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Skyrockit’s Romplr music remix app drives in-app purchasingBy Dan Butcher
Mobile entertainment agency skyrockit’s commerce-enabled music remix application, Romplr, cracked the top five free applications in iTunes two days after its relaunch.
Apple decided to feature Romplr in its “New and notable” section after Skyrockit made various enhancements to the application, including an improved user interface and animated mixer screen, refined social elements that enable users to share remixes easily and new social gaming capabilities that challenge users to test their remixing skills among the global Romplr community and win exclusive prizes. In addition, the company announced new pay-per-download mixkits from artists such as Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Kanye West, James Brown, Diddy and B.o.B.
“We wanted to make Romplr more interactive and encourage people to come back again and again with features such as social gaming, leader boards and prizes and a redesigned user interface,” said Jon Vlassopulos, CEO of skyrockit, San Francisco. “Now we can combine the creative side, making the mobile phone a creating tool and a social tool, with an interactive music experience that brands, consumers, labels and artists can all get involved in.
“It resonates with [Public Enemy’s] Chuck D on a creative and commercial level, and UMG is just one example of a [record label] partner,” he said. “We launched a version on Nokia a few months ago, and that’s been going strong—it’s the No. 2 music app on Ovi with close to 250,000 downloads so far.
“There are various campaigns currently live where Romplr is featured as a key application.”
Skyrockit is a subsidiary of Japan-based branded entertainment shop Bellrock Media, with backing from Japanese entertainment company Yoshimoto Kogyo and Intel.
The agency is designed to help brands, technology companies and media companies such as record labels and movie studios leverage mobile through the creation of products, services and marketing campaigns.
Romplr monetizing via paid downloads
Romplr, the No. 2 music application in Nokia’s Ovi store, claims to be the first remix-based social game in Apple’s App Store.
“We’re excited that Ovi is offering carrier billing,” Mr. Vlassopulos. “We’ll be one of the first partners to roll out [in-app] carrier billing.”
The iPhone application comes free with five free mixkits from artists such as Public Enemy and offers additional mixkits for $1.99 each.
New free tracks are added weekly to Romplr.
Public Enemy’s Chuck D said that Romplr is the evolution of digital music, as it makes the experience interactive by letting artists actually connect with their passionate music fans worldwide.
Fans are given access to the music and are able to create and share their remixes.
Chuck D also said that it provides artists with an additional creative outlet and a new opportunity to make money.
Mr. Vlassopulos said that both social gaming and music remixing appeal to a deep consumer desire to interact with things that matter to them, shape them in their own vision and share them with friends.
The application gives fans access to the key elements of the original recording and provides creative tools to connect with and personalize the song, then share it with all their friends across social networks.
Skyrockit claims that Romplr is the only app that lets users remix licensed content from major record labels and publishers including Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music.
Designed to create a new revenue stream for artists, labels, publishers, handset manufacturers and carriers, Romplr also lets brands to reach their target audience through its platform to run ampaigns such as the vitaminwater and 50 Cent campaign (see story ).
Skyrocket has been using media buys across online and mobile, as well as strategic partnerships to get the word out about Romplr.
Major labels are pitching in with Facebook posts, tweets and promotions from the artists themselves.
The application has already achieved half a million downloads of the free version in the App Store, which is monetized via a freemium model—free to download, with weekly mixlists at $1.99 each or a dollar price point for some of the independent artists.
“We’re trying to offer something that’s unique to the phone and allows you to get involved with the music,” Mr. Vlassopulos said. “Romplr is a discovery tool and a social tool letting users build these connections and we feel that some exciting interactions will stem from this.
“We’re offering real prizes for people at the top of the leaderboard, which is a very powerful, fun way to expand the platform,” he said.
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