Rock Star Sting Says Apps Are The New CDs

Sting - photo by Adam Riggall, used under CC license

(Photo by Adam Riggall, used with thanks under Creative Commons license)

Former Englishman-in-New-York Sting has been speaking to journalists to plug his solo career retrospective album, the 25 Years box set. And in his opinion, the music industry is facing another big change. The CD is dead. And its replacement is apps.

In an interview with Billboard, Sting said:

I think the app is the new model. People are going to stop buying CDs. People are going to stop selling and making them, so I am looking for different ways to get music to people, and the application at the moment seems to be the favorite.

He’s not the only one looking for new ways to sell songs. Icelandic genius Bjork released her last album as an app alongside the traditional CD. Only yesterday, we reported efforts by rock legends Pink Floyd to re-invent their archives as a “this day in history” style app for fans.

It makes sense. The more you stop and think about it, the more apps feel analogous to albums: a self-contained work by an artist, a thing they can put together over a period of months or years and then sell to fans. Many of today’s youngsters don’t see why they should pay for music – but they’re perfectly happy to pay for apps.

You can see why Sting and his peers are turning towards the App Store.

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  • cliqsquad

    I love the idea as long as the content within the app (Songs and Perhaps artwork) is transferable to computer for enjoyment anywhere. It is a great idea. 

  • MacHead84

    It certainly could be transferable thru iTunes file sharing. However, thats obviously not what the artists are going to allow. They like the concept of the App vs CD as it makes piracy and ripping that much more difficult for the time being. 

  • cliqsquad

    That is the feeling I was getting from the App idea. That is why I put it out there in the Air. If it is limited there will be backlash, Imagine the Beatles’ collection as an app that would be a very large app and I may not have room or want it all the time on my device. They could do it as a streaming app perhaps and the content of the app streams to you but that feels like “renting music” and not something people will like paying for. I am not against it, they just need to properly think the implementation through. Apple makes money off the Apps sold, but I suspect they make more off Albums and songs sold so they may not even like the idea of App Albums anyway.

  • Gesturthor

    My sister sang with bjork :D in Manchester

  • God

    Sounds great, Sting. Now, how about some new music to go with your app? It’s been years and years since you have release ANYTHING of any merit at all. Just retreads of your previous songs, and some crappy renaissance garbage. I love your music – just miss you actually making it!

  • John Howell

    Except I can’t play an app while driving, at the gym, while cooking. An app will only play on the hardware or OS it was made for, not just on any suitable equipment.
    In two years I will have replaced my phone. In 4 years iPhones may not even exist. I have CDs that are 20 years old, and a player older than that that can still play new CDs just fine.
    Apps might be the new music video album though. Or maybe a special edittion, but won’t replace pure audio recordings, just augment them.

  • Dave Vachon

    Here’s a thought if you wanna sell music, Sting … don’t charge $49.99 for 46 songs (Sting 25) on iTunes.

  • God

    Who cares. I’d be pissed if I paid to see Bjork and had to listen to your sister sing too.

  • Guester

    Wrong analogy. The app is the new magazine.  I have been playing with Sting’s app and it is just a multimedia magazine designed to make you click the links to buy his songs.

    Also, the CD isn’t dead; songwriting is dead. Most songs today have no musicality. Most people still want the Beatles’ albums.  Why?  Because of well-written, well-sung, and well-produced songs. Very few artists can say the same about their music today. I am always searching for new music but it is hard to find. If the Music Moguls would focus more on the music and less on the money, they would be richer. And we would all win.

    Occupy America! 

  • God

    Adam Rigall takes a picture of someone’s copyrighted video and thinks creative commons applies?

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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