Exploring new formats for music (and revenue): Björk releases inspiring “app album”


The music industry has struggled for over a decade as it tried to push back against inevitable change and maintain the status quo. While there has been some good experimentation over the years, we are now reaching a phase where the old structures have pretty much died and all that remains is experimentation to build what will be a radically different structure to the music industry.

One of the most interesting experiments is Björk’s new “app album” Biophilia. The ‘mother app’ can be downloaded for free to iPad and iPhone, including the first song Crystalline, with the remaining songs (2 out so far) cost $1.99 to purchase. Each song includes rich interactive visualizations, scores, and sometimes even the ability to control the music. The individual songs can also be purchased on iTunes.

Here is the introductory segment, narrated in naturalist David Attenborough in his classic style, evoking the world of life expressed in the album.

For more details on Biophilia see:

Wikipedia entry on Biophilia: Full details on the album and its promotion
Discussion in The Guardian: Impressions from Alex Needham and Jemima Kiss
Review in Transchordian: Detailed review of the app’s functionality
ReadWriteWeb coverage: Overview and review

  • Steen

    But isn’t this what Prince already did back in the mid 90th?