MuseScore announced their 5 millionth download today on Twitter:
Youhou, MuseScore reached 5 million downloads today! flic.kr/p/eXxEXY—
MuseScore (@musescore) June 28, 2013
MuseScore is a fully-featured, free, open source music notation product for Windows, Mac and Linux. The program works well, and is rapidly becoming a substitute for Sibelius and Finale for many users, not to mention institutions like schools, colleges, and universities. Development for the 1.x version of Musescore is over, and version 2.0 is well on its way.
Musescore used a graph in their tweet to show the number of downloads over time:
5 million downloads is an astounding number, but even more telling is the number of downloads of the most recent version, MuseScore 1.3 (thank you to MuseScore for sharing these images on Twitter):
Nearly 600,000 downloads of MuseScore 1.3 since January 2013.
Let's put this into perspective. Let's say that 4 out of 5 people that downloaded MuseScore already use Sibelius, Finale, or some other software package. That would leave 60,000 people that downloaded MuseScore in place of a paid music software package. Let's say that all of those users would qualify for academic pricing, which is $240 (not counting shipping) for Sibelius or Finale (contact my friends at aabaca.com, a Minnesota company dealing with technology for music education if you need these programs). That is over 14 million dollars in sales not going to traditional music software packages.
I call that major disruption in an industry. The MuseScore team isn't out to ruin MakeMusic or Avid–they simply want to offer a great open source product. Disruption is occurring nonetheless.
I don't think for a moment that Sibelius, Finale, or any other paid notation program are going away, but those companies will need other focuses to survive in the future. MakeMusic has SmartMusic and other goals (see http://www.makemusic.com/about/). I cannot speak to the future of Sibelius/Avid, and even the future Steinberg notation product is surrounded by Steinberg's other products.
So, congratulations, MuseScore, on five million downloads, best wishes on the continuing work on version 2.0, and I expect for you to see ten million downloads in short order!
(p.s. An open-source, free, iPad music notation app would be wonderful, too!)