Musicians, Labels, Apple iOS and Android

In a recent Comscore Press Release it was revealed that Apple iOS platform outreaches Android by 59 percent in US.

What’s the significance for musicians and labels?

For Android, the download store (link given on your web site) should be Amazonmp3 and for Apple iOS the store should be iTunes. Both of these are the main song/album buying options that should be given to customers. Other options are possible for Android, but the new Cloud Player in Amazonmp3 gives the customer the most playback flexibility and and instant appearance of the playable albums in their own online storage locker. Here’s an example of my links for Android and Apple iOS.

Musicians and labels must (at least BEGIN work to) make sure all their web site info is viewable as HTML5. iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches do not display flash images or sound at all, unless you have a certain app, which currently only coverts flash video, but doesn’t convert interactive flash content. Almost everything else, personal computers (PCs and Macs, etc..), including the Android devices can display flash just fine.

If sites are developed all in Flash, the original FLA files can now be converted to HTML5 with a beta software release from Adobe called Wallaby. if sites are regular HTML with flash elements (the case for most current musicians and labels with flash ‘widgets’, such as the ones from ReverbNation ) those flash widgets could be substituted with ones that default to flash, unless it’s an HTML5 compatible browser and can handle displaying both formats. Artists who are on top of their online promotion can be proactive about this now and invest in the Pickle Player but beware, once you put streaming samples in HTML5, the original files that are streaming are MUCH easier to grab, practically handed to the listener. Therefore it may be wise to put an audio watermark over your full length streamed tracks, or only give a 90 second clip (90 seconds is the relatively new iTunes audio preview standard, 3 times it’s previous audio preview standard) as your streaming example (see the LicenseQuote article about audio watermarks).

Bandcamp has nailed this Flash-or-HTML5 flexibility, but do not offer musicians and labels the option of shorter clips, which means that by default tech savvy people can just grab 128kbps full length tracks that are not hidden, and iOS devices, or HTML5 browsers on computers, will easily allow downloading of files because of the nature of HTML5. I wish the genius (and I do honestly think they are geniuses… this is not sarcasm) programmers at Bandcamp would code options for shorter clips or audio watermarks, because I like everything else about Bandcamp.

Apple iOS and Android have become focused on, in the new tablet/smartphone paradigm, as the operating systems that more and more people are using most of the time. Given that current, and probably long lasting future tech world reality, todays musicians and labels will rake it in the most if they promote music for both formats with limitations such as 30 or 90 second clips, or full length tracks with audio watermarks. An Apple store employee at a mall recently explained to me, regarding iPad 2 that people line up every morning at 7:00 am, get tickets for the kind of iPad they want for 9:00 am product sales, and all the iPad 2 sell out daily. So, musicians who(‘s sites) are flexible enough to display HTML5 for all those Apple devices are going to have the edge and the most income realized from their online presence.

Steven Cravis is a pianist and multi track synth composer for TV, Film and Games. He recently scored the exclusive soundtrack for Fallen Tree Games zen style puzzle app ‘Quell’ for iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad. Currently he is finishing music for a new project by a three-time Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, news to be announced soon from If you’re scrolling down on a view of all his iTunes recordings from an iPhone, scroll all the way down to ‘top ringtones’ and you’ll have access to several custom ringtones he’s designed for iPhones. Much of his instrumental music, including his new solo piano album Healing Piano, a 2010 favorite at and top 100 of New Age paid downloads at Amazonmp3, is also available on iTunes.


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