Are iPhone apps better than flash ecards!?

Well, my answer is yes. But don’t worry, music ecards will survive because iPhone applications remain a niche  (iPhone users) communication tool. I think bands and labels should still use both iPhone apps and flash ecards (combined with a proper Myspace page, Facebook page, Twitter account, etc.). Mobile Roadie is a good example of what a band can do with such iPhone apps: share songs, pictures or videos, allow fans to leave comments, publish tour dates, etc.

As I said earlier, these applications won’t replace flash ecards, but they bring a whole new set of features that will seriously compete with the simple “preview trailer-tiny animation-mp3 player” kind of ecards. I think the major change is that these apps are mobile and help the fans to interact with the band. Old ecards were, most of the time, nothing more than an flash animation or a video and a player or, in some cases, a mini-site with news and tour dates. The iPhone applications we are talking about have a stunning number of new features: streaming music (with links to buy the tracks on iTunes), pictures galleries, Youtube videos, lyrics sharing, tour dates (with links to services and sites where fans can buy the tickets), blog or Twitter feeds import, fan wall (fans can leave comments or interact with the band), news, bio and discography pages, Facebook or Myspace profile import, etc. And last but no least: a full CMS and statistics system.

Of course, you can find these kind of features in flash ecards, but it’s unusual to have them all combined. Moreover, these flash ecards can’t be viewed on the iPhone (and most of the mobile phones). And that’s the interesting part about these applications: they have all these features and they’re mobile. I think this is a real shift in the way bands (and record labels) can promote their music, and I’m curious to see how the music industry is going to use that kind of tools and services in the future.