When I first saw the news that Sting had an iPad app as part of his activities celebrating 25 years of solo performance, it didn't strike me as particularly startling, given that it's only a matter of time before such products will become a normal aspect of major artist releases. But when I was informed that it cost over a million dollars and found out it was being given away for free, I have to admit to being rather startled.
So what kind of app released solely for the iPad requires a production budget "in the low seven figures", mostly paid for as promotional expenses by American Express and Chevrolet, with copyright clearances "offered up" in support of the "app as a high-tech showcase for Sting's catalog"?
That's a pretty big promotional budget for a project most Sting fans are unlikely to experience.
Sting 25 iPad App
Apparently a pretty complex one as described by "appumentary" creators @radical.media who declined to film a concert documentary and instead pitched this free app that:
"tells the story of Stingâs 25 years as a solo artist through an extensive and diverse collection of photographs, music, interviews, commentary, and video, including exclusive concert footage of Stingâs Sixtieth Birthday Celebration. Users can navigate through Stingâs musical and humanitarian journey chronologically, or through twenty of his major influences, while listening to Sting songs from their iPadâs library. With the AirPlay technology in iOS5, users can enjoy exclusive concert performances on their home theater system."
I'm very curious as to how this works for American Express and Chevrolet but I would assume the cost is part of whatever total promotional package they've negotiated with the Sting machine.
For Sting, this is a great addition to the 25 year celebration activities including a "Best of 25 Years" album release and a "Sting: 25 Years" box set with 3 cds, a dvd and a hardback book also designed by @radical.media.
In addition, Sting is in the midst of the "Back To Bass" tour in the U.S. with Europe scheduled for next year. Obviously a lot of other activities will be occurring as well.
In a sense, the complexity of the app befits the complexity of show biz at this level. Given the amount of time and resources that go into all the aspects of a major artists' product releases and events, from negotiations to realization, it is simply another part of the puzzle. Yet the price tag remains rather boggling from the lowly perspective of an industry blogger.
Download: Sting 25 iPad App
Hypebot contributor Clyde Smith maintains his freelance writing hub at Flux Research and blogs at All World Dance and This Business of Blogging. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.