Music artist promotion via the iPhone?

The Orchard, which specializes in music and video entertainment, announced yesterday that a comprehensive iPhone Apps program is being made available to its artist and label clients as a method of driving promotional strategy and increasing artist revenue. Orchard has tapped Fluidesign, the creative company behind a new developer program called Mobile Roadie, as its technology partner for the service.

Orchard clients now can create iPhone Apps directly through The Orchard’s Artist/Label Workstationsm. These Apps will ensure fans have real-time mobile access to exclusive music and videos, tour dates, photos, news, FanWall and more. Last week, Apple announced that there are now over 25,000 Apps available at the iTunes App store, a very notable increase from the 15,000 that were available only two months ago. To date, more than 500 million Apps have been downloaded from the store.

The Orchard is the first entertainment services company to offer its clients the ability to create customizable, affordable iPhone Apps. This is the latest in an ongoing series of next-generation tools available through The Orchard’s powerful ALW platform, a dashboard-based used by clients to analyze sales, manage assets, and improve promotional effectiveness.

“Our clients will be able to deepen their fan relationships with this offering. As artist to fan connections become more and more impactful on revenues, we find ourselves shifting away from a model of simply selling songs, to one of monetizing large audiences in new and creative ways,” commented Jaclyn Ranere, head of marketing for The Orchard.

By partnering with Fluidesign on this initiative, The Orchard ensures its clients have access to the award-winning firm also responsible for the design of ALW. “As our exclusive distribution partner, The Orchard gives us access to their wide range of artists and labels, as well as a program launch much larger than we had originally anticipated. It allows more people to see how useful and inventive this application can be,” commented Michael Schneider of Fluidesign.

The Orchard’s inaugural App was created for VICE Music’s artist Black Lips. The Black Lips’ iPhone App was launched on the Apple App Store in time for their national tour, giving fans a place to chat with the band about their shows. The App also features a suite of innovative features such as a constantly updated news feed, up to the minute tour dates, the song and video of their single “Short Fuse”, and the ability to purchase their entire discography. All of these app features are now available for all Orchard artists and labels.