A new iPad app, released for sale yesterday, May 6th, tracks the careers of the rock legends The Doors.
The app features immersive multimedia, cloud integration with iTunes and a ready connection to Facebook – things that you’ve almost come to expect from paid apps in 2013.
But what makes this app so unique, besides the electronic entertainment jump, is that it was not created by the next up and coming software developer or consultant, but rather 81-year-old Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records.
Holzman signed The Doors in 1966, sixteen years after starting the record company as a teenager. He remains one of the music industry’s most passionate and persevering tech nuts.
“I’m always interested in how I can take technology and make it work for music,” said Holzman recently in an interview with The New York Times. “That’s what my life’s been about, from the earliest days of Elektra. How can we make better records? Not everybody’s going to appreciate everything that’s in this app, but I think most people will.”
Holzman and his team have viewed the app as a test for how record companies can market their catalogs digitally.
The app, which is on sale for $4.99, resembles a digital coffee-table book. It includes video interviews, written contributions from figures like Francis Ford Coppola and Patti Smith and appendices too big for any Christmas present, like 30-pages of transcripts from Jim Morrison’s indecent-exposure trial in 1970.
Bits and pieces of Doors songs point customers to Apple’s iTunes store, where remastered versions of the band’s albums, released by the Warner Music Group’s Rhino label, will also go on sale this week. The company will need to sell about 40,000 copies of the app to recoup its costs.
Holzman says that this is the direction the music business should be going.
“Digital changed the nature of the music business, and the music business reacted with a kind of indifference and fear,” Holzman said. “Napster drove everybody crazy but me. I thought Napster was a missed opportunity. It could have been a boon for singles.”
– Devon Marti / 98.5 WNCX