It wasn’t that long ago that I was an angry teenager lamenting that MTV “never played music videos anymore.” Shortly afterwards, of course, they created MTV2 which played music videos exclusively until people realized they didn’t really want to watch a station that just played music videos.
Today, thanks to YouTube, you generally hear about a new music video when your friend likes a band that happens to put out a cool video. Thereafter, you watch it a few times together before maybe showing a group of friends at a party months later and then forgetting it ever existed.
I have no idea how much they cost to make, but people watching videos “a few times” seems like a pretty low return on investment no matter what the cost. That’s why the new Bullseye By Polyphonic Spree app could end up being so fascinating.
Part game, part “interactive music video”
Bullseye By Polyphonic Spree ($1.99) is a game, (sort of), but it is also being offered as up as an “interactive music video.” I first read about this on Mashable, and the idea has been gnawing at my brain since finding out about it.
Even if this sort of video-app would only appeal to people who would otherwise listen to the Polyphonic Spree, it might already pay for itself. It is only twice the price that the song itself would cost you on iTunes and you get a quasi-game out of it. That’s a great deal for the consumer and it ensures the band might actually see a bit of money from you checking their song out, which they certainly won’t see if you just watch a YouTube of one of their other videos.
But would other people who don’t really care about Polyphonic Spree check a game out that happened to be a music video, too? That seems much murkier. The app has currently been available for about two weeks and only has 22 ratings. It’s entirely possible that, to date, the app just hasn’t been marketed very well. I didn’t even know it existed until stumbling across the Mashable story.
New genre for app games?
If the Bullseye by Polyphonic Spree app catches on, it could invent a whole new genre of app games, not to mention create a new niche market for the music industry. That’s about as win/win as a situation like this could possibly get. Of course, this clever app could be dead in the water, a victim of poor gameplay, or just bad song choice, and no one will care enough to give it another go.
Either way, with Spotify hitting US shores and now interactive music videos appearing in the App Store, it appears the music industry may just have a few cards left to play in a hand that has been dismal for over a decade. Look how creativity flows when you’re not litigating grandparents across the nation.