Sony Music today launched an iOS app for daily album deals in the U.S. Creatively dubbed "Album of the day," the app provides 24 hour deals on one album a day. This seems to be focused on their back catalog but, if popular, might become a great platform for launching new albums as well. Given an initial list that includes Meat Loaf, Sade and Aerosmith, this effort may also lead to more digital sales for older fans. Having first launched in Germany, Sony reports that featured albums there are reappearing on iTunes charts.
Music's on sale all the time and it's a couple of clicks away for free so why would anybody get excited about another sale of old albums Sony's trying to get rid of?
Obviously it caught me at a bad moment and though I may have articulated a view that others will share, I think a daily deals app like this is certainly worth trying and could be a big success.
The app first launched in Germany in March. So they've already gotten results that tell them this can work or it probably would have died there. In fact:
"As of early July, Sony Music Germany continuously sees the albums they feature charting on iTunes. Top iTunes chart performances and albums include leading artists; Kings of Leon, Whitney Houston, P!nk, Pitbull, Johnny Cash and others."
That sounds powerful. Let's assume, for the sake of discussion, that wouldn't have happened with other sales though I don't have numbers/history for comparison.
So why would a daily deals album app on iOS outperform other sales outlets?
iTunes is the biggest retailer of digital music and it comes with your iPhone. Even people that don't use Apple computers use iTunes and they've got our credit cards. So the barrier to the sale is much lower than most other options. Potentially lower than anything else on an iPhone.
Daily deals are engaging cause it's something new that's a surprise. If they please you once in the first week or so after downloading, you can easily get hooked. And checking a daily deal has a game aspect that can also keep you hooked.
Plus, if people opt in to push notifications, they're way more likely to come back. I'd love to see some research on this but I bet that people are more likely to say yes to push notifications from a known brand's daily deal site promising one a day than more open ended possibilities from apps and sites that are lesser known quantities.
That's a lot right there but what are the potential pitfalls?
One potential downside is pricing games. If someone sees a daily deal and then, within a reasonable period of time, sees a lower price, that's going to set the stage for abandonment.
The biggest danger in that regard is Amazon but people buy more digital music on iTunes and Amazon sales don't seem to have affected that to date in the way they've hurt other retailers.
On the one hand, easily dismissed. On the other, a potentially powerful new opportunity to raise sales revenue on a deep back catalog.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) recently launched DanceLand. Send news about music tech startups and services, DIY music biz and music marketing to: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.