At first glance, Domino Records’ iPhone app is merely a portable version of their website. Through a simple interface it curates information about their artists, including recent news, tour dates and photos, and it lets you sample a handful of songs. But not every song from every album is represented, and some artists have more tracks than others (e.g. there’s more tunes in the Arctic Monkeys section than the Animal Collective one).
The app goes beyond just a simple reconfiguration of web info. This past summer, Domino announced a new series dubbed “Domino Radio,” in which their artists take turns DJing. It’s a great concept that they’ve now packed into the app for on-the-go streaming. At launch, they only have sets available from Four Tet and Radiohead‘s Colin Greenwood, but we can certainly expect more from the wealth of talent on their roster. More archival radio shows are expected to roll out over the next year.
“The app is really an experiment to see if people want to consume (a terrible word, but probably apt) music within a label-centered app,” says Domino’s Director of Digital, Kurt Lane. “We decided to focus on the audio itself, hence the large number of songs to stream and the Domino Radio mixes.”
The goal isn’t necessarily to be a music discovery site, like a lot of digital platforms are; instead it showcases the already curated content that labels like Domino have been doing forever, mostly through physical releases. “The space isn’t underutilized, but it is incorrectly utilized,” Lane says. “An app that is downloaded once and never opened again is a waste of time. We’re trying to look beyond the short-term marketing ‘win’ and create something useful, fun, and interesting for the long-term.”
With Domino spearheading the label-to-app movement, it’s only a matter of time before other indies and majors alike follow suit. [Download the Domino Records app here.]