New Generation Of Musician Branded iPhone Apps

DDuring the last few months I noticed an interesting tendency while exploring various branded apps for artists in the App Store’s Music section.

What can be described as a first generation of musician-branded apps is built mostly to provide fans with content like music streams, news, photos, tour dates and so on (e.g. the Alice In Chaince iPhone app, covered here earlier). Despite all the built-in standard social features, it is more of a one-way communication.

And what we see now is a growth of the number of really creative applications. Bands unite with young developers and big companies alike to create interactive apps with their music in it. They share samples from their songs and allow doing remixes directly on the mobile device, and that’s not all.

Let’s take a look at some of the most recent and most notable examples.


Rockstar Games’ Beaterator

Originally made for a PSP platform, Beaterator had been optimized for iPhone / iPod Touch and appeared in the App Store in December. Beaterator gives users access to a library of sounds, many constructed by Timbaland, with which to construct original songs.

The infamous producer is not the only author of the samples used in the app, but the whole application is build around his fatty (in a good way!) image.

GrooveMaker Series

This style-based series includes 11 applications to date, each allowing you to create songs in particular genres, from Reggae and Hip-Hop to Techno and Drum & Bass (!). This month the apps’ collection has surpassed the 500,000 downloads.

GrooveMaker allows for instantaneous control over 8 stereo loop tracks, making it possible to remix the included loop library of drums, bass, bass drums, lines, pads, percussion and effects. Its patented randomization feature allows musicians to generate a number of remixes on the fly “to produce millions of possible groove combinations.”

These apps are attached to music genres rather than artist names, but let’s see what we have in GrooveMaker Rock Ace… The rock edition of the application features guitar samples from Skunk Anansie‘s guitarist “Ace”. The multi-platinum rockers reunited and released a greatest hits album last year, so isn’t a branded iPhone app a nice addition to a “comeback”?


This is something truly interesting. OEM Inc., the company behind Jammit, has created a product that uses the original master recordings of popular songs formatted with synced notation and the capability to rebalance the mix for easy learning and playing along.

I won’t be trying to explain how it works, better check out the demo video:

Is there a space for musician-branded versions of this app? You can guess yourself. Already available for purchasing are Sum 41 and White Zombie bundles, and few dozens collections (“70’s Rock”, “80’s Rock” etc.) The artist and song catalogs expand rapidly, which can be seen on their Artists page.

The only thing though, we know the masters are pricey. So each Jammit app containing three songs goes for $6.99.

What else?

The list doesn’t end here. There is also a number of artist-branded Tap Tap Revenge games and many other interesting things in the App Store.

Not only musicians, but their creations become closer to the listeners – this tendency is great.

If you want to add something, feel free to do it in the comments!