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Why You Should Buy The Next Song You I.D. – SoundHound Is All-Time, Top Paid iPad App

image from thedroidguy.com Apple's counting down towards its 10 billionth download from the App Store worldwide. In light of this, they have released a page within the iTunes Store that shows the top app downloads of all-time. The lists are heavy on music, with Pandora charting just below Facebook in the All-Time Free iPhone Apps section.

However, the most interesting chart topper in the Top Paid iPad Apps section is SoundHound. Not only is the fact that the company beat out other song I.D. apps in the list remarkable but the device that it accomplished this feat on is too.

I don't know about you, but last I checked, pointing your iPad at the radio in your car, in an attempt to identify a song while driving, is called suicide.

Mobile Vs. iPad User

Therefore, the users that have paid for this app are primary accessing the app in a different way than users would use the mobile one. It's much more of a relaxed, lean-forward experience, as in, something is playing on the stereo in this coffee shop, and they want to know what it is. These users would be in a much better position to engage with the app and its contents than a mobile user would be.

Mobile users are more likely to be trying to capture a song in the moment and don't have time to do much more than bookmark the song or buy it. Whereas iPad app users, there's much more potential for them to wade around in the app, not only browsing information on the artist, but also checking out what other users to identifying in the "What's Hot" section of the app. In other words, users are using the song I.D. app as a music discovery tool too. Also, users can listen to their own music library in the app and benefit from the added features like lyrics and similar artists. Reviewers speak fondly of the app for these reasons.

Music Discovery Shifts

In thinking about the functionality of SoundHound, I'm reminded of a chart someone shared with me a bit ago. On it, someone sarcastically compares the process by which users discovered music in 1990 to the experience that fans have today. It's depicts a rather intriguing chasm between the two time periods.

In 1990, had someone heard a song on the radio and the DJ didn't announce the song title, a fan would've been left in the dark about who sang it. They possessed few means of finding out who sang the song aside from asking a friend, calling into the station, or hitting up their a record store, hoping someone there knows it.

Given that most fans aren't that ambitious, the chart correctly describes how the event would play out with an average fan. They hear an awesome song on the radio and jam out, but have no idea who sings the song. Later that night, they heard the same song and jam out, still absolutely clueless about who sings the song. That's it. They will have to hear the title by chance and if that doesn't happen, they will merely have an affinity for a random song on the radio.

Fast-forward to today, even the most novice user can SoundHound the song and instantly be gratified with the results and the opportunity to hear it on YouTube.

However, since the chart displaying this discrepancy between the two times is satirical in nature, our 2010 fan doesn't stop there. Right after they identify the song they watch the music video on YouTube four times; read the entire band history on Wikipedia; illegally download every song they've ever recorded; remix the song; play the song on GuitarHero; and finally, see the band play a live set on Leno, only to turn around and tell everyone on Facebook that they loathe them.

The Buy Button

These days, fans can and do all of these things upon discovering the artist.

Moments after finding out who sings the best song they've ever heard, they find out everything there is to know about an artist and maybe even gain access to every song they've ever recorded. With the barriers to music consumption so low, as well as, the abundance of information, discovery itself is a novelty. One that SoundHound appears to be monetizing quite well. The experience of hearing an amazing song and instantly being able to hold it in your hands can't be beat.

In the digital age, song discovery may be the most rewarding, dopamine flooding music experience fans have left. You're interest is peaked at a maximum level and upon SoundHounding a song, it's ready to be bought. Honestly, if the user purchases the song in that moment, the gratification they derive from it will be unmatched. They might even feel more attached to it. Few music purchases feel anything like that anymore. In my experience, there's very little reward to be felt while watching an album download from Amazon. Soon, it will be done and you'll hear it, but the wait in between is more of an annoyance than it is pleasurable.

Next time you I.D. a song you like in an app – buy it. You'll love it more instantly.

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All-Time Top Paid iPhone Apps

1. Doodle Jump
2. Tap Tap Revenge 3
3. Pocket God
4. Angry Birds
5. Tap Tap Revenge 2.6
6. Bejeweled 2 + Blitz
7. Traffic Rush
8. Tap Tap Revenge Classic
9. AppBox Pro Alarm
10. Flight Control

All-Time Top Free iPhone Apps

1. Facebook
2. Pandora
3. Google Mobile App
4. Shazam
5. Movies by Flixster
6. The Weather Channel
7. Google Earth
8. Bump
9. Skype
10. Paper Toss

All-Time Top Paid iPad Apps

1. SoundHound
2. StickWars
3. FlightTrack
4. Backbreaker Football
5. Calorie Tracker
6. BlocksClassic
7. iFart Mobile
8. GoodReader for iPad
9. Cro-Mag Rally
10. Ambiance

All-Time Top Free iPad Apps

1. Pandora
2. Google Mobile App
3. Movies by Flixster
4. Google Earth
5. Yelp
6. Fandango Movies
7. Remote
8. iBooks
9. Bible
10. Solitaire


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