Mercury Music and indie label [PIAS] are both using augmented reality technology to bring to life their artists’ album covers when users hover over them with a mobile app.
Justin Bieber’s forthcoming album, Believe, can be used to unlock extra digital content via the Blippar mobile app.
Additional content includes a photo game that gives fans the chance to get their photo taken “with” Bieber, competitions and track samples. The content will be updated each week to encourage users to keep interacting with the album and sharing their photos via Twitter and Facebook.
Meanwhile, [PIAS] Media has partnered with augmented reality app Aurasma to trigger access to additional videos, photos and websites on a collection of historic album covers from artists such as Sigur Ros, Grace Jones, Royksopp and Soulwax . The app will work on both newly-bought and already owned albums and records.
It is hoped that by adding additional content, music fans will be more inclined to buy physical CDs and records, which are more expensive than the digital versions. For example, Justin Bieber’s Believe album costs around £9 on iTunes, compared to £11.97 on CD.
Digital music sales overtook CDs and records for the first time this year, according to the British Phonographic Industry. Digital – which includes, downloads, subscription and ad-funded services such as Spotify and We7 – accounted for 56% of the £155.8m spent on music in the first quarter of his year.