Darius Rucker’s new iPhone/iPod touch app is the first from a country music artist to reach this writers desk. Downloadable for FREE, the nifty 35 MB code works much like a personal web browser dedicated to one site. Navigation is divided into seven categories: Welcome, Latest News, Tour Dates, Music Videos, Song samples/purchase links, Darius TV and Twitter.
Inside the tour dates area are direct links that open mobile Safari and enable fans to purchase tickets. Music Video has both still images and embedded videos that are loaded on the phone and can be viewed with or without a network connection. Darius TV is dedicated to behind-the-scenes humorous video clips and outtakes.
The app’s look and feel is clean and intuitive. Fans will appreciate having a “clubhouse” where they can go at any time to hangout and get the latest news. Like a web site, content can be updated when desired, giving the artist a direct-to-the-fan syndicated information channel. Artist apps have been extremely popular in other music formats and range from the simple, but informative—like Rucker’s version—to collections of bells and whistles with built in contests, social networking access and even the ability for fans and the artist to chat online in the app’s private chat room.
As today’s media landscape continues to fragment, it becomes more difficult to attract a large-scale audience in one place at the same time making social networking and iPhone-type apps more important than ever. Newspapers, network TV and radio are examples of media with shrinking audience. Consumers have now added new on-demand media outlets to their infotainment choices and view that content across a variety of screens—TV, computer and mobile.
“Fans can now access my music, tour stops and stay in touch with me through their devices so it’s my way of saying ‘thanks’ for spreading the word about the music,” says Darius Rucker. Savvy marketers realize that Rucker’s gift is a two way street that will please fans and pay career dividends.
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