If you are a part of the music industry, then you know that talk of apps and the promotional opportunities they can create for artists has been going on for quite some time now. But is it really worth all the time and effort, and how does one get an app anyways?
Bas Grasmayer, head of information strategy at Zvooq, the leading music-streaming platform in Russia & CIS, recently authored an article on Music Think Tank and outlined the pros on cons of building an app through his casestudy of label Twisted Music.
Here are some key features that Grasmayer outlined of the app release:
- Unlimited access to the entire catalog of Twisted Music, with the ability to stream and store to your phone.
- The ability to create your own playlists and share them on Facebook or other social media as widgets.
- First access to all new Twisted Music releases a month in advance, which are pushed to your handset.
- Subscriber only content, which includes artist mixes, remixes, and singles
- The ability to view all album artwork as scrollable images
Grasmeyer points out that executing the app model in this way helps bring out “the inner selfish-consumer in fans”, by giving them something that they really want to buy as opposed to a more “charity like” approach of asking fans to “support” your music by purchasing it. People will of course support music they really feel invested in, and adding the extra incentives with the app package only gives your fans more access to what they truly want.
Grasmeyer also outlines some advantages for artists and labels adopting apps:
- The exclusivity of having an app gives a strong connection to your most diehard fans and allows them to connect with eachother. This creates a “tribe” mentality around your music, a essential ingredient in creating a fanbase ( via the theory of Seth Godin http://www.sethgodin.com/sg/).
- With the subscription model, you have the opportunity to earn a steady income that depends on the quality of content you provide rather than the pre-hype of the sales based model. As long as the content lives up to fans expectations, they will continue to be subscribed in order retain access to the material they love.
- With all your music in one package that fans like, it can lead to more sales of both digital and even physical formats.
Grasmeyer cautions that this specific model will not serve all labels and artists well. This worked for Twisted Music because they had a solid foundation of fans, and they have also worked at promoting themselves for quite some time. Their label has a niche music fanbase that crosses over into any genres. The most important things that Grasmeyer councils to anyone who is wanting to practice an app model is to “be remarkable, be easy to discover, turn your fanbase into a party, connect, (and) listen closely for opportunities”, all of which he outlines in his thesis at http://basbasbas.com/thesis/.
For those interested in adopting the app model, there are many easy to use app building sites on the web today such as AppBreeder or ShoutEM, or you can build your own if you have the knowledge.
Contributed by CMIS Blog Editor/Staff Writer Delia Mendoza