New licensing options

My previous post on this topic has been deleted.  Looks like people at Roli may be deleting forum postings?

I contacted Jules and JB at Roli in September 2015 to ask about purchasing a license.  Now I've been told by JB@ROLI tonight that I'm not allowed to directly quote on the forum what Roli says to developers since all their communication is protected by some legal disclosure they automatically append to the bottom of their e-mails, but to paraphrase, my replies from JB at the time was definitely that I should wait to purchase the license until October when v4 is out.

This forum thread makes it look like the price has gone up quite a lot. It also makes it look like it now costs per platform. For many of us weekend and evening developers (is it 3am here, and like many of you I'm trying to get work done!) working on side projects with the hope to maybe one day make $1 on the side, I hope that isn't the case.  However, the license page is incredibly light on details and I don't have a ROLI account to check on the details.  For example, the $999 reference doesn't even state the currency.  I think ROLI is in England somewhere, so I'm confused as to the meaning of $.  Not £?  Not ...damn, my old Canadian keyboard doesn't have the Euro symbol.

Regardless, I think there are several problems:

  1. Deletion of critical posts on the forum is worrysome
  2. Telling people to censor posts on hot button topics
  3. Telling people to wait a month or two before buying a license, when I assume they knew the price was about to go up
  4. Significant price hikes
  5. Cross platform library that suddenly requires payment per platform

ROLI, please don't delete my post again.  :(

Wow, that was a surprise to click through to the purchase page to find out that it's now $2997 per seat, when it previously was £699 for unlimited seats...

OK, so in real-world terms, this isn't a huge price to pay for a mature set of very good software tools. 

However, not giving prior warning is inexcusable! If I was a sole developer who had budgeted on buying a V3 license I would be furious. There should have been a "here's your last chance to buy a V3-only license" before the option became V4 only. If ever a software community deserved that, it's this one. 

Cross platform library that suddenly requires payment per platform


Anyway, what are the Upgrade prices to the Professional license?
 - for someone that has a v3 ?
 - for someone that has a v3 that was including v4.x?
 - what will be the upgrade price from an indie license to a professional one?

This is not something I would usually complain about, but the odd licensing options are making me rethink the need for JUCE.  That is sad after observing Jules take such good care of the codebase and users over the past half year or so.


Consider this:

New DSP stuff was basically the only thing I was looking forward to for V4's release. Since there have been more requests surrounding DSP, mostly better a graph and 64bit audio support, I'm surprised that wasn't done prior to an OSC module.

FWIW we do have a mostly-finished DSP module that we considered releasing, we're just holding it back because we wanted to refactor a few aspects of it before we're satisfied that it's ready for prime-time.

"Finally, JUCE 4 has a new subscription model, so you can choose to pay per month, starting at $49. And until you release a commercial product on the market, you don't have to pay anything and can use the source code as you please (within the limits of the GPL). "

Are these two sentences related? I mean, can I pay $49 (+12 month engagement) and right away release a commercial, closed-source product with no extra cost? Or do I have to acquire a $999 licence anyway prior to the product release?

I can answer that, it's nothing new:

The GPL license states, among other things, that software that you release, has to be accompanied with source code.

But, as long as you do not release anything, you can thus use JUCE without paying anything.

But you will need to purchase a license, either subscription OR fixed price, for the platforms you intend to release, before releasing closed source software.

And apparently during the time that you develop but do not release, you cannot use the Projucers projuicy features, only the old introjucer bits, unless you hold a license.

I'll launch many plugins made with juce next year for mac and windows...

If I paid $999 for the desktop version.  

  1. I need to pay for each plugin?
  2. Can I use forever Juce 4.x?
  3. Can I use a new 4.x version from github?
  4. Can I make my own changes to the lib?



The following question, or some flavor of it has not been answered yet.

So how would this work if multiple developers are working on one project? Do you need a license for every one of them? Or is one license enough (assuming they won't spend a lot of time running the ProJucer)? And what about the build server?​

Me also. I spent those last two days evaluating the cost of rewrite parts of my projects without JUCE. Finally not too much thanks to the FUD that never really quitted me after that ROLI was invited at the party.

For the love of Juce and Jules hard work I just want to be construcitive for a moment. Some of us have the JetBrains-fuckup in memory, just a few months ago ( while others compare with the race to zero cost development (Unity3D, Visual Studio and other amazing free tools).  

Assuming that ROLI also face a challenge with revenue (at a completely different scale than most of us) here are a few ideas for ROLI:

* Charge for specialized modules, but keep the basics at great value to everyone, to nurture adoption. For example, you should make a kick-ass DSP module and charge for it (lots of specialized DSP code is many times more expensive than JUCE). And you need to make it anyway for the Seaboard. 

* Create 3 production ready boilerplate plugins (an effect,  a synth, and a midi fx) and a standsalone wrapper. Then charge for QA of those projects with all popular DAWs and audio devices, for those who can afford it. QA-customers can report a problem with a boilerplate plugin and ROLI will fix it. That would be tremendously helpful and save everyone from the headaches and buying test machines/devices and audio-interfaces. You do the math.

* Establish a plugin marketplace maybe with a App Store-like royalty charge and flex the marketing muscle for all of us. As longs as a plugin is (non-exclusively) available on ROLIs marketplace,  JUCE is free to license for that plugin. That would also be very helpful, and save (not prevent) plugin developers from runnning their own shops. The Seaboard software can seemlesly grab plugins from there.  

* Charge for support / services / assets, rather than code.

ROLI, you are the strong one, who can carry out the those things that we can not. You do it for all of us, so that we dont have to.  Thats what we want to pay for. We dont really need code editors (however smart) as long as Apple and Microsoft are still around - we need a strong arm to lift everyone.


Roli is of course free to try and sell JUCE at any price they wish but to call the cross-platform version cost at USD 1800/year an "indie" price is xxxxxx. An indie developer is just that. No venture capital, no contracting, just independent and proud to do his/her own thing. No matter the day-job.

As an Apple developer I would need two licenses. But why pay twice for the same software like the Projucer .. it doesnt run natively on iOS does it? So I get two OSX-versions, no? Especially as I have no interest in the Projucer. At the same time Apple now has AU 3.0 that builds product for both the ios and the osx app stores.

I understand Roli seeing they leave money on the table with bigger comanies that need to enclose various kind of software with their hardware. But the are ways to differentiate between those markets - 1-3 person companies, revenue cap and so on.

My interest is AAX, Ableton-integration (requires max-externals) and iPad. Only on Apple. JUCE was one of the alternatives. Going native on each target and fully utilize C++14 another. Roli helped me decide to go for latter!

I still like JUCE a lot and wish it success but I've been a C++ developer since 1989 and JUCE is not the first framework I've seen trying their luck this way.

I second every word that has been said here regarding the insane licensing model and resulting prices.

These are the things I find it most outrageus (and there are more I don't have time to explain here):

  • A multi-platform library that requires separate purchase depending on the number of platform? This does the opposite of leveraging the multi-platform nature of the library to lure developers: paying a high fee for the privilege of releasing on an additional platform is like shooting yourself in the foot because developers will now be more willing to go the native way instead.
    At least, make it scalable and reduce the prices progressively: the more platforms one enables, the less they cost.
  • It has been said that the cost of licenses is justified also by the inclusion in the price of the oh-so-formidable ProJucer tool.
    I want a library to build plugins with, I don't care of fancy tools that I don't feel the need for yet
    I'm not saying that it is a useless tool, nor that I won't use it in the future, but if I want to start using it, I will pay for it at that moment and NOT BEFORE! With a separate purchase and separate billing, if that's what's needed, or purchasing a "premium JUCE package" if that's what you want to sell. But give me and my company the possibility to pay a reasonable amount of money only for what we actually use.
  • If you are going to make such a drastic change in licensing model and prices for v4, just leave it there the possibility to purchase a v3 license with the old terms and prices!! We are about to release a new plug-in based on JUCE 3. Luckily enough, we secured a v3 license well before release date. Had we to purchase one now, we would be forced to buy a JUCE 4 license, which we don't use and that wouldn't allow us to use JUCE 3 commercially anyway.
  • Last but not least, I am (and I feel most of us here are) feeling upset and kinda betrayed because over the years JUCE and Jules gained a good reputation of fairness and thoughtfulness (well, most of the times), and all of that is at stake now, because of this policy that seems to have effectively thought by monkeys. This is a HUGE source of FUD!
  • I wish I could go to the JUCE convention now: seems it will be an interesting place to be after all it has been said here.
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Like others here, I followed JUCE for few years, playing with it a few times, and only recently started a proper project with it (two essential parts to it, desktop + mobile), planning on getting a license in few months. 

I am lucky in that I only spent about a month on mine, so I can look for alternatives, or simply forget about the idea altogether. I can't believe how frustrated I would be if I had a year's work or so and get this surprise with license costs! To me it seems the indie version should just be called "subscription based".

Subscription model only works if you get new versions (e.g. Adobe creative cloud or ms office subscription), if juce 5 will be released in 2 years (it's not a real monthly subscription you have to pay yearly subscription, it just shows price per month), then you would already pay more than professional, essentially getting the same thing. There are no gurantees.

Priority support could easily cost extra $1000 or more, but not everybody needs it, especially if working on stuff in spare time.

Projucer sounds great, but is it worth that much extra, especially at v1? Personally I would be much more productive in CLion IDE (costs $119 - excellent full featured ide), by being able to easily refactor and generate boilerplate code (not a top priority in your list thou).

If you do one thing, please change the licensing page, because as it stands it just seems deceptive (not "jucy"). When the new site went online, the first thing I checked was the get Juce page, and though $999, ok sounds reasonable, quite close to what it was (it's quite reasonable to assume that cross platform library will not suddenly charge for each platform). Only after I seen this post, I actually clicked further and found out it is actually $2997.... A minor difference.... Hopefully this was not intentional...

Overall, obviously it's your call, and if you want to target existing companies or sole devs who are 100% sure that their product will at least cover the license fees. I can't gamble $3k though unfortunately :( 

Oh, and the funny side of it is that, on some other topic born after v4 release, it was being mentioned the possibility of discounted prices for ROLI boards to people purchasing a JUCE license, assuming they will be using them for development.

I am surprised: if they used the same rationale they used for the Projucer, they should've bundled one ROLI board with every JUCE license instead. Of course, that would justify a levitation of the JUCE license price some more, but you'll love it, who cares you don't even know how to play it?


I think, Juce users have been spoiled in the past, because Juce was so cheap! I think the new pricing scheme is fair (although maybe a bit expensive on the Indie-option).

Just compare with other cross platform frameworks, such as Xamarin. It has a similar pricing scheme. 

Funny I was looking at Xamarin before I decided on JUCE, partly swayed by the pricing options at that time (over 18 months ago). Xamarin is cheaper than JUCE now at least for the Indie option. But JUCE is an open source project which has had a lot of input from its users. Xamarin is closed source and company led as far as I know.  

Great constructive post, OBO!

I don't have the numbers, but by looking up helpful and smart participants of this forum in the past I got the impression that the vast majority of JUCE users are independent audio plugin developers.

I'm one myself and until this v4 release I strongly recommended Juce to any developer I met, most of them not being in the audio industry. I even taught a C++ introductional class two years ago using Juce.

So don't underestimate the harm your doing to one of your best advertisement channels! I'm quite sure a lot uf us won't passionately continue to recommend Juce after this massive price increase.

This is not made up by me. Read about business growth and you hear it again and again. Make the customers as happy as possible and they will advertise for you.

Please reconsider the pricing. Charge for extra services, support, specialized modules etc. like OBO suggested.

Hi there, great to hear that you are going to launch several plug-ins next year. 

If you are only targetting Mac and Windows, you will need only to pay a one-off fee of USD $999 to use JUCE 4.x forever, you don't need to pay for each plugin version, you can use any version of JUCE 4.x from github, and you can make your own changes to the lib as you see fit.