O2 today announced the launch of an innovative new mobile app in support of Academy Music Group’s O2 Academy venues and Live Nation’s O2 Apollo Manchester. In addition to exclusive content from artists playing at the venues, access to Priority Tickets, photos, comments and social integration with Facebook and Twitter, the free O2 Academy App also contains a unique Augmented Reality feature. Dubbed ‘Artist Reality’, the feature gives fans the opportunity to view the UK through the eyes of hundreds of their favourite bands.

The development of the O2 Academy app began when O2 invited artists to populate a map of the UK with their own personal experiences ‘ from on-the-road video diaries to audio tours of their home town and virtual busking. The interactive map enables artists to hide tickets to shows in secret locations, give clues to win exclusive prizes and even place geo-located unreleased tracks for fans to discover.

Once activated within the O2 Academy App, users simply hold up their phone and look through the viewfinder to see virtual markers representing specific geographical locations e.g. O2 Academy Bristol, or an artist’s hometown. They can then click on the location to listen to audio, and view video, images and links all personally created by the artists performing at O2 Academy venues.

The O2 Academy app follows the recent launch of O2 Academy TV, a dedicated YouTube channel, and represents the next step in O2’s music sponsorship strategy. Working together with artists O2 aims to use innovative technology to further extend the music experience to benefit both artists and fans. Over the last 18 months, O2 has worked with over 400 artists to enable greater engagement with fans and add new dimensions to gig goers’ experiences at O2 Academy venues.

The first artists laying down their footprint include MOBO award winning hip-hop trio N-Dubz, Charlie Simpson as he embarks on his solo career, Cardiff rockers Kids in Glass Houses and folk-punk legend Frank Turner. These will be quickly followed by a host of other ‘explorers’ from just some of the thousands of acts who pass through O2 Academy venues every year. Hundreds of leading artists are expected to sign up over the next 12 months creating an evolving musical map of the UK populated with unique content.

Jasmine Skee, Head of Music Sponsorship, O2, said: ‘The new O2 Academy app is yet another way that we are extending the gig experience, not just for O2 customers, but fans of live music and O2 Academy venues. We understand the importance of technology in music, and the role that mobile plays in people’s lives, so this app gives everyone 24/7 access to the venues and a unique opportunity to get up close to some of the artists playing them.’

Commenting on the app, Simon Lewis, President of Marketing Partnerships International at Live Nation Entertainment said: ‘As fast as mobile technology evolves, the more live music fans will enjoy an ever advancing array of meaningful experience enhancements beyond the show itself giving artists and fans even deeper interaction. Through our ongoing relationship with O2, the Live Nation and Academy venue attendees will always be at the forefront of fan led innovation.’

The O2 Academy app has been developed in conjunction with [PIAS] Media, who previously worked with O2 on the Gorillaz Augmented Reality app, ‘Escape to Plastic Beach’.

The free O2 Academy App is available to download now from the Apple App Store.

Journalists can contact the Virgin Media O2 press office on:
press@virginmediao2.co.uk 01753 565656
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