|The new Dylan app...|
Now the marketing minds behind the Bob Dylan enterprise have made available an incredible new product for fans and potential future fans, a free downloadable iOS app with over 500 content elements including exclusive interviews, histories and photo galleries to accompany the 36 rare tracks for this tenth volume of the Bootleg Series.
Tonight I had a chance to check it out first hand. Each track has a visual timeline with little blue dots that you can click on to get connected to video interviews by people associated with Dylan and the development in these works. It’s unbelievable what the technology is capable of.
Evidently for the past many years efforts have been made (and are continuing to this day) to assemble high definition videos of all the musicians and producers who have had anything to do with all facets of Bob Dylan’s career. This particular app is only the beginning of a massive, far-reaching compilation of material designed to share inside perspectives on Dylan’s creative oeuvre in the context of his times, which have been changing.
|...courtesy Nelson French.|
OK, you don't really get all the music free. You get a free song and lots of content, and if you have the 3-CD set of Another Self Portrait, you sync that in and get the full package. (Who among Dylan fans does not have this album already?)
On the app you can see nine blanks where future batches of content will be inserted. The plan is to have similar insights produced for every one of his bootleg series collections. It’s quite awesome. According to bobdylan.com “You can unlock all 36 tracks plus the live Isle of Wight performance inside the app by adding your copy of 'Another Self Portrait’ to your iOS device.”
I can imagine that this might be just the incentive for some people who have otherwise been on the fence to finally get a Smartphone. (I’m referring to myself here.)
For the record, if you have not been to BobDylan.com lately, it's really expanded over the years. I used to go regularly just for the lyrics to his songs. It's now become a powerful marketing weapon. I can imagine a marketing class at a major university studying this site to see its effectiveness as a tool to attract new fans, but especially to reinforce commitments from old ones. It is a marketing maxim that it's five times easier to sell products to an existing customer than to find new ones.
The thing is, we all know that content is king in the realm of all things internet. And the producers of this Dylan site have plenty of content to work with, but they aren't stopping with that. They've been making strident efforts to bring new ideas and technologies to bear upon the historical Dylan experience.
Here it is nearly a half century later and he's allowing his life work to be promoted in legacy form. Is it for the money? To be honest I don't think he cares about money or fame at this point. He's more of an elder statesman for a tribe, a head of a corporation that provides a livelihood for its manifold employees who are beneficiaries of this fame.
I'm just guessing here, of course. What I do know is that the music continues to move me. In this I'm not alone.