The era of technology has influenced almost every sector of the world. The music industry is also trying to adapt according to changing circumstances. There were platinum selling artists with the sales of albums breaking all the previous records by staying on the number one spot for the maximum time. However, smartphones and apps have changed that trend. Music streaming services such as Spotify, Soundcloud, Apple Music, and others have changed the dynamics of the industry. Now, it depends on the number of streams in a day, month, or years. Record labels have changed their ways to sell songs and albums to music fans. Singers, rappers, bands, and musicians have changed the way they sell music and connect with fans across the world. They use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. After so many transformations in the music industry, how can concert experience be the same as before?
As the concert attendees go live on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or other platforms during the concert, some of the artists have taken the responsibility upon themselves to enhance the way fans watch live music. Eminem, one of the best and widely popular rappers in the world, debuted Eminem Augmented app at 2018 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The multi-platinum superstar decided to offer augmented reality (AR) experience of a live concert to all the fans across the world.
“We figured, if the phones are going to be there and people are going to be putting them up in the air and looking at them anyway why don’t we provide a way to maybe change the way they’re perceiving the show,” said Paul Rosenberg, Def Jam Chief Executive Officer and Eminem’s manager.
Drive Studios, the multimedia production studio developed the app. It is available on iOS and Android app stores. Rich Lee, Drive Studios’ creative director, outlined that the app offers geo-tagged and time-stamped concert experience with which fans can feel that they are watching only from few yards of the stage. The concert attendees use their smartphones to live stream the concert and give passive experience to friends and fans. According to the person familiar with artists’ thinking, the AR app would help in providing deeper and engaging experience to fans.
Eminem’s AR app was created with the help of ARKit and ARCore to provide experiences involving snippets of his music. The first experience involves the huge-sized Eminem standing over the skyscrapers and helicopters surrounding him. The second experience involves a virtual portal leading to the stage in a desert. Moreover, the third experience involves AR animation in which the rapper acts as the worst spokesperson of the band. This experience can be unlocked by scanning the logo of his recently bought restaurant, Mom’s Spaghetti.
Though many artists have been exasperated with the concept of AR experience to fans, Eminem decided to go with the app. Another Coachella headliner and American singer-songwriter Beyoncé reportedly found the concept “boring” after Magic Leap gave her a demo in 2017. Some of the music artists ban smartphones or photography from their concerts. Nevertheless, embracing AR technology is one of the innovative strategies to connect with fans across the world. It will be interesting to see how fans will accept this technology and what they think about the experience.