Social Music Games – Lackluster or Blockbuster?

image from static.mxp4.com Are social gaming and music the perfect match? MXP4 thinks so. In recent months, they've designed many apps that combine these two elements, which have been very successful. Each one appears to have increased engagement among fans and gotten shared widely on social networks.

But are their efforts ones that we can count on interesting fans in the long-term or has MXP4 merely succeeded at giving fans something new and shiny to play with? It's a hard call. During the limited beta launch of David Guetta's app Pump It, over 15,000 users actively played with the game for +12 minutes per track, with 50% sharing and competing against their friends in Facebook. But the whole notion of "interactive listening" is a fairly new invention. It could be a novelty.

In comparing MXP4 to social music games like Beat Hazard and Tap Tap Revenge, Social Times writer Reid McCarter had this to say about MXP4 apps:

"[MXP4] apps, while an interesting concept, are probably a bit too simple for those interested in an absorbing game and a bit too distracting for those looking to enjoy a song. The remix tools are all, by necessity, extremely basic and are designed more for mindless tampering than anything like actual remixing or reconfiguring. While this works well on a casual, "pick up and play" basis, many may be put off by the preliminary confusion of how much listening or how much playing they should be doing at any one time.

There are no goals to motivate gameplay and no possibility of making a song truly unlistenable. While this lends MXP4?s apps the ability to be enjoyed by virtually anyone, it's hard not to think that such a passive approach to development calls the worth of the apps themeselves into question."

Put differently, the current iteration of social music apps appeal to everyone, but perfectly to no one. Certainly, the combination has a future. But right now, it's a toss up between deeming social music apps a goldmine or the equivalent of a strategically placed laser pointer that has momentary distracted fans – for now.

Lackluster or Blockbuster? What's your take? 


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