Appsolutely Apptastic

by Suzie Conway (Communications), published June 6th 2011

The mobile app industry has been exploding in recent years. Always looking to increase revenue and expand its influence, the music industry is jumping on this bandwagon.

In some cases, mobile devices and apps have provided creative outlets for artists. A few months ago, Gorillaz released an album entirely produced on the iPad. Gorillaz’ The Fall was created while on tour, allowing for recording to be done outside the confines of a studio. After recording was complete, it was mixed in a traditional studio.  It garnered mostly positive reviews from critics, which may lead others to partake in similar app ventures.

Although apps have been used to fuel creativity, they have also been used as a marketing tool as of late. An app has just been released featuring sheet music of Adele’s work from her most recent and past albums. Capitalizing on her current domination of the charts, the apps also include piano scores and backing tracks for any wannabe musician.

Some artists and labels have sought to make their music more interactive (and thus grab the extra pretty pennies) via apps. Bjork’s upcoming release Biophilia promises to give each track its own app, essentially ten apps for her ten tracks, bundled within one larger album app, according to Pitchfork. These track apps are said to include games that correspond to the specific songs. Though this seems to have the potential of going overboard, it is an interesting way to try to engage more listeners.

Of course this wouldn’t be much of a trend without Lady Gaga leading the way. Ms. Gaga’s latest release Born This Way has taken on an interesting marketing strategy. Along with offering her entire album on Amazon for 99 cents (for a limited time naturally), she’s pulling out all the stops with her album app ‘€œLady Gaga Born This Way Revenge.’€ The app boasts a ton of features; such as an in-app twitter feed from Gaga, webisodes, games, and updates on her events.

With new music-related apps emerging daily, the industry is diversifying in the ever-present battle to stay relevant.

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