On Tuesday, [url id="http://www.mtv.com/music/artist/fray/artist.jhtml"]the Fray[/url] joined the ranks of Lil Wayne, Fall Out Boy and other artists with mobile apps by adding their own custom experience for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
"The cell phone is the new lighter," frontman Isaac Slade said.
With almost 80 percent of all teens in the world owning a cell phone and using it to view media, it's essential for artists to have mobile applications in order to remain relevant with fans. Album sales may be down overall, but digital-download sales continue to rise, thanks in part to mobile devices. Artists are building relationships with online music communities such as iLike, Meebo and Pandora to ensure that they can be "liked" and "suggested," counting on word-of-mouth to reach new fans.
iTunes' proprietary relationship to the iPhone makes it a one-stop shop for artists to promote their apps, and the Fray are no exception.
(View [url id="http://www.mtv.com/photos/?fid=1608862"]"The Fray Live" screen shots[/url] in our photo gallery.)
"I'm happy about what iTunes is doing to help the music industry grow," Isaac wrote via e-mail. He hopes that fans will use their app to have more fun at shows during their tour this summer — and beyond.
In addition to now-standard features such as tour information and photos, "The Fray Live" offers a unique feature that makes it stand out from the pack —-offering fans the ability to stream footage from Fray concerts all over the world.
In addition to the live stream, "the app has all kinds of little tricks and whistles," Isaac teased. "You can check the schedule of shows, buy the tickets straight from the phone and there's even a light-audio-responder-player thingy. That's not its technical name."
The "thingy" he's referring to is a unique feature on "The Fray Live," called the Live Visualizer — it's a tool that allows the user to create a personalized light show, with visuals responding to sound detected by iPhone's microphone. "It's great to be part of such an innovative concept," Slade said.
The Fray have also launched an iTunes Pass. Fans who purchase the pass will get exclusive goodies delivered directly to their libraries, including six live songs from their iTunes Live From SoHo sessions and — available through August — a cover of Kanye West's "Heartless," exclusive music and video from their upcoming summer tour and much more.
"The Fray Live" already contains so many features that the band was surprised when we suggested a component that currently isn't available — the ability to interact directly with fans through an integrated Twitter feed or proprietary direct-messaging system.
"We should have that!" exclaimed Isaac. "Do we have to pay you for that idea?"
The Fray just announced that their summer tour will kick off June 12 in Atlanta and will continue through August. The video for their next single, "Never Say Never," will debut later this month.