Sting 25 – Free App that Cost Over $1 Million to Produce

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Sting 25 iPad app

Sting 25 is a new iPad (released last week) that celebrates the last 25 years of Sting’s career, as both a musician and a humanitarian and activist. The 25 years also mark his time as a solo artist, after leaving The Police.

What originally drew me to the app was pure curiosity after seeing that it is an app that had a production budget of over a million dollars – ‘in the low seven figures’, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. Those costs were apparently ‘primarily covered’ by the app’s two big sponsors – American Express and Chevrolet. The app follows on the heels of a 25th anniversary Sting box set released by his record label in late September.

Not surprisingly, given that sort of production budget, this is very nicely done app – with tons of excellent content for Sting fans. There’s everything from lots of great concert footage to video interviews with Sting talking about this project and other subjects surrounding his 25 year anniversary, a whole sections devoted to Sting’s influences and his social activism.

Sting 25 iPad app

Here are some of the app’s key features:

• Exclusive concert footage and behind-the-scenes access from Sting’s Sixtieth Birthday Celebration to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation, at New York City’s Beacon Theatre, featuring performances by: Bruce Springsteen, Lady Gaga, Stevie Wonder, Rufus Wainwright, Herbie Hancock, and Branford Marsalis.
• Using dual-screen AirPlay, experience these performances wirelessly on your television while exploring additional content on your iPad.
• Discover hours of concert footage, exclusive interviews, photos, music videos, and more in ten chronological chapters.
• Learn about the inspirations, collaborations, and charitable endeavors that have shaped Sting’s 25 year solo career.
• Interact with Sting’s signature instruments through 360˚ views and high definition zoom images.
• Listen to Sting’s albums from your iPad’s library while browsing the app – you can also sample songs from each of his solo albums and purchase directly from the iTunes Store.

I particularly enjoyed the some of the concert footage from Sting’s 60th birthday celebration and from his first solo live show in Paris. The interview video clips are great too, as he’s a hugely intelligent person and a great talker.

The 60th birthday concert footage is quite slick – in that it’s a series of individual videos (one with each ‘special guest’ performer – Springsteen, Lady Gaga etc) but when one ends the next one fires up automatically with no need for the user to do anything. I don’t recall seeing this done this way in any other app.

The section on Sting’s activism is very impressive as well – covering his involvement in efforts from Live Aid to Hope for Haiti and lesser known causes.


I’m not a big enough fan of Sting to get maximum value out of this app. I enjoy some of his solo stuff, love a lot of his old stuff with The Police, and have much respect for his activist efforts – but I’ve just never been a big-time fan. I imagine that those who are big fans will enjoy this app thoroughly.

I do find the app very interesting on another level. The developers refer to it as an ‘appumentary’ and I think that’s a great term. And it’s a type of app that I think has great potential on the iPad, for all sorts of subjects. In this case it seems a win-win for fans of Sting (getting a very high quality, content-rich free app) and Sting and his record label who presumably get a big boost for sales of his box set. The iPad is clearly the ideal medium for this type of app – so I hope we’ll see more high quality appumentary apps coming to it.

Here’s an App Store link for Sting 25; it’s a free app.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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