping. $20 is not uncommon for an app from a big name developer. Maybe for a specialist app like this, developers should price higher. I don't like paying more, but I will if required. Price also signals quality and confidence, so you may actually get more sales if the reviews back it up. What I would most like to see is upgrades to and from the desktop. If you buy the app, get the desktop version at a discount; if you have the desktop version, you get the app for free. As the iPad gets closer to being a laptop replacement, there should be a convergence of pricing.
I'm happy to have paid full price for both these apps. StreamByter allowed me to workaround a problem with unwanted program changes in AUM that I couldn't solve any other way.
September 04, 2019  | person_outline Redwave
Maybe this app was just too niche for expectations of any real interest. I don’t do scripting/coding. Most musicians don’t. Most people don’t.

As an iOS user and music app consumer, I have no problem paying a fair amount for iOS apps. I don’t want to pay the stupid amounts made common on desktop, but I’m happy to pay $30 for a well-designed and useful app (I don’t buy apps with lazy flat minimalist GUIs, and that covers a lot of the current inexpensive AU3 iOS plugins and even a number of popular apps).

The Bram Bos app looks like it’s much better designed. Presentation and visual design matters. I’m still surprised it sells that many units per day. As I said, this is a very niche product. It seems it’s really not a market that supports two similar products, with one having a lesser design.
September 04, 2019  | person dysamoria
On September 04, 2019 - @dysamoria said:
Maybe this app was just too niche for expectations of any real interest. I don’t do scripting/coding. Most musicians don’t. Most people don’t.

As an iOS user and music app consumer, I have no problem paying a fair amount for iOS apps. I don’t want to pay the stupid amounts made common on desktop, but I’m happy to pay $30 for a well-designed and useful app (I don’t buy apps with lazy flat minimalist GUIs, and that covers a lot of the current inexpensive AU3 iOS plugins and even a number of popular apps).

The Bram Bos app looks like it’s much better designed. Presentation and visual design matters. I’m still surprised it sells that many units per day. As I said, this is a very niche product. It seems it’s really not a market that supports two similar products, with one having a lesser design.
This is a perfect example of letting the free market talk.
People for the longest time kept saying that stream buyer was too hard to use it was essentially the equivalent of assembly language combined with programming with punchcards.
Bram listen to his customers and made changes to how he is approaching the problem of dealing with midi data and he wins.

Nick would actually get on to other forums and argue with customers they were telling him that his apps were too hard to use.
September 04, 2019  | person DrüMünkey
100 sales perMONTH, friends, not per day.
September 04, 2019  | person_outline LinearLineman
I would rather try to expand the tiny niche. The main reason I make music on iPad is the reasonably-priced apps. All of the recently released, high quality plugins have provided a foundation for the niche to expand, but artists need to use the iPad in a way that gets fans interested in buying one. It's going to add to my appeal as a performer if my fans can see me using a new app and say "Wow, I'm going to buy that one right now." It's a very different experience to see somebody playing with a bunch of toys that you can't afford.

When a developer prices an app below $10, it's almost like they're expressing solidarity with their users. It's as though a software developer chooses to make less money from their work, so that musicians who make minimum wage can afford to make high quality music, and eventually popularize the tools and the platform, so that both parties can prosper. In reality, I don't know if that's what motivates developers. It could be a narrative that only exists in my head.

But...I've spent many hours making scripts for Mozaic, and obviously I'm going to release them for free. There's some irony in that, isn't there? The success of these two apps depends partially on the willingness of developers to charge nothing for their work. If developers felt they could charge "whatever it takes" then wouldn't that also include the people who develop scripts for these apps?
September 04, 2019  | person WilliamC
hey gang=)

sorry to butt in all off-topic, but does IAA still work in ios 12.4.1?

thx=)
September 04, 2019  | person_outline Spaced Invader
"We need to pay developers a fair wage" ... I think you mean Apple needs to. It's not the consumer's fault that Apple keeps changing the app store, destroying discoverability (you know this first hand from the way they dropped pay links, basically decimating the app blogging word) forcing devs to keep re-upping when they change the OS, dropping support for critical features, ransoming $100 a year from devs to keep their work live in the monopoly store, etc. Apple is only interested in having a handful of BIG money apps like Clash of Clans - they could really care less if a few hundred indie devs making weird MIDI and sound apps that only gross a few pounds a month just disappeared. The only ones left lamenting are the few musicians who have been invested in exploring what these apps can do. It kind of sucks. How is anyone even going to be able to use any of this stuff in ten years? It will all be gone with no (legal) way to find it or use it on legacy devices. There is an underground culture of guys who still use OS9 on 20 year old Macs as their primary DAW. Is that even going to be possible with iOS devices? I pretty much stopped buying apps a few years ago because it felt like I was renting them, not owning a piece of equipment for my studio that I would use for a generation.
September 04, 2019  | person_outline blorp
WOW! The midi looper is the only thing i've used so far and it is fire AF! totally worth the price! I was JUST talking to coworkers about how these developers put in work on these apps and aren't able to get sales unless they market heavy which cost $$$$$$. Very sad news but I was also happy to pay full price for the app and THANK YOU to the developer s for all the brilliant work
September 04, 2019  | person Redoom
Maybe these apps are a bit too niche?

I have bought a lot of apps over the last 7 or so years but I didn't get either of these apps - I'm not interested in programming things.

The other issue is "are there too many xxxx apps"? Too many synths, too many FX, too many drum machines etc...

Yes, users reply "you can't have too many synths" or whatever, and that is fine for the app addict who buys everything, but not so fine for the developer who makes a new synth and it doesn't sell because there are hundredes of other synth apps on the market.

Would you invest your money in a developer who plans to make yet another synth, drum machine, FX AU, or "IAP sound pack rompler"...?
September 04, 2019  | person_outline Simon
I remember we went through this a few years ago with the developer of the excellent "Guitarism - Pocket Guitar" (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/guitarism-pocket-guitar/id409707446).

It was very popular with the iOS music crowd who all bought it then sales dropped off dramatically once everyone had it. The developer talked in detail on the AudioBus forum about what happened.

It gets back to: if your car tyres lasted forever the tyre companies would soon be out of business. They need the repeat sales to survive. Same with app developers.

That's why Blocs Wave and Groovebox don't bring out a lot of new features these days but they can manage to bring out new sound packs every week. And I don't blame them. It is called survival.
September 04, 2019  | person_outline Simon
My take is the market will determine the price point and the demand for any product. Obviously there is a greater demand for game apps than music creation apps. I’m sure the developers thought they had a solution to a problem. However, it seems there weren’t enough perceived problems in the marketplace. But that’s the risk associated with any product introduction....in any industry. I think there is a much greater risk in the music app business for the simple reason that it seems damn near impossible to do any research as to need or problem identification. So, a developer is guessing as to need, want or problem to solve. Guess right and you could have a hit, guess wrong and the results in those two examples are what happens.
September 04, 2019  | person B.Skaigh
This is a landscape which parodies the economics of other creative markets through history i can think of. We can learn from those ventures where they succeeded and failed. As we are talking revenue here, some ideas been used by them have been merchandise, events and competitions.

I would buy a cool t-shirt, i would definitely go to an expo, id love to showcase the skills in a live competition and generally actually ‘meet’ people which are using the same thing, it can all be monetised and would strengthen the industry.

Those reported apps sales are shocking, yeah programming midi is niche but wow that revenue is lower than i thought, practically pushing into the realm of a retired developers hobby, sad to see when i enjoy the products so much.

Lets face it, iOS music has matured produced some amazing apps yet hasn’t gained a strong foothold in the already established music makers industry. Yet the app store model is designed around low cost sold in volume, this could be a problem.

I personally think iOS musics strength is in its ability to create live music, which still has yet to be realised by many people. ‘Seems’ like the market is demanding desktop class software at the app stores prices, thats a possible trap for a developer to chase, because the punter buys the app at a low cost finds it lacking still and just wants more, while muddying the identity of the platform, the smart car maker was really popular once until it tried being everything but what it was popular for.

That being said, Mozaic app is absolutely amazing, i had a giddy kid moment when i found it only last week, i have wanted something like this for years, typical the following day i found streambyter!
Sad but i understand why it gone free, Mozaic is practically perfect, everything i wanted Audiokit to be, Ive put it through the paces and uploaded the Monty Hall simulator to patchstorage.

I wonder even if Mozaic might start a new creed of iOS music makers.
I feel iOS music still yet has to realised by its audience, its tough in todays over saturated everything. And i really hope the passionate and visionary developers get a least a decent living out of these fantastic apps they are producing
September 04, 2019  | person Beehaus
Well said though Tim, we should be prepared to pay more for good apps.
The industry have thrived on an audience which to date has been spending pin money on collecting apps, for which it seems people have many more apps than songs they have created, and that model is drying up, its also somewhat over saturated the market and made it a confusing world for newbies to enter.

I foresee developers drop out, fewer apps get made, but the quality goes up and they are able to command a better price, 3-4 times the price is perfectly achievable, like the price of an xbox game. We see a split between musical toys costing a full dollars and tools which cost 30-40 dollars.
It would probably make people appreciate what they bought more and not just open it for 5mins to move onto to something else, youtube will start filling up with music thats had decent effort put into it. The profile of iOS music gets a much needed facelift.
This might bring the big boys back in the game again, but should establish a good foundation for our talented and appreciated indie developers to make a decent return on there work.
September 04, 2019  | person Beehaus
In my opinion, 3-4 times the number of iOS musicians is perfectly achievable too. It would help to have a high quality, well-rounded DAW and synth, regardless of pricing. And more performance tools like Velocity Keyboard would be good. I want to make music that becomes popular, and helps to popularize the iPad for musicians. The act of playing music itself could be a lot more popular than it is today. The best part about producing on the iPad is having a giant collection of apps.
September 05, 2019  | person WilliamC
My comment is not really about Streambyter, but more about Mozaic presently.

Less than 100 downloads a MONTH! That is unbelievable to me.

I have created AUM session with up to 10 instances of Mozaic in use (and could use more easily) and have NEVER written a single character of code. It’s so versatile and useful I am considering trying, but as of yet have not.

All anyone needs to do to utilize all of the amazing things Mozaic can do is visit

https://patchstorage.com/platform/mozaic/

Visit it from your iOS device. When you decide to try one of the highlighted scripts just tap it, it gives you the option to open it in Mozaic.

That’s it. Period.

That script and functionality is now part of your Mozaic. You simply open it in the app like a synth or effect preset. You do not need to understand any coding in any way whatsoever to reap the benefits and the scripts have a usable GUI. There is no coding at all involved.

Patchstorage is constantly updated with new scripts to try.

If you use Midi in nearly any form or get any midi related apps, this would be one of the best purchases you will ever make.

It’s like getting an app with new and completely free in app purchases constantly being added. The value for your purchase is beyond nearly any app I have ever purchased (I am in no way affiliated with Bram Bos other than decades of respect on multiple platforms)

Learning script has nothing at all to do with that value and it is not required at all.
September 05, 2019  | person Stacy Puckett
App reviews on app store are almost non-existent even for big name devs.
Music app development is a minefield for developers.
September 05, 2019  | person_outline Raphael Baker
Notice most people here are talking about Mozaic, not Streambyter...
September 05, 2019  | person dysamoria
Simon mentions Guitarism ... that was and is [ still works ] the best guitar sim. While it was in development I was in contact with the developer and despite over a million downloads and various attempts at monetizing through IAP, freemium models and price changes he figured he made enough to update his iPad with new one to test on.

Holy fuck.

Roland drops keyboardless echos of the past for $499 and everyone gasps with gratitude... “it used be $5000 “... developers give us Guitarism for $5 ... GeoShred for $20.. Animoog for similar and we freak out because “we cannot afford it”? Bull... these apps should be $200! And you should only have one tenth of the apps on your I-Device because you never use them anyway. Don’t even TRY to tell me otherwise.

Sure Apple should organize timed demo’s ... I don’t think we should buy blind ... but having dozens ( and dozens...) of top notch music making devices is a privilege only rock stars had 10 years ago... we shouldn’t expect it to be a right.

Up the price!!
September 05, 2019  | person lee faulkner
The other interesting fact is that Bram says he can’t make a living full time doing iOS music apps. He has a day job and apps are a sideline.

If a top developer like Bram can’t make a living making iOS music apps then what chance does anyone else have....?
September 05, 2019  | person_outline Simon
comment

  Post a New Comment

You are not currently logged in. Would you like to login or register?
Enter your information below to add a new comment anonymously.

I'm not a racist, but...
Usernames need to be at least 2 characters!
I'm not a racist, but...
Please don't use weird characters in usernames!
{[ Ctrl.useravailable[Ctrl.userselector] ]}
{[ Ctrl.useravailabletext[Ctrl.userselector] ]}
Wow, that's a short email address!

Comment:

Do not use HTML in your comments. Tags: [b] Bold Text [/b] [i] Italic Text [/i]
Links will be generated if you include http:// or https:// at the beginning of a URL.
Submit

Contact | Privacy Policy | Developer Services | Advertise
discchord.com is a service of Gnubesoft