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When we introduced our in-app purchase storefront back in 2012, we knew it had the potential to address the needs of our users, artists, and music publishers alike. We knew that by combining the simplicity and ubiquity of standard PDF files with forScore-specific features and enhancements, we could provide a fantastic experience without locking people in.

Our customers could quickly and easily access popular music perfectly optimized for the iPad (and would gladly pay for it). Artists could provide a much more personal product by including their own notes and annotations (we’ve had conversations with a number of musicians over the years looking to do just that). Publishers, of course, could benefit from the incredible popularity of the iPad and give their customers the chance to enjoy sheet music on their own terms.

We’ve had great support from our first few partners including Oregon Catholic Press and Janet Lanier, but our talks with major music publishers over the years have repeatedly stalled. From accounting and formatting requirements to more fine-grained logistical questions, somewhere along the line we meet institutional hesitation. Originally, the biggest sticking point was our choice to not use DRM (Digital Rights Management) since we believe such technologies most often hinder legitimate usage and make customers feel like criminals. Eventually it became clear that this wasn’t something we had enough leverage to influence and we designed a DRM system for publishers to use if they choose to. Yet here we are in 2015 and we still get emails from customers asking why our selection is so limited and if we’ll be adding more music soon.

Ultimately, this is up to the music publishers. They’ve shown that they understand the importance of making their music available on the iPad: many of them have their own apps, though the music they sell is viewable exclusively within their app. We know our customers don’t want to have to remember who supplied the music, switch apps, and then find it and play it. They want to use the music reader they prefer, and they want to have their entire collection available to them at once.

If you’re a forScore user who wants to see more music in our storefront, consider getting in touch with the publishers who sell the kinds of music you’re eager to buy and let them know. As a small company, there’s only so much we can do to convince them. If customers start giving them constructive feedback, they’ll be much more likely to listen.

If you’re an artist, consider the kind of experience you can offer through digital music that you could never offer with paper. Your music could be enhanced, brought to life, and made available to even more musicians with our powerful accessibility tools like Reflow. These musicians might never be able to play your music otherwise.

Finally, if you work for one of these publishers, please contact us. We know we have a lot to offer, and we can’t wait to work with you.