Smartphone app unlocks interactive music content

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Cantora Labs' SmartLounge app invited guests to a party once it was downloaded
Cantora Labs' SmartLounge app invited guests to a party once it was downloaded

The Offer: To kick off the weeklong CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival in New York City last October, Cantora Labs, a tech startup incubator and offshoot of label Cantora Records, hosted a two-day party to display its music technology offerings, including the SmartLounge app. Anyone who downloaded the app, built by tech developer Sonic Notify, was invited to the party, which was sponsored by smartwater and PureVolume. The party also celebrated the launch of Cantora Labs.

The Data: Of the people who downloaded the app, 85% engaged with it, according to Cantora Labs. SOL Republic gave away headphones to attendees through badges earned by engaging with content at the event, including the ability to vote on tracks and act as a guest DJ.

The Channel: The SmartLounge app gave users access to on-site promotions and was regularly updated in real-time during the event with interactive content through the use of inaudible high-frequency sound triggers. Party and concert information and details about giveaways and drink specials were pushed out to the app for use at the Cantora party and during the festival.

The Creative: Cantora teamed with technology and music providers to keep partygoers engaged. Digital music site Spotify provided everyone at the party with free temporary accounts. With help from SoundCloud and Gobbler, a Web-based backup and transfer service, live music sets were recorded and streamed to the app, where users could listen via their smartphones after the event.

The Verdict:

Paul Notzold is senior creative director at Aspen Marketing Services, a marketing agency services division of Epsilon. He specializes in the mobile and interactive design and has done work for TIME, the 2008 Obama campaign, Merck, Rogaine, Neutrogena and others.

Download app, get into party … done. OK, I'll noodle with your app for a minute if it means a free drink. I'd be more excited to play with the inaudible sound frequency triggers. This would be a good time to introduce a game to the partygoers using the app.

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