Why more artists will follow Lady Gaga into premium apps

From Billboard:

Labels are always looking for something to fill the void left by declining album sales. Next up: premium artist apps.

Lady Gaga is planning a computer application she says will integrate extra content, chats, games, fashion and films along with her next album, “Artpop.” Announced in a blog post , Gaga revealed that “Artpop” will be a “multimedia experience” released for iPad, iPhone, mobile devices and computers.

A premium app makes sense for Gaga. First, she has the capacity and resources to produce the content and the technology to make a great premium app that doesn’t skimp on the flourishes and fun. Second, she has the fan base to make a premium app cost feasible. Third, her fans have proven to be quite technology adept. Like Gaga, they like gadgets.

Premium apps will have a tougher time with sub-Gaga artists. The market for expensive, hands-in, interactive products is far smaller than the market for less interactive, less expensive recorded music. Few artists have the number of fans Gaga has. And quality of apps will vary by artist and developer, resulting in some disappointments.

But the incentives are in place for a surge in premium artist apps: artists will want to deliver the best products for the fans and executives will want to plug the hole in their income statements.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Billboard