So just a few days ago, the report came out that the biggest music star in the world, Lady Gaga, would be releasing her next album, titled ARTPOP, as a “multimedia experience” available in several formats, most notably, a downloadable app for mobile computing devices and smartphones (think iPhones, iPads, Android devices, PSPs, what have you.) The move really should come as no surprise to anyone immersed in the changing face of music and the album format, as so many artists, labels and music companies are still trying to figure out what that next great format will be, and have been toying with several ideas for years now.
Reported on Billboard.com, in Fast Company magazine and The Guardia from the UK, the move by Gaga is seen by many as an opportunity to not only expand the brand of Lady Gaga (which already includes tons of endorsement deals, the website LittleMonsters.com, and several mega-selling tours under the artists’ belt), but also a chance for Gaga to continue trying to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to music innovation in the 21st century, something she’s been trying to maintain since her fist album, The Fame, in 2008.
Gaga seems to continually take her inspiration from another peculiar artist that has built a successful career on weirdness: Bjork. The Icelandic singers latest project, Biophilia, came complete to fans with a while suite of iPhone and iPad apps to create an experience for fans that took them beyond just the music, and maybe a little deeper into Bjork’s world. For now, Gaga’s ARTPOP album details are still being worked out, with a release date still tentatively set for later this year of early in 2013.
So, can we safely say that this is both the present and the future of the album? Maybe so, but just as with anything else in the music world today, nothing is for certain. Granted, popular and mainstream music in this day and age may have a little more to do with how and where fans can experience it, and convenience as a whole. But I’m sure there have also been plenty of big-named artists that decided they wanted to go the interactive route, whether it’s with a mobile game, a mobile app, or what have you, and it didn’t quite work out the way that they wanted it to.
The music consumption experience has become more important than ever, especially for artists like Lady Gaga, who are working in whatever area they can to maintain the massive success that they have gained through savvy business deals, focused personal branding and the backing of the major music machine. And the fans know this. They are more involved than any generation of music fans has ever been through the regular use of social media, smart devices, free music flowing like water on the Internet, and an overall changing of the guard that’s still reshaping the industry as we speak.
There is still a lot more to Lady Gaga’s ARTPOP story that will come out in the coming months, as well as to the whole idea of the interactive album and what it can do for the music industry. But we can be certain of one thing: this isn’t the wave of the future, because the future is already here.
Stereomood.com is an innovative, original music service that turns your mood into music, suggesting playlists curated for all your different emotions. With just one click, users gain access to moving music selections to listen to and share, always tuned to their emotions.
Stereomood.com, which has been wildly popular since its launch, is ready to go mobile and release its first official Android and iPhone app, available free of cost.
The app embodies the concept and features of the website, which promotes music from the best independent music blogs.
Thanks to its social tagging system, Stereomood users can tag songs according to their mood, cultivating and updating more than 100 mood-based playlists, bringing over 1 million unique monthly visitors a listening experience unlike any other.
– listen for free to over 100 mood playlists with music pooled from the best blogs;
– tag the songs to help build the mood-based database;
– discover and share new songs and new artists;
– share your favorite songs and your mood on Facebook, Twitter and various other social networks;
– track your emotional profile throughout the weeks;
– get rid of those annoying ads at the cost of a coffee.
Stereomood turns your mood into music – it is the soundtrack to your life.
1. Choose your mood. 2. Select a playlist that best fits it. 3. Discover and share new music.
All tracks are pooled from top music blogs across the web.
The Amazon Cloud Player is now available for iPhones. Although the Amazon Cloud Player has been around for a while, it is finally available for free via iTunes and it allows you to store up to 5GB of music.
Spotify has released the updated version of its 4.0 client to the Google Play Store. According to Android Police, some users will be stuck with using the beta version until the app has been fully rolled out.
Sirius XM has announced it will be broadcasting live at this years Northeast (NXNE) music festival in Toronto, Canada. The broadcast which features indie and emerging artists, is Sirius XM’s latest initiative to introduce Canadian and emerging artists to new music fans.
According to several news publication social music platform Last.FM was aware of a password breach weeks ago.
Pandora and Jeep announced a concert series featuring rapper Yelawolf which begins on June 14, in Atlanta. The Yelawolf concert is the first of a three-part personalized concert series with Chicago and Los Angeles being the next cities in line.
Rockbot is a social music service that replaces traditional offerings like jukeboxes or Muzak for businesses. It allows business like restaurants, fitness clubs and bars to stream up to 6 millions from their library. Once you download the app on your iPhone or Android you can check in to your favorite spot, discover what’s playing, and influence the music.
Since launching at last years SXSW Music Accelerator, Rockbot has picked up The Gap, World Gym, Burger King as well as lots of local bars and restaurants in the U.S. Rockbot also allows independent artists to add their tracks to its library and get heard at local venues through its close integration with Tunercore. Here is an interview I had the last week with the start-up’s Co-Founder, Garrett Dodge.
Where did the idea to create RockBot come from?
One of my Co-Founder was in the bowling alley and tired of walking to other end of it to use the jukebox. We started asking ourselves, why can’t you interact with a jukebox from a bar with your mobile phone?
As we started building the application and talking to the different venues, we realized there was much more of a need than just a jukebox controller. So through discovery we evolved the product to a full music service that’s appropriate for any type of venue.
How does it work?
We host about 6 million songs in the cloud right now and we deliver a custom stream to each business. Essentially any business can create a library of music and playlists for continuous music play while users can recommend their favorite songs.
How are recommendations sent to the venues from the consumer?
The venue can run our stream through any device with a browser whether it’s a computer, iPod, Google TV, or iPad. From the customer side; they download the app, check into the venue, look through the venue’s catalog and start selecting the music they want to hear.
Do you have any direct competition?
Not really, there are other companies doing home party apps but no one has created a music service for businesses.
How much of the core product has changed since last year’s SXSW Music Accelerator?
It’s involved a lot. When we were selected for the accelerator last year we were really only running in one location for a month. It was all alpha. It was working, but it was almost like a home party app. We did some parties last year at SXSW and got a lot of feedback, and when we got back we really started building out the product and we really started picking up venues in the last fall.
Why are you so passionate about RockBot?
We saw a need, and I think like a lot of people who build apps we built it for ourselves. After you build it, you figure out if your passionate enough to wake every day and work on it for 15 hours a day for years or if it was just a fun idea. We started building it and got hooked on it.
ProStudioApp is a mobile recording studio app for the Iphone, IPad & Ipod Touch. ProStudio allows you to record your music anywhere and anytime without the hassle of having to book studio time and dealing with all of the hardware.
The app is similar to the old-school 4 Track Tascam Portastudio that Bruce Springsteen, Wu-Tang Clan, and Weird Al” Yankovic began their careers on. The portability combined with with ability to transfer projects into ProTools for mastering makes ProStudioApp a must have tool for any musician on the go. Below is a brief Q and A that I had this past weekend with the creator of the ProStudioApp, Alex Kissi.
Kelland: What inspired you to create the ProStudio App? Alex: Honestly to make a long story short, it was another project that we started that we were working on that inspired us to create ProStudioApp. I really don’t want to mention the company that rejected our proposal, but let’s just say they certainly recognize our presence now. Coming from a music background myself, I had an idea of what sort of tools musicians really needed while they were living their daily lives. I worked in various recording studios from Daddy’s House, SONY Studios and many others just learning the trade mixing, playing instruments and ghost producing records. Every time an artist wanted to record and did not have an engineer on site, it was very frustrating. So this was a major reason we decided to develop in the ProStudio. We wanted to provide anyone the ability to record songs at any given moment instantly.
Kelland: How did it become so popular among musicians in such a short time? Alex: It’s was certainly hard work, and countless rest. Also, the demand for the tool was so high, we started to build one, step at a time. We took advantage of the power of social networks like Twitter and Facebook, and things just grew from there.
Kelland: What are some of the difference in recording with ProStudio App in comparison to recording in a traditional ProTools studio? Alex: ProStudioApp provides the luxury of having a multi-track recording studio in your pocket. We spent a lot of time on our core audio engine to provide the crystal clear recordings. ProStudioApp works with ProTools also and people have the capacity to transfer their ProStudioApp recording sessions into ProTools for mastering. ProStudio is easy to use, we wanted to make something simple so even your grand mother could record.
Kelland: It seems like ProStudio is pretty popular among hip-hop artists. Why is that so? Alex: At first we noticed globally that’s what our users were, but the funny thing is we have Grammy Award winning country singer Brad Paisley using ProStudioApp and he has showed us so much support. We have a lot of work to do, but we are certainly started to cross over to other genres.
Kelland: Do you have plans for making the app available for the Android Market in the future? Alex: We get this question everyday, lol. It’s Google that needs time to developing proper API or frameworks for core audio. They have yet to provide this to android developers, so it’s just a waiting game. Apple has been providing these tools for music and film for years.
Kelland: How would you like to see ProStudio App develop in the next 3-5 years? Alex: We are currently working on a massive project on ProStudioApp and we are excited. We recently created another app called ProRecorder, visit www.novleg.com. So we are just humble to provide great tools. Innovation is the key for improvements in life.
Jamblr is a mobile entertainment software design and development company based out of Nashville, TN. Jamblr specializes in affordable artist-based apps for Android and iPhone mobile devices.
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the companies CEO ,Benjamin Wade Inman, via Twitter and I decided to reach out to him for an interview. Luckily he accepted and we had a great conversation about his background, the future of mobile music and Jamblr’s vision of making mobile applications affordable for all artists.
Kelland: I had a chance to check out your site. You guys definitely have some cool stuff going on…I guess I wanted to get an idea of your background and how long you have been working on Jamblr? Benjamin:My background..Well I have a 12 year background in music and marketing. I started off in pop, gospel, country and I’m still working with some Christian Pop artists right now. My background gave me the oppurtunity to be abreast on the trends in music and it’s obvious that music is in headed in the direction of mobile. We designed the software about a year and a half ago, but we officially launched in January. As more people are adopting to listening to music on cellphones we know that’s it’s gonna take about 2-3 years to get where we are trying to go.
Kelland: Are you guys primarily targeting independent artists or are you targeting major label artists as well? Benjamin: We actually work with both, but the way we have it priced makes it affordable for the independent artists. The other options which are currently available are way too expensive for an independent artist. You know? Most independent artists don’t have 6k to 8k to have a custom application developed. We really wanna level the playing field. We work with all genres of artists. It doesn’t matter who they are or what their message is we just want to help them get their music in mobile devices.
Kelland: So when you say custom apps can you give me an idea of some of the apps that you have worked on? Benjamin:Yeah we are actually working with Jackie Velasquez. She is a Christian Pop artist who has sold over 13 million records. She has a new album coming out on February 7. We are building an app for her album release. Trailer Choir, is a big country group in Nashville who signed with Toby Keith is another group we are working with.
Kelland: Is it a good idea for an independent artist with a small budget to invest in having a mobile app developed? Benjamin: Of course, the way we have our apps built is to actually help the artists sell music. In our apps there are actually two different points of purchase that allow fans to download individual tracks, as well as a merchandise cart that we have tied into it. Also, there are two elements of social discovery that we have programmed that pulls the social network that the fans are currently using which helps their message go viral.
Kelland:What separates Jamblr? Benjamin: We are small company. We can make changes we need to make to accommodate every client. For example, Mobile Roadie charges $500 dollars just to get on their platform and that’s for either android or I-Phone and if you want both its $950. And they charge an additional $30 per month with a limit of 1k downloads per month. Our’s is $250 dollars right now and that’s it. No monthly fee, no download limitations and no additional fees. We plan on going up in the near future but that’s our price right now.
Kelland: What are some of the biggest challenges that you are facing? Benjamin:Most of the artists that we work with it they get it. SO its the the labels. So it’s these older guys who are 50 or 60 years old that don’t necessarily get. Our road block right now is convincing the labels that they need the technology. That’s why we usually go directly to the artists cause that’s whose paying for it at the end of the day. That why we love to work with indie labels, because it’s no bureaucracy or red tape to jump through.
Kelland: What does the future look like for Jamblr? Benjamin:Android alone is activating 300,000 handsets a day. Kelland: Wow Benjamin:These figures I’m gonna give you are based on what I have from last December. Android has 37% of the US market where Apple only has 17%. On a global scale, Android is projected to have 49% of the entire global market by the middle of this year and Apple is projected to have only 10%. A lot of it has to do with the fact that Android is open-sourced and we are looking to take advantage of these trends. So in terms of the future we think we will be positioned as the market starts to grow and more people begin to adapt to consuming music on mobile devices.
Currently there are over 500,000 million apps available on for download for the I-Phone 4S. With so much competition in the market, it is almost impossible for consumers to find out which ones are worth their time. If you are like me, you probably have over 20 apps on your phones desktop and only use about four. At current, the only apps that I use daily are Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare.
Here are three apps by a few of my favorite artists that are definitely worth the download: