Typically a small feature addition is not something I would write about at Hypebot. But SongAmpr's new Dedicate feature, which they describe as the "Dedicate App," offers some snack food for thought. For one thing, it's a nice play off Valentine's Day that isn't limited to the holiday but has special resonance for the holiday. For another, it was the only Valentine's Day pitch I got except for a playlist and playlists are a dime a dozen these days.
I wrote recently about SongAmpr, a new startup founded by Bryan Joseph. The basic idea is to shift from promoting a couple of singles in relationship to an album release to promoting an ongoing stream of singles and maximizing each one.
Joseph wanted to let Hypebot readers know that you can still use the code "hypebot" to get a free year of the PRO service if you sign up for SongAmpr soon.
"Dedicate App" May Not Be The Best Name
SongAmpr's new Dedicate App currently appears as a red button with a heart and the word "Dedicate."
If you're wondering why it's called an app, you're probably not alone. In fact, to get my only real criticism out of the way, I think using app is this case is confusing to users who simply see a button that enables them to do things. "Feature" would be a more recognizable term to users.
This issue came up with some other phrasing on another startup's website recently. I encouraged them to not use technical terminology on the front end (the stuff you see on the public facing site) because even if technically correct such language doesn't communicate well.
Since "app" basically stands for "application" or "application software," it refers to a much broader range of instances than the general public will recognize. Normal people probably think of apps as mobile apps unless one specifies desktop or web app.
So calling what people would more likely consider a button that allows them to access a feature an app is going to confuse them. Since Joseph is a technical kind of guy I assume this usage is correct. Nevertheless I encourage the use of language that everyday people are more likely to recognize.
How The Dedicate App Works
That said, here's how it works:
"The SongAmpr Dedicate App allows fans to dedicate a song by sending a special message through Twitter. Fans authenticate with Twitter, enter their email address and input the Twitter handle of the recipient."
"Upon submitting, a message is posted on the SongAmprDedicate Twitter account informing the recipient that a song has been dedicated to them by the sender, along with a link to visit the SongPage."
"The sender gets to download the track and can also purchase the limited-edition song-inspired product for the recipient as a Valentine’s Day gift."
Bryan Joseph offers up a Valentine's song of his own, "Ditch Everything," as an example.
The "limited-edition song-inspired product" (I'd tweak that language too) is, in this case, a tee shirt specific to the song's theme.
By the way, the song-specific merch is a nice addition to the concept of a song-specific page though it would probably require most musicians to step up their merch game. However SongAmpr makes that easier by providing a simple design-your-own option in partnership with print-on-demand services.
Plus the image of the tee shirt gives bloggers like me another graphic asset to use on our posts.
Tieing Things Together
Currently the Dedicate button is red. After Valentine's Day it will go to black like the iTunes purchase button.
So a feature that might otherwise simply appear on an update list becomes amplified by tying it into a major holiday. This connection also brings more awareness to the project as a whole than a single feature announcement would typically receive.
Plus there's a stronger connection in that Joseph is releasing a Valentine's Day song with his band The Rebel Electrics to use as an example that ties it all together quite nicely with a backstory:
"'I recorded Ditch Everything last Valentine’s Day, and there was no question as to when I was going to release it,' laughed Joseph. 'It’s a Valentine’s Day song all the way.'"
Note that it didn't require an extended tale of heartbreak or the like to tie in the song. That can work, sometimes extremely well, but isn't always necessary.
Overall I think SongAmpr's Dedicate App is a nice example of maximizing a feature addition that would otherwise receive little attention and of tying all the pieces together in what feels like an organic fashion.
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Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (Twitter/Facebook) is currently relaunching All World Dance. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.