Metal Tech

Century Media and Metal Hammer Launch Their Own Spotify Apps


Metal Hammer Spotify app

Earache Records, who launched their Metalizer app two weeks ago, are no longer alone in the Spotify metalsphere: acclaimed British metal rag Metal Hammer and label titans Century Media have now joined the party with Spotify apps of their own.

Metal Hammer’s app (try it out here) simply consists of playlists that have been assembled by the magazine’s staff. Some of the playlists currently posted include:

  • The Ultimate Dimebag Playlist
  • Editor’s Picks (“New Tracks of the Week”)
  • Killer Covers
  • Opeth Ultimate Playlist
  • 2012 in Review
  • 1980: The Best Year for Metal?

And so on and so forth. While these playlists could be useful for the metalhead who doesn’t really know what he wants to listen to at any given moment, the app doesn’t tap into the feature-set of what can be done within Spotify apps and doesn’t have any level of interactivity with the user. The app just a collection of playlists, those playlists which could easily be posted about, promoted from and embedded in a regular web page. I guess it’s a good starting point as a metal portal within Spotify, though.

Century Media’s Metal of the Century app (try it out here) serves both as a portal for the label family’s new releases available on Spotify (right now: Voivod, Necrowretch, Geoff Tate and Alpha Tiger, among others, are featured prominently) and a hub for “celebrity playlists” created by artists on the label. IMO the former doesn’t have much value; Century is a vast label family with a wide array of artists, and fans don’t really think or care about what label the new Voivod album is on, they just seek out Voivod directly. But the celebrity playlist feature definitely has some appeal, and I can see the “New Releases” section getting some extra exposure from the traffic brought in by the celebrity playlists. In Flames fans will certainly be curious to find out what Anders Friden is currently listening to, Lacuna Coil fans what Cristina Scabbia is currently listening to, Paradise Lost fans about what Greg Mackintosh is currently listening to, and so on and so forth; fans of these bands will definitely flock to these playlists. I question whether the label will follow through with their promise to keep these celebrity playlists “continually updated” — I’m sure they mean well — but we’ll see. And, as with the Metal Hammer app, Century’s app fails to involve the user in any method of interactivity; it’s just a one-way relationship, very Web 1.0.

In conclusion, both apps can serve as a decent launching pad for a metalhead’s Spotify experience, but don’t fully utilize the capabilities offered by the Spotify app API. Both apps kind of feel like they were rushed out just to have something in the Spotify app space, without much hard thought given to making them a rewarding and useful experience for the listener. In the Spotify Metal App wars, at least so far, Earache’s Metalizer app is still king.

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