Apps & Mobile

10 Creative Ways Musicians Can Use QR Codes

image from www.hypebot.com Inspired by Clyde's Guide To QR Codes For Musicians, I wondered about how indie musicians might use these scanable graphics that link the offline and online worlds. Marketer and artist Erica Glaser had already created a strong list of 50 creative uses for QR codes that's geared to filmmakers and visual artists as much as musicians. But she provided the spark that led to my own list of 10 Creative Ways Musicians Can Use QR Codes:

  1. connect a gig poster with a place to buy tickets
  2. connect posters to a video or track that "sells" the band
  3. connect your t-shirt to your web site
  4. connect a t-shirt or poster to a free download
  5. connect a poster to your online store with a discount
  6. connect a poster to your Facebook page
  7. connect signage on stage and merch table to mobile firendly site with email signup 
  8. connect your CD cover to an email signup
  9. connect a CD cover to bonus content
  10. offer a free track to retailers who include you name and a QR code connecting to a tweet-for or email-for-track landing page

Bonus Idea: Make a QR code your online avatar.

How have you used QR codes to promote your band or brand?

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14 Comments

  1. QR codes are still a novelty until the market recognizes/uses them. Expectations for return should be taken with a hefty grain of salt.

  2. I have had my code for about a year. I had read about them about two years ago when QR codes were so hot in Japan. I could not understand, even then, why bands did not use this free service.

  3. I’m currently using a QR code that links to my kickstarter fan-fundraising page! I use it as my FB fan-page avatar as well as on flyers for kickstarter at my merch table!

  4. Great post! See how Santa Monica-based musician, Paula McMath is using QR Codes to promote her music.
    Paula’s codes can be found here:
    http://2d-code.co.uk/images/warbasse/page9.jpg
    An interview on NPR’s Marketplace about her use 2D bar codes may be found here:
    http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/01/21/am-qr-codes-bridge-real-life-with-cyberspace/
    She is working with a company called print 2D. (found at http://print2d.com)
    So, the gentleman behind her mobile stategy is the same guy that created Morrissey’s mobile strategy, found here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTq7BYieEHI&feature=player_embedded
    ~Beth

  5. But none of these are cool.
    If I’m gonna stand on a busy street corner, in the heat, page to find my QT code app, wait for it to scan, and wait for it to download, there better be some “magic” at the end, i.e. something that’s good enough to share. Not some sh*t link that’s trying to suck value (i.e. cash) from me.

  6. Thanks for the list. All good ideas.
    I’d also suggest putting a short note by your QR code saying something like: “Find out what’s behind our QR code” or “Check out what’s in store for you..”. Then put some valued content to match the enticement.
    Intrigue or surprise always makes it more fun for the fan!

  7. URLs are memorable, copyable, human-readable, and require no hardware warmup time to scan. I think the slow take-up for QR codes explains much (they’ve been around for at least 7 years to my memory).
    I’m not saying your article is bad, nor that using QR codes is bad, but I would have expected a more balanced and comparative review of reasons to use them.
    I particularly expected a statement that it’s worth having both URLs and QR codes in your arsenal (and a warning to not focus too much effort on QR).
    Neil.

  8. I do not agree with people that say that QR are just a novelty and I strongly encourage you to start using them.
    I’ve included a QR code on the flyers of my last two concerts. The code is the same, and I just change the redirection: either the Facebook event, or my website (when the concert is over but the flyers are still in circulation). If somebody finds a lost flyer in a year, they will be able to get some quick info about me and my music.
    As an early-ish adopter I have to answer a lot of questions about this weird thing printed on my flyers but I think that the ROI in terms of image is really worth it.
    I use http://www.uqr.me but I also like the analytics that qreatebuzz.com offers.
    Thomas

  9. These ways are really good and very helpful for the people that is planning to promote their music through QR codes.Thanks for the post.

  10. All good starting points for developing a more encompassing use for QR codes in music. Thanks for the list.
    The important thing to remember, as others have mentioned, is to really make the scan worthwhile to the fan. Just hitting a website or Facebook page is largely pointless, as people can remember a URL or name for Google search later on.
    Linking to mobile optimized landing pages with special offers, information, or QR-only bonus content – especially that can be downloaded direct to a mobile device – that’s where the scan really becomes a fan-creating experience, in my opinion.

  11. how about a video that describes your way of teaching music!?
    Or a particular topic that you are working on?!
    I found http://uqr.me/ and it looks like they give you a dynamic code, so you can actually print your code and change the content as many times as you want.

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