MakeMusic, the makers of Finale and SmartMusic, has acquired Weezic, makers of an interactive web-based music practice tool. The deal will allow Colorado-based MakeMusic expand their physical offices into Europe, as the current Paris-based Weezic team will become employees of MakeMusic SAS. This new entity, MakeMusic said in a press release, will provide “the company a physical presence from which to grow European operations in the future.” Weezic was founded in 2011 and lists seven employees on their web site.
The main technological reason for the acquisition appears to be to expand SmartMusic into a web-based platform and onto Google’s Chromebook, by incorporating Weezic’s interactive accompaniment and assessment features, along with its adaptive score-following ability. Weezic’s existing products, which are known as Augmented Sheet Music, are available in web browsers and tablets. Those products, MakeMusic says, will be “wound down over the coming months, in order to focus the entire team’s efforts on a web-based solution of SmartMusic.” Augmented Sheet Music was the winner of the “Best Intermediate Teaching Tool” award at the 2015 Winter NAMM show.
The move seems to be a natural fit in that it enables MakeMusic, using Weezic’s technology, to jump-start the creation of a web-based solution for SmartMusic, which is currently only available as a separate program installed on computers and iPads. However, MakeMusic has also said that nothing within the current SmartMusic product will be immediately affected by this acquisition, and that they will continue to make updates to SmartMusic and to retain focus on maintaining and building upon the current product.
SmartMusic’s catalog boasts more than 30,000 solo and ensemble titles and 50,000 exercises for woodwind, brass, string, and vocal musicians, all available on a subscription basis to SmartMusic customers. By comparison, Weezic’s Augmented Sheet Music store only offers about 1,400 titles, which are made available for purchase à la carte. The acquisition of Weezic will clearly afford MakeMusic the opportunity to bring its much larger existing catalog to the web-based platform. MakeMusic has said that while it is likely that Weezic’s public domain titles would find their way into SmartMusic, it’s unclear what will become of Weezic’s licensed titles, or whether an à la carte option will continue to be available in addition to the subscription option.
Included in the deal, according to the press release, is an agreement to use “exclusive technology from Arpege Music that will provide powerful, proprietary HTML5 rendering technology for MusicXML on all platforms.”
One of Weezic’s attractive services to teachers is the option for them to upload their own MusicXML files, for conversion and student assessment via a Weezic interactive score. Weezic’s web site has been updated to direct anyone looking for that service to a page on the SmartMusic web site. On a transition page on its web site, Weezic says it will provide Augmented Sheet Music files to its existing customers, so that customers can continue to use what they have purchased. Weezic personal accounts will remain available for “a few more days”.