Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Warner Music Group turns to Brandwidth UK to build massive new iPad app for 'The Doors'

Back in the early days of the Apple App Store it wasn't unusual for apps to slip into the store that were stealing someone else's brand, or even their full content. Several apps, for instance, made it into the store taking the RSS feeds of the newspaper, and even its name, and building an app around them.

So when I saw an app with Jim Morrison's mug on it my first thought was that some Doors fan was filling a need with their own Doors appreciation video.

But the new iPad app simply called The Doors is published by Warner Music Group and was built by Brandwidth UK, a marketing agency that, thanks to digital publishing, could also be called a custom publisher.

The app is enormous, almost a full gig. This isn't too abnormal for an e-book app, but this app is far more than an e-book.

At times the app is a tour de force, with a cool interactive map that I assume is built with a HTML5 widget, as well as lots of photos. The Music Room is both fantastic and disappointing. The LP box that is the main element lets you access all the lyrics from the LPs plus sample the music through iTunes. But the main part of the discography is pretty sad as it takes you out of the app.

This type of app has great promise, as does the same type of interactive app done as an e-book. Apple certainly likes the idea of links back to iTunes to buy music, but I wonder about the idea of an app or interactive e-book strictly as a music product.

If you are a Doors fan you'll want to check out The Doors app. But make sure you plenty of room on your iPad, you'll need it.

Here is the usual brief walk-through video of the new app. I've made it a bit briefer this time – we all know how touchy music labels are about these things, right?