No, music wasn’t born this way, but Lady Gaga is helping to re-define it just the same. So what’s happening and why does it matter to you? – Here’s the score: Lady Gaga recently announced that her new album wouldn’t be an album at all, but rather an app, and by the way she isn’t the first famous musician to do this, she’s just the most famous so far. This changes things.
Change the User Experience, Win the Game
First and foremost, this shift changes how you experience her music, period. Right now us human beings can experience music in 3 main ways: We can attend a live event, we can listen to a recording via download or stream, or we can watch and listen via a forum like YouTube or MTV. Now, we get to play with the music like never before via a mobile app. What type of impact can changing the UX have? Just ask Apple or Uber. What happens next is the fascinating part to watch, but thinking this through just a bit, what are some types of experiences we can expect?
Lady Gaga already has an incredibly passionate and loyal fan-base and now she gets to super-charge her minions setting them free to co-create videos, share pics, gifs and more that will certainly show up in intra-app emulsions that constantly evolve and morph. And let’s not forget about fan-voting as well, that would be a lay-up to execute well in an application setting like this.
Have you ever visited or participated in the music community Indaba? On Indaba, they routinely bring in major artists – like Snoop Dogg and Linkin Park – and then ask the community to re-mix or help craft new tracks to add to the artist’s ”record” (record being used in the Grammy sense – a single song). Can we expect Lady Gaga to do the same? Of course, it is an incredible way to allow your fan-base to participate with your music like never before while helping you grow your paying fan-base! That’s how you win.
- The Social Club – We can also expect Lady Gaga to offer her users some form of social networking that they can not get anywhere else. Sure the tech will push-out to the social Goliaths, but you can almost guarantee some intra-app connectivity and conversations around the very specific content. It can get as granular as mini-networks surrounding each individual track, why not!?
- Little Monsters, Gaming – Even before we had the pleasure to “Rush rush to the yayo” inside Grand Theft Auto 3, music and video games had a great little relationship going. Now, inside an application, we can expect mobile games specifically crafted to drive the experience of enjoying the music and vice versa, where the soundtrack alters how the user enjoys the games. Think of all the specialties the mobile device brings with it: Sensors that detect rotation and touch, dual cameras with augmented reality capabilities, the sky is the limit for the forthcoming mash-up of gaming and music and it will likely be as genre-bending as the artist herself.
- V2, V3, V4 – You can’t “update” a traditional album. Sure, years later a Led Zeppelin can release a box-set and throw tracks like “Hey, Hey What Can I Do?” and “Traveling Riverside Blues” onto the “new” releases, but that doesn’t update how you experience the content. Now, Lady Gaga has this at her fingertips. She can not only continuously update how the tracks are paired to other experiences, but she can release each track one-by-one, or several to start, and then slowly “drip” out new updates that add more tracks and experiences as the months role by post-initial release. Oh, and she can charge for each and every update too.
Will there be even more innovation than this? Most likely yes. There will probably be a few experiences that no one can predict or expect that itself is simply brand new to the world. But the over-arching point is the fact that now because the traditional album has been re-invented as a mobile application, the digital possibilities that can enhance the experience are limitless.
So is this officially a trend? Yes. Just yesterday, world famous innovation author and futurist Don Tapscott (author of Wikinomics) announced that his brand new book isn’t a book at all, but instead… you guessed it, an app.
Change the experience, win the game. How will you change your user’s experience?
image credit: gagamatch<
Clinton Bonner (@clintonbon) is a Marketing Manager at TopCoder – the world’s largest competitive community of software developers, algorithmists and digital creatives. Fun Job!