Music and technology. It is a combination that seems all too normal to us nowadays. Streaming, MP3, iPod/iPad/iPhone/iDon’tKnowWhatCouldBeNext. And from all of this development comes the idea of apps. Not just apps to simply promote an artist’s new single, album, video, or tour dates. No, no… that’s kid’s play. Developers are thinking more along the lines of combining the music of artists with interactive experiences such as karaoke playback, song animation, lyrics, essays, etc. Major label, EMI, is hoping to develop a number of partnerships with app developers as a new way to gain revenue. Björk is one of the first artists to have launched their app called, Biophilia, developed by The Echo Nest. According to iTunes, “Biophilia is an extraordinary and innovative multimedia exploration of music, nature and technology by the musician Björk. Comprising a suite of original music and interactive, educational artworks and musical artifacts, Biophilia is released as ten in-app experiences that are accessed as you fly through a three-dimensional galaxy that accompanies the album’s theme song Cosmogony. All of the album’s songs are available inside Biophilia as interactive experiences: Crystalline, Virus, Moon, Thunderbolt, Sacrifice, Mutual Core, Hollow, Solstice, and Dark Matter.” The features of this $12.99 app include:
• Three-dimentional galactic interface with the song “Cosmogony”
• Nine song apps available as in-app purchases (priced at $1.99)
• Music scores with karaoke playback
• Abstract song animation
• MIDI out to drive instruments
EMI is hoping to develop apps for other artists under their able including Gorillaz, Pet Shop Boys, Tinie Tempah, Professor Green and Eliza Doolittle, and The Verve.
One might think, though, why would anyone pay so much for an app and experience?? Personally, I don’t know if I am willing to whip out more than $30 all together if I were to buy the app place every in-app purchase for an artists… But then again, that is my mindset right now because music has become so inexpensive due to streaming and downloading. Really, this should be a reasonable and respectable price to buy not only music but also an experience, given that the life of an artist has become more of a life of a starving artist, really. For how much music enhances my life, I should really not have an issue with spending more than 1 cent per song…
Anyway, back to the story, the development of apps is a new and creative concept that aims to gain more revenue in a struggling industry. According to Echo Nest’s chief executive, Jim Lucchese, “There is far more than a wrapper for the audio — it’s an opportunity to become part of the overall music experience. Out business is premised on app developers being the architects of how we experience music going forward.” The concept is new, innovative, and so far for Björk, successful. A new way to experience music. A new way to make $$.