New pricing for Muse

Announcing new pricing for Muse: a Starter membeship, monthly billing, lower prices overall for many non-USD currencies, and new perks for Pro members.

It’s all part of our attempt to build a sustainable independent business selling great software, without needing to monetize your personal data, serve ads, or get on the venture capital train.

Muse Base, Starter membership, and Pro membership

If you talk to an economist about pricing, they might mention rational actors, supply and demand, and price-elasticity curves. But for each of us making purchasing decisions for products in our lives, it’s as much an emotional decision as anything else.

What does the product say about me and what I value? Do I believe in the company behind the product and trust their long-term motives? What will happen in the future if something changes with the product or with my personal means?

Muse is a tool for thought that supports your deep thinking on personal and professional projects. Our users and customers range from architects planning out a major new building project; to restaurant owners planning updates to their menu; to computer scientists doing deep reads of algorithm papers.

Many of our early supporters have already purchased a Muse membership, which up until now was a single price: USD $99.99 per year. While these folks tell us it’s worth the money, we also know that this price excludes a lot of people including students and other up-and-comers; not to mention those simply curious to try it more before fully committing.

Thus we’ve added new options for buying a Muse membership. Here's seven things you should know about it.

1. Muse is free for casual use

You can use Muse for unlimited time without paying anything. Each item in Muse (like an image, a PDF, a snippet of text, or a board) is a card, and the free version of Muse lets you use up to 100 cards and boards up to 2×2 (measured by the longest dimension of your iPad).

Example content for a Muse Base user

A Muse Base user with 59 cards in use. Everything here can be created and used for free.

100 cards is often enough for one or two projects, and many people have used Muse completely for free for the last year.

2. Membership starts at USD $3.99 per month

Once you’re ready to get more out of Muse, you can get started for as little as USD $3.99 (or equivalent in your local currency) for a one-month starter membership.

The starter membership has room for 500 cards and much larger boards, up to 6×6 iPad screens. This is will serve for medium-duty use, and has also proven popular with students.

Example content for a Starter member

A Starter member using 150 cards and some larger boards.

All paid members get priority support and the good vibes of supporting our small independent team.

3. Become a Pro member for $9.99 per month

If you’re using Muse in your professional life, we recommend purchasing a full membership for USD $9.99 per month, or $99.99 per year (a 17% savings). This gives you unlimited cards and huge (10×10) boards for the truly demanding thinker.

Example content for a Pro member

Longtime Pro members often accumulate thousands of cards in their Muse. Unlimited cards, unlimited nesting, and huge boards means that the sky’s the limit.

4. Muse is available in your country

While the prices quoted here are in US dollars, we’ve spent some time recently to adjust the prices worldwide to feel more fair.

Places like the UK (GBP), European countries using EUR, Singapore, and Australia now have more accurate prices (USD conversion rate + local sales tax on digital goods).

We’ve also created some discounts for countries with a lower GDP-per-capita relative to the US. This means people in places like India, Brazil, Thailand, China, Hungary, and Russia will find Muse more affordable than before—check the App Store to get the current price in your local currency.

5. Pro members get early access to beta features

All our existing Pro members (that’s anyone who bought a Muse membership in the last year) and all new Pro members get some additional perks. One of these is the early access beta program.

Muse is still young and we’re developing new capabilities at a fast pace. (Just scroll through @MuseAppHQ for proof!) As a Pro member, you get access to beta features first, while they are still rough around the edges.

Feature Status
Flex boards Released in 1.7
Browser extension Beta
Block-based text editing Coming soon
Sync two iPads Coming soon

The feedback we got from our Pro members while flex boards was in beta had a big effect on shaping the final product. So this is a great way to give input on the product direction and shape what Muse will become over the longer term.

6. You own your data, even after you cancel your membership

In an ideal world, a software subscription will let you pay just when you’re getting value from a product, and stop paying when you aren't getting value any more. In practice, many subscriptions feel bad because they are hard to cancel; or worse yet, they require you to pay forever to keep accessing the content you’ve created in the app.

Muse is different. We never want to hold your data hostage. You should pay for it only when you’re getting active use out of the app.

Canceling a Muse membership

Once you cancel your membership (after a month, a year, or ten years) all your cards will still be fully accessible. You can still navigate around, doodle on your boards and PDFs, move cards, and export a subset or all of it as a Muse bundle or PDF. You can search by label, change labels, edit text.

The only thing you can’t do? Add new content.

So you might pay for a Muse membership for a few months while working actively on a big project, then cancel and continue to access your material for archival purposes. Later on if you have another big project, you can activate your subscription again.

You never need to worry that your data is locked up. We want you to pay for the value you’re getting from the tool, not for the data storage.

7. Support independent software

At the deepest level, what you’re really paying for with a Muse membership is the continued development of the app, and the independence of the five-person team behind it.

Why does this matter to you?

Vegetables at a farmer's market

Buy direct from the producer for a better-quality, more sustainble product.

You might be used to software from growth-at-all-costs startups: free at the start (funded by venture capital) but eventually your attention in monetized with ads, your personal data is monetized by selling to third parties, or the personal product takes a back seat to the “enterprise” product.

Muse is following a different path: personal software, made for you and your unique tastes and needs, and funded by direct payment from you and other members. Because our funding comes from you, the customer, rather than investors with their sights on mass-market adoption, our incentives are better aligned with yours.

By paying for Muse, you help us stay niche, opinionated, and focused on your needs over the long term.

Conclusion

We’re incredibly thankful to the members who have purchased Muse in the last year, and we’re delighted to see that almost all of them have decided to renew their memberships.

We hope these new pricing options will allow many more people to join their ranks. Here’s to a better future for independent software and thoughtful computing. ❤️

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