Building A Mobile App Is Not Always Necessary for Contemporary Startups

By September 17, 2011
Musical note

An SF Music Tech panel discusses music startups and the pressure to make an app. But if it does not properly incorporate the company's vision, it might be better to stick with Web-based engagement.

Mobile applications are the big thing nowadays - every service feels it has to create its own application so that it can be constantly carried in users’ pockets, accessible anywhere, anytime, on any device. But how accurate is that view?

The SF Music Tech Summit that took place at the Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco on Monday set up a panel addressing the need for music startups to create their own industry-relevant applications. Composed of speakers from The Hype Machine, SoundCloud and BitTorrent, the discussion revealed that, beyond the hype, every service needs a good reason to go mobile and create an application.

Not every service is intended to be mobile accessible, nor is every idea suited to be run within an application. In fact, for many of these tasks, a Web app or a Web site could do it more efficiently and might be less costly than creating an experience that doesn’t fit with what one has to offer to its customers.

The panel underlined the importance of being able to keep the experience simple and limit it to the core business mission. The large number of tools available to developers might prevent them from focusing on what they really want to offer, and depreciate the experience. Music applications have mostly failed to offer a complete and effective experience to their customers, many of whom complain that mobile music offerings that do not match their expectations.

Social media is often viewed as the scene for the next major evolution for mobile music, with the hope for the launch of a real social music experience that would enhance content creators’ ability to connect with people. The major difficulty, as was mentioned during the conference, is to offer a complete yet simple experience that would use tools the service really needs.

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