The times they are ‘a changin’, but that doesn’t mean rock icons are being left in the dust. While newer acts and digital innovators like Bjork are surging ahead in the app game, it seems some legends are catching up — or at least their labels are. This week, no fewer than three idol-oriented apps dropped for iOS, and we have the details after the jump.
The Sting 25th anniversary app — celebrating 25 years of his solo career — raised some eyebrows this week when the news hit that the free app cost one million dollars to produce. Well, those eyebrow-raisers were a little off the mark, according to Executive Vice President of Media & Entertainment at @radical.media, Justin Wilkes. @radical.media is the multifaceted production company — responsible for everything from documentaries to projects like Arcade Fire’s HTML5 video “The Wilderness Downtown” — that created Sting 25.
According to Wilkes, Sting approached @radical.media 10 months ago to create a documentary that would celebrate the 25th anniversary of his solo career. Instead of going that route, the company decided to tell a less linear story –creating an app that would accompany a celebratory box set. The app is packed with video, interviews and archival content.
@radical.media also held a concert on Sting’s birthday — October 1 — at the Beacon Theatre. That concert was included on the app as an exclusive release. All of this content — box set, app, concert, etc — cost around $1 million, not the app itself. The app will also be getting new features as the weeks go by.
In a sense, Sting 25 is a lot like a magazine app. Users can search through the content via a timeline, influences, albums, collaborations and locations (featuring a map showing where Sting has performed and where inspirations for songs came from). You can also listen to samples of songs from each of Sting’s albums (you can listen to the whole song if you own it). Each section is packed with stills, video interviews (both new and archival) and pages from the musician’s notebooks.
Many have balked at the idea that such an expensive app is being given away from free. “Sting is an incredibly generous individual,” says Wilkes. “Also, this is a brand new market, a brand new opportunity. No one has done this before. We wanted to put this out and see what happened.”
What do you think? Is Sting 25 worth the investment?
JIMI HENDRIX: THE COMPLETE EXPERIENCE
In honor of what would have been the Jimi Hendrix’s birthday on November 27, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Mind is out with an iOS app packed with information and media pertaining to Jimi Hendrix.
Like with the Sting app, you can navigate through the Experience in a variety of ways: You can read a kind of interactive storybook of Hendrix’s life (studded with pictures, video and music), sift through photos of the artist, watch video, listen to audio and — this is pretty cool — use a a map to receive notifications when you’re near places of significance to the artist.
The app will also keep updating with more content and interactive experiences as the weeks go by. In the meantime, take a look and let us know if you dig it.
THIS DAY IN PINK FLOYD
If every day is starting to feel like just another brick in the wall, you might want to give This Day In Pink Floyd a download. This iOS app has tons of facts about the band to uncover each day of the year, a guide to all 167 studio tracks the band has released, images, trivia questions, and a restored video of the band’s 1968 single “Point Me At The Sky.”
Hell, it even features a free ringtone of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and two wallpaper screen images if you’re really obsessed.
Unlike the other two apps, this one will cost you some cash — $2.99 to be exact. But if you’re enough of a fan to require a Pink Floyd ringtone, we imagine you’ll be down to fork it over.
By Brenna Ehrlich