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Santa Monica, U.S.A. — On October 15, Interscope Geffen A&M unveiled a new website that reimagines the concept of a traditional record label website. Using real-time social technologies from Echo and Arktan, Interscope has created an immersive experience that is woven from the social activities of its artists. The new site provides fans with a music resource that fosters deeper engagement with their favorite artists while inspiring them to discover new ones.
Social media is a core component of every music label, artist and brand partner’s engagement strategy. Music labels are continually publishing social media content on behalf of their artists, in addition to the exclusive tweets, videos and photos that artists are generating themselves. By weaving all of this content together into a seamless, social experience, Interscope is flipping the content production funnel on its head and is bringing what fans care about most to the forefront.
“Everything a record label does is social,” said Lee Hammond, VP of Digital for Interscope Geffen A&M. “By leveraging this activity as the primary content source for our label website, we will always have the freshest, most relevant content available for our fans. When our social media manager posts content to Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, that content will instantly flow into the Featured content on our home page.”
This new content framework extends beyond social media activity to include Interscope’s latest releases and official artist merchandise from Bravado. Every piece of traditional content is now displayed in a social way, with a pinboard-style visualization and the ability to Like and Comment on each item.
“This revolutionary approach reimagines how content should be generated, presented and displayed, creating a fusion between social and traditional content,” said Hammond. “You can’t tell where one ends and the other begins.”
Visitors can tab through each category of the site by swiping from side to side in an experience that’s formatted to work on a desktop or an iPad. Each category features a consistent set of experiences, curated using a mix of traditional and real-time social content from across the web. These include:
Every piece of content is fully interactive and if a visitor stops on a specific category, it persists as they browse. The underlying infrastructure can inject any piece of content into the artist streams, including merchandise, new tracks on Spotify, advertisements and other promotions that drive fans into revenue generating channels for both the label and the artist.
From a content perspective, Interscope is bringing its fans to the forefront. The homepage features fan generated art from Sleeveface, a site where users can upload pictures of themselves using physical recordings of Interscope Artists to create interesting images. Interscope also plans to accept user-generated sleeveart for each artist directly from the site.
All of the content on the site is generated in real-time through cloud services API’s. Arktan, a curation service that aggregates real-time social data from popular social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, blogs and RSS, provides the social activity for each artist and brand. That data, along with other real-time feeds from Interscope’s merchandise and brand partners, is injected into Echo StreamServer, a real-time activity database capable of capturing, permanently storing and serving up social activity data at web scale.
Interscope also uses Echo’s Pinboard Visualization Plug-in to display each piece of real-time content on the site. By injecting an RSS feed from their merchandise store into Echo StreamServer, Interscope is able to visualize artist merchandise in a significantly more interesting way and integrate relevant products throughout the site in a visually consistent manor.
“The real-time, social infrastructure from Echo and Arktan provides Interscope with a very flexible framework to promote everything that a record label needs to promote, while keeping content fresh for the visitor,” said Hammond. “We believe that this approach sets a new bar for corporate websites in the music industry.”
The website was designed by Autumn 01, a technology, design and strategy agency based in Sydney, Australia.