July 5, 2011 at 6:21 pm

The Orchard, SongPier Ink Deal to Turn Songs into Apps

songpier the orchard song apps music apps

Here come the song apps.

SongPier, whose tools let any artist turn their song into an app in minutes, inked a deal with music aggregator The Orchard to put its app creation tool in front of every band on its platform.

The Orchard doesn’t divulge how many bands use its platform to distribute their music to iTunes and elsewhere, but it’s a lot of them — and each will have the option to turn their songs into apps that run on any smartphone or computer with support for HTML5. The app encourages music fans to bookmark the apps to their homescreen so that they feel just like native apps, although they run within the browser.

We created one of these Songpier apps earlier this month, and it was dead simple; you just add the song, lyrics, a bio, photos, tour dates, news, and so on, and fans can access all of that stuff when they play the song.

Obviously, you can bundle more stuff in an app than you can into an MP3. And artists can update information within these apps, meaning that they can give them away for free in return for the right to send fans their tour information, news, and so on, which they see every time they listen to the song. Obviously, fans might not be willing to clutter their entire home screens with individual song apps, but for new releases or promotional singles, the song-as-app model has lots of potential.

Both companies are focused on indie bands — not “indie” in the sense of having asymmetrical haircuts, white belts, and knock-off Wayfarers, but in the sense of not being affiliated with a major label (although, to be fair, the majors have so many little divisions these days that the old indie vs. major label distinction isn’t what it used to be):

“The strong combination of The Orchard’s reach and Songpier’s straightforward approach enables any artist to get the best in distribution, promotion and connect-to-fans”, said founder and CEO of pierlane in a statement. “We are proud to have found a highly valuable partner in The Orchard, sharing the same vision: to support independent artists who are developing their careers.”

Bands who use SongPier to make apps, whether they’re members of The Orchard or not, get a QR code suitable for sharing the app on memorabilia, on T-shirts, and so on, opening up all sorts of new ideas for distribution. For instance, a band could sell T-shirts with the code and a note: “Scan me to install this song.”