Albums of music are falling out of favour with consumers – the rise of digital downloads and streaming services mean consumers can now easily access single tracks. This, 3plet argue, is because the format hasn’t evolved, losing its artwork, sense of ownership and creative opportunities for artists as it became digital. Ideas like iTunes LP took some steps to address this, but half-hearted execution and an apparent loss of interest from Apple has left it little-used.
Instead, 3plet propose albums become apps. Their tool packages an artist’s music into full, interactive experiences that can be downloaded from Apple’s App Store, Google’s Play Store, Windows Marketplace and (even!) the Nokia OVI Store. Alongside the music, artists can add lyrics, videos, artwork and links to social / online presences.
Apps can be paid-for or free and 3plet suggest use of in-app purchasing to allow users to sample the music before committing to purchasing the full album – an in-elegant process if performed through a standard music store. Also, by offering interactivity during playback, users can be offered other albums or content, making the download whilst playback continues. Where artists wish to, they can also provide direct access to MP3 files from the app for use on other devices.
The service offers detailed usage, analytics and statistics on users and their activity, in addition to comment and feedback mechanisms.
Within the stores, there’s also benefits for discovery and geographic reach as the app store(s) extend to areas music stores often can’t. In China – especially – music requires specific government approval before release: Apps do not.