(The Recording Academy hosted the Social Media Rock Stars Summit on Friday, Feb. 11 in Los Angeles, featuring a discussion regarding relevant issues concerning music and the mobile platform. Participants included Adam Lambert and Chamillionaire, and social media pioneers representing Facebook, Foursquare and Pandora. To view video from the summit, visit the video section of GRAMMY.com. As a complement to the event, we offer our exploration of today's most noteworthy music apps. Be sure to download The Recording Academy's MusicMapper app, and create, map and share your personal musical journey.)
How popular are mobile apps? According to 2009 data released by Apple, maker of the iconic iPhone, more than 7 billion apps (free and paid) had been downloaded from the iTunes App Store since it launched in July 2008. A recent Nielsen study found the average smart phone owner has 27 different apps on his/her device at any given time. While games, weather, maps/navigation/search, and social networking apps made up the most popular types of apps downloaded, music apps ranked fifth. Analysts project the app market will continue to grow, predicting approximately 50 billion apps will be downloaded across all smart phone platforms by 2012 and driving revenue of $17.5 billion worldwide.
In part four of "The Music App Map," we take a look at some of the mobile music apps making waves in the category of Games And Entertainment.
Games And Entertainment
A Billboard Best Artist App winner, I Am T-Pain lets users Auto-Tune their voices while singing along to T-Pain's songs or freestyling their own lyrics with supporting background beats. It features four bundled tracks and seven background beats, with the ability to purchase an additional 15 tracks. Users can save and share their recordings with others via an in-app radio station, or post to various social networking sites. New features include a T-Pain Dialer, which will send an Auto-Tuned message to any phone number in the United States, and a video feature for iPhones equipped with a built-in video camera. As of last September, nearly 1.8 million users had downloaded the app, collectively uploading more than 33 million recordings.
Billed as a "reverse karaoke" app, LaDiDa lets users sing any song they like into the iPhone's microphone, and then creates the music to match by analyzing the vocals using artificial intelligence. For those less musically inclined, the app provides pitch correction and reverb to improve the quality of the vocals. Songs can be recorded and shared, and users can listen to songs created by others via the LaDiDa website. Artists can also sell branded music "styles" that can be applied to the songs created, such as custom beats or guitar riffs.
Tap Tap Revenge 3 is akin to "Guitar Hero," incorporating a similar rhythm-based game play asking users to tap the screen, or shake the phone from side-to-side in time with moving prompts to the notes and rhythms of a given song. Other features include the ability to play against others online, a library of more than 130 free songs and 100 premium tracks, with more added regularly, and the ability to purchase new music. More than 20 million songs have been purchased for the game to date. With more than 20 million downloads across all versions of the game, it's proven to be one of the most popular app games of any genre.
Others Of Interest:
Guitar Hero Mobile, Lady Gaga iOKi, Mix Me In2 Taylor Swift, Riddim Ribbon, Slayer Pinball Rocks HD, TapStar
(Antony Bruno is the executive director of digital/mobile content & programming for Billboard magazine. He previously worked for the mobile industry trade publication RCR Wireless News, and served as assistant VP of wireless Internet development for CTIA — The Wireless Association.)
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