Island Records has released what it claims is the first music single to be made accessible using smartphones and the technology of augmented reality (AR).
The new single, Watchtower – a collaboration between singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran and rap artist Devlin – has been made available via a special AR-enabled poster, positioned at 2,000 locations across the UK.
The posters encourage Smartphone users to download a free AR app and to then position their mobile devices in front of the posters in order to access a fee video performance of the track by Sheeran and Devlin and, if they wish, to select an option to purchase the new single as a download. The app is provided by specialist AR production company, Aurasma.
Commenting on the new marketing move, Natasha Mann at Island Records said:
“Moving into augmented reality with Aurasma is a logical step, and one which we feel has real growth potential.”
Matt Mills, Aurasma’s head of innovations, added:
“[Aurasma] offers artists a new way to showcase and sell their music, and gives fans exclusive content and an instant connection with their favourite musicians.”
The move also appeared to have won the approval of the artists themselves, with Devlin saying:
“Nowadays it seems everyone has a smartphone and making posters play music is a cool way of using one, and hopefully makes the walk to work or the wait at the bus stop more enjoyable.”
The single is understood to retail at £1.99 via the new AR route.