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This article was published on March 25, 2011

Could iPad albums help beat music piracy?

Could iPad albums help beat music piracy?
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

We’re used to seeing books released as iOS apps, and a number of musicians have used iPhone apps as a way of releasing music. Now it seems like the next step is iPad-specific music releases.

Universal Music Group recently launched iPad apps based around classic albums from Nirvana, Rush and The Rolling Stones. Although they featured video documentary clips and social features, they don’t include the actual full songs themselves. Now EMI is going a step further and releasing an album by dance act Swedish House Mafia’s in its entirety as an app.

The iPad version of ‘Until One’ features the nine songs on the album, the app features video clips from a documentary, a 150-image photo gallery of the band in a gallery, written content by band members and streams from the band’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Music Week reports that EMI is set to release similar apps from other artists in the future. It’s an intriguing proposition in an age when it’s so easy to download an album for free. Packaging up music with bonus content that consumers might be willing to pay for seems to make sense. However, won’t the people most likely to buy the apps be the hardcore fans who would pay for a standard album anyway? And isn’t the iPad a little unwieldy to be using as a music consumption device?

The market will answer these questions in time no doubt, but it’s good to see the music industry experimenting with new ways of presenting and packaging audio.