JMCQUARRIE.co.uk

James McQuarrie is a London (UK) based User Experience Consultant who designs and helps build digital products & services that delight their users.

Could audio QR codes help unsigned musicians find their audience

While catching up with @mobilemaggie over a glass of wine one evening last week conversation turned to the challenges that musicians face when starting out.

Like most creative folk at the beginning of their career, the unsigned musician’s (or band’s) biggest challenge is finding their audience.

The digital revolution has meant that artist have more and more ability to produce, distribute and sell their music without the need for a record company but it can still be hard to find an audience.

As we talked about this challenge I got thinking. While sharing music and video online is helping folk market themselves actually playing a gig in a local bar, pub or club is still one of the best ways of building a following. But what if you could blend the two?

What if as an artist you could upload an album, song, music video or even other promotional material to a website and then during your gig audience members who like a song you’re playing could access that content on their smart phones?

What if Shazam worked for non-signed artists. What if there was an audio equivalent of a QR code that let you link a song to a URL. Your audience could open an audio QR reading app (like shazam) on their phone and it would listen to the track you’re playing and take them to a specific URL. Each song you play could link to a different URL or the same, depending on your marketing goals and preferences.

It could be the download page for that specific track, or related material like the lyrics, writing process, the accompanying music video, or just a simple “rate this track” type page.

Really creative folk could even link to some sort of Augmented reality page that could add to the live music, overlaying animations or other effects onto your live performance if someone holds their phone up to the stage.

The possibilities are endless.

The idea may not completely solve the problem of marketing a new band or artist, but it could make it easier to hold and exploit the attention of people when they’re the most likely to be open to finding out more about you and your music.