Release – In Your Own Time Part #3


This is the third in a series of post rounding out my experience of putting out In Your Own Time in April 2013. The previous posts covered the inspiration behind the project and putting it together as an app. This post will talk about putting the app out into the world and what that has meant for me.

Release & Press

The release date for the app was April 2nd and in advance of that I sent out some press releases to magazines and blog who I thought might be interested. There wasn’t an immediate take up on the idea. It had a summary write up in Noise in the first week. It also got a tweet from Harmless Noise. Largely though, initially at least, the response was a bit disappointing. I think the app had about 35 downloads in the first week, I don’t know what I was actually expecting, but this seemed pretty low. I had a total download goal of 150, for the arbitrary reason that it’s Dunbar’s Number and I thought it made sense to have something to aim at. There was a peak in downloads on the first day at 18 and then a steady decline to one or two a day after that. I was very conscious, having watched Indie Game: The Movie, that if the initial downloads weren’t good then there wasn’t much chance of the them picking up. I think about a month into it being available online the downloads had stagnated about about 2-5 a week. Putting the total downloads at that point at around 40. This seemed dismally small to me and unlikely to pick up anytime soon. In Your Own Time review in Totally Dublin: Out in the wildThe app got a write up in two print publications: The Nationalist, my local paper, and a short but sweet write up in Totally Dublin. As mentioned in the previous post it also got made into a podcast by the Journal of Music, which put the app in front of a very wide audience – I had people contact me from America, France and Belgium off the back of it. WeAreNoise also did a short article about the app in the week of it’s release. One of the best articles that it received was from I care if you listen. This happened in November 2013 concurrently with me presenting the app at the Rough Draft conference in Sligo and downloads took off from there. Prior to that about the app had been downloaded about 200 times but from then onward the numbers quickly started to climb, with 400 downloads by the first of January and over 1000 by April. I don’t necessarily attribute all of these downloads to that article, but I definitely think it had a massive effect. It was the first bit of press that it had gotten outside of  Ireland and I think it helped that it was from an American blog. There seems to be a much better pick up for the apps in general in America and I care if you listen is a contemporary classical blog which had just begun to experiment with posts about music technology, particularly apps. The combination of hitting the right audience, the contemporary classical community, in a country where the Android audience is more app savvy definitely had a big effect on the downloads. The blog were also very aggressive in pushing out the article on their social media which also had an impact.


The biggest boon of the entire experience of releasing In Your Own Time was going out and meeting people face to face and telling them about the app. It was a wonderful experience to have some get it and watching them do the mental shift that I had to do when I first heard of the idea of adaptive music “It’s going to be music for my life.” (We’re not quite at that stage yet and it’ll be sometime – if ever – before that happens. Largely due to the individuality and duplicity of human experience.) I really enjoyed getting out into the world and getting to share the idea with people. To have them come back to me with suggestions and to hear from people who had tried out the app and could hear the connection between the music and their environment/movement. In Your Own Time at Rough Draft Sligo 2013 As a side note going to all of these events was incredibly refreshing for me personally. I got to see some much amazing stuff, hear amazing people and drink from the well of infinite energy and curiosity that these events seem to entail. The ones which were particularly great were Rough Draft and Flight of Ideas. Both of these events had a broader array of speaker backgrounds/interests and I got these wonderful glimpses into the worlds of design, production, film, marketing, etc. Laziness is the only thing standing between me and getting exposed to these types of experiences on a regular basis. And it’s something I should really remedy.

Final word

One year on the app has surpassed all of my expectations. It’s been downloaded over 1000 times, being experienced by more people than I possibly could have hoped. I’ve been invited to lots of interesting events to speak about it, highlights definitely include MusicTechFest in London and Rough Draft in Sligo. While the articles online had driven people to the website and had lead to some downloads the print journalism hadn’t had any effect. Looking at the download and site stats there isn’t any correlation between the articles in the papers and spikes in the downloads. The conferences were great for getting people to try the app too. Every event I spoke at saw a spike in visitors to and downloads from Google Play. Confirming from me that the issue with the articles with print weren’t the barrier to entry of the medium, it was that the audience for print wasn’t as interested in apps, or at least esoteric adaptive music apps from an unknown quantity. The audience at all of the conferences has self-selected by the very nature of their being out at these events they were interested in taking in new ideas, curiosity was already in play and the gap was smaller between hearing about something and instantly Googling it. The blog articles and conference got a spike of people visiting the website, but there wasn’t the same spike with print. Maybe the medium of print means that the people who were interested as a result were more dispersed. Or that the barrier to entry of having to put down the paper and type the address into computer was too much for casual interest. Or that the people who read print aren’t interested in app. What I took from it was that print  probably isn’t of that much interest to me when I do similar projects in future. Which is a shame as it was a total kick to cut out the articles from the papers to stick on my wall. An experience that’s hard to replicate with a blog post.