When Scott Hirsch launched appsbar in April, his vision was to help small businesses build apps — “to fill the middle ground in costly, professionally-produced apps, and free, garbage-generating app builders,” in the words of a spokesman.
He was in for a surprise: Most of the “small businesses” that wanted to make apps with the system were musicians.
To address them, the company launched a new type of app-builder on Monday called Discography, a simple tool that lets bands, artists, labels, etc. list their music in an iOS or Android app as 30-second samples with links to buy the full songs on iTunes and elsewhere. The apps can also include news, photos, videos, tour dates, and social media sharing — in other words, most of what you’d find in a typical artist app (although clearly, you couldn’t create extremely atypical apps with this).
“We did not set out to turn songs into apps or even have apps about songs,” appsbar founder Scott Hirsch told Evolver.fm in an exclusive pre-launch interview. “We didn’t anticipate for our original user base — small to medium businesses — to create [music] apps, but lo and behold, in our original release of appsbar, about a third of the users — the largest group — were bands and musicians. They found us and started customizing the apps themselves.”
It’s a simple concept, but there seems to be a decent amount of demand for helping musicians build their own apps in this way — especially because the service is free to use (appsbar reserves the right to add sponsorships and advertising to apps created on its platform, but has yet to do so). According to appsbar, users have created over 700 music apps using the vanilla version of appsbar. It stands to reason that more of them will try it, now that there’s a version designed specifically for bands.
So far, as one would expect, the quality level of apps created with appsbar (before the launch of Discography) varies quite a bit.
Soulja Boy’s Android app, created with the vanilla version of appsbar, looks a little sparse. On the other hand, the iOS app for Billboard dance music chart-topper Kim Scozzi is pretty slick.
Appsbar’s band app creator, with the new Discography module, is available on appsbar.com today — to create your own music app, just choose the Band option. However, of course, you need to own the appropriate rights to the music you include, or must otherwise have permission to distribute it.