Lady Gaga

Beyoncé breaks all digital music records with unmarketed surprise album

Beyoncé’s self-titled new album, Beyoncé (I feel like I didn’t really need to say that), has destroyed the internet this weekend in a pre-Christmas gamble which has seen the ex-Child of Destiny installed as the new monarch of pop.

Picking the penultimate weekend before Christmas goes against all traditional new album release logic. Mid-November to Mid-January is a barren wasteland of Susan Boyle, greatest hits compilations and swing albums by nice young men your mum likes. Nobody good releases new music at this time of year. Nobody.

But then the Carter family rarely have been ones to stick with traditional record release logic, just look at Jay-Z who released his last album Magna Carta Holy Grail through a mobile app earlier in the year. (Read more about that in six musicians embracing app technology)

Shazam: from gimmick to major player

At the beginning of September 2013, Shazam announced a huge milestone: the 10 billionth use of the music identifying app.

The song: Lady Gaga’s ‘Applause’. The man: some guy in New Jersey who was officially the last human being in the Western world not to recognise Lady Gaga.

If you’re unaware of Shazam, quite simply it’s an app that you can use to identify a song you don’t know the name of that’s playing in any location (as long as it’s audible) in a matter of seconds. The process is called ‘tagging’.

Shazam currently processes more than 100m tags a week, this is 150% more than a year ago, and currently has more than 80m global users.

Six bands or musicians embracing app technology

Bands and musicians who consider themselves at the forefront of technology are beginning to use app software as a way to engage with a now almost entirely digital orientated audience.

Bjork’s beautifully immersive Biophilia app, released in 2011 to tie into her album of the same name, paved the way for new technology to enhance the listening experience, however it’s taken a couple of years for fellow pioneers to use the same technology to a similarly high standard.

With a few artists recently announcing new apps to accompany their forthcoming releases, lets take a look at some of the more interesting examples, beginning with the trendsetter:

9 things Lady Gaga can teach us about community management

This week, Lady Gaga became the first person to exceed 20m followers on Twitter.

These are huge numbers, but volume rarely means anything on its own. The interesting point here is that this community really are her ‘followers’ – in namesake and in the way they respond to her.

They are more loyal than a brand could ever dream of, but there are some lessons that we can all take on board and implement when trying to build a community either online or off.

Lady Gaga-backed Backplane raises funding, goes on shopping spree

Facebook may be the world’s dominant social network, but a number of high-profile investors are betting that there’s room for platform players in the space.

Backplane describes itself as a “start-up uniting people around interests, affinities and movements”, but it’s best-known for running Lady Gaga’s LittleMonsters.com, which is in private beta.