Thoughts on subscriptions for music/audio apps

Last year I released an MVP of what I consider to be a fairly niche iOS app. I gave basic functionality away for free and added a “pro” upgrade as an In-App Purchase for advanced editing functions. I’ve had almost 1000 downloads, but very few upgrades. I’m planning to limit the free functionality further, but I’m also considering switching to subscriptions (both for iOS and Android).

So rather than a one-time “pro” upgrade for £3.99, something like 99p per month or £7.99 per year (possibly with a free trial). I know some people hate subscriptions, and I get the feeling musicians especially. So I’ve also considered publishing a full “pro” version alongside the subscription-based version.

I’m interested to know peoples thoughts or experiences here.


The issue with creative apps is they are being used only sporadically (unless you are a pro). I would buy subscriptions only for services I need on a regular basis. Or stuff I could “rent” for a month or two every other year, as needed. A continuously running subscription gives the uneasy feeling of costs adding up unnoticed in the background.

In-app purchases of enhanced features is the way to go, IMO.

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What are your payment provider’s costs per transaction? Is each subscription payment a separate transaction? If the transaction cost is around 3.2% plus $0.30 per transaction… that eats into the amount of actual monies you’ll see for a low monthly subscription cost. Your 99p is roughly $1.30 so after processing costs that $0.96 about 74p. You may be fine with that, just pointing it out so you take that into your consideration.



iOS -> multiply 3.2% with 10 :slight_smile: