The music industry has given plenty of lip service to making artist-based mobile music apps for devices other than the iPhone, but so far few have seen the light of day. That’s about to change now that Mobile Roadie has expanded its custom app development platform for Android phones.
Artists Madonna and Dolly Parton are the first to use the system to build and sell apps via Android, as well as actor Ashton Kutcher and one from Taylor Swift is expected shortly. One cool feature is a merged content management system that will update both the iPhone and Android version of the app whenever new content is added or other changes made.
Mobile Roadie offers a sort of “Apps for Dummies” program, which lets bands with no programming experience create customized applications via an automated system at a price far lower than paying a developer. Each app can contain streaming music with links to buy on iTunes, photos, videos, event listings and fan message boards. It costs around $400 to build the app and another $30 a month to host it, with other additional costs for the more popular apps.
The company is barely a year old and it already is responsible for more than 400 iPhone apps. Extending that capability to the Android platform will likely kickstart an influx of music-based apps for the Google-backed series of phones.
An excerpt from the press release follows (and props to Dolly Parton for contributing an interesting quote beyond the stale “I’m very excited” line we normally see):
Mobile Roadie’s powerful CMS makes it easy to update the app with new content. Integration with YouTube, Brightcove, Flickr, Twitpic, Ustream, Topspin Media, Google News, RSS, Twitter, and Facebook ensures the App stays fresh and relevant — feeding updates from across the web into a centralized branded experience on mobile devices.
“My first phone was two tin cans tied together with string, and it worked pretty good. But now you can watch TV, download music and surf the web from your phone. Sure beats smoke signals. I never thought in my lifetime, that you’d be able to watch movies, read books and listen to music from a phone, but I guess the technology of tomorrow is here today. And to think that folks will be able to watch my Video Diaries and listen to my music on the go is just fantastic. I think it’s great that Mobile Roadie has made it so simple for my fans to keep up with everything I got going on, and who knows, I may even learn how to use it,” said Dolly Parton.
Mobile Roadie Apps are being used to provide fans with instant access to the latest news, streaming music, live and recorded video, photos, event listings, and the ability to connect and share content with each other, all within the app. The apps are also powering additional revenue streams through the sale of music, video, tickets, and merchandise. Using “push notifications,” customers can send alerts that appear on users’ screens, geo targeting messages down to a one-mile radius.