Warner Music Group is trying a new tactic to promote its music in the digital age, and it's a move that demonstrates the rising power of the App: Its new partner is Tapulous, makers of the runaway success Tap Tap iPhone music games.
According to PaidContent, this is the latest move by WMG's CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. to spread the word about WMG's music and artists beyond the narrow but successful confines of Apple's iTunes. If this is really the case, then the move hasn't been very far, merely leaping from Apple's internal app on the iPhone (and Macs, iPods, and PCs of course) to an externally produced music-based app, but whatever—the various incarnations of Tap Tap (including Tap Tap Radiation on the iPad) are extraordinarily successful. You could even be forgiven for calling them the Rock Band of the iDevice platforms.
The deal's pretty simple: Tapulous will get access to some of Warner's premier music content, on the condition it builds four games over the course of the next year that feature WMG's artists. There'll be greatest hits from some big WMG groups, bonus remix tracks, and new material alongside live recordings—basically aural food for fans of particular groups or singers. The tracks will go into new Tap Tap paid app offerings, and Tapulous's curious Riddim Ribbon app. There will also be access to a Warner Music channel for more of the company's music and other games.
It's a clever, synergistic move. WMG gets to ride the coattails of an incredibly successful smartphone phenomenon, and have direct in-app promotions (and possibly sales) of its content. What's more, Warner will likely get a share of the sales revenues, and Tapulous gets to release some premium apps with content that many fans will want to pay for. And it quite definitely underlines the notion that the app is a powerful new medium. Powerful enough to get the normally stodgy and staid music industry investing in, and not only in their own products.