Signing records virtually with a Google Tilt brush will “bring back a tradition” and keep fans and artists connected, creators say.
A company in Chile is using Google’s virtual reality Tilt Brush and the reach of YouTube to create a new way to connect artists and fans: the VR album signing.
The VR signing is intended to turn what has been a local music store event into a promotion with global reach. The idea is that it will "bring back a tradition that should never disappear," Felipe Porte, creative director of Santiago, Chile’s Porta Agency tells Billboard. "It lets fans and artists connect thanks to advances in technology."
Of course, like the old-fashioned signing event, it’s main purpose is to sell records. Porte says that Chilean indie pop artist Schuster achieved a gold record and also significantly boosted his YouTube followers when he piloted a VR album signing earlier this year.
For the promotion, Schuster fans were directed to the artist’s web site to enter a raffle to win a VR-signed digital copy of his album Bonsai. Winners were chosen during a live stream on the artist’s YouTube channel, during which Schuster also played acoustic versions of his songs. Schuster, wearing virtual reality glasses and waving the Tilt Brush in the air, wrote personal dedications for each winner - the autographs could be seen on screen.
The winners, who were from a handful of Latin American countries, received a link to the signed album on YouTube (which is the platform on which most music is consumed in Chile), which included bonus tracks and other exclusive content.
Porte says that his company is now "in the process of internationalizing the idea." he has had interest in the VR signing from "an important label" in Europe for some of its artists who are reluctant to make a tour of album-signing appearances.
"This project could solve an enormous problem for them," he says.
Watch Schuster’s full signing event here: