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Artist-specific Kyte apps coming to iPhone

Company's new iPhone apps framework already has some users, thanks to Universal Music Group. Artists with Kyte apps include Soulja Boy, The Pussycat Dolls, and Keri Hilson.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
The app includes video from the artist.
Don Reisinger/CNET Networks

Interscope Geffen A&M, a division of Universal Music Group, announced Monday that it has released iPhone and iPod Touch applications centered on some of the label's most prominent artists, including The All American Rejects, Soulja Boy, The Pussycat Dolls, Lady Gaga, and Keri Hilson. The applications are built off a new iPhone framework from mobile developer, Kyte.

Each artist-specific app will feature video content produced by the individual singer, along with custom branding, an RSS reader that will be updated with artist news, and a built-in chat feature that allows users to talk to each other and rate some of the artist's latest concerts.

But perhaps the most important aspect of the announcement is how Interscope hopes to monetize the apps. Instead of charging for them, the free applications will include ads and links to purchase the artist's merchandise or their songs on iTunes.

Don Reisinger/CNET Networks

Interscope is just the first partner of what Kyte's executives hope will be many. The company's iPhone Applications Framework is specifically designed for media companies and not just record labels. Once those companies license the platform, they can use it to create live, on-demand video and picture content, broadcast that content to online and mobile destinations simultaneously, and use the framework's chat feature to let users communicate with others.

Interscope's apps are free, but Kyte's senior communications manager, Ulysses King, said its future partners won't necessarily follow suit. In fact, its up to those partners to decide how they would like to monetize the app, meaning that some might sell it for a fee.

Interscope's five apps are available now in the iTunes App Store.