Hipster Bait Helps Musicians Reach New Fans Using A Pokémon GO-Like AR Experience

Discover the latest underground music by exploring your local city in this location-based AR experience.

There was a time when discovering new music from lesser-known acts meant scouring local clubs or flipping through vinyl at the local record store. It required time, dedication, and even a bit of luck.

I’m talking about raw underground music that bands/artists recorded in their basements or bedrooms and then paid a record pressing company a few hundred bucks to have them pressed into a 7” vinyl single. Not the overproduced and over-hyped radio rock that gets jammed down everyone’s throat through commercialized heavy rotation. 

A new AR app called Hipster Bait aims to recreate this classic era of underground music while exposing you to new rock-and-roll acts via a location-based AR experience similar to that of Pokémon GO or Harry Potter: Wizards Unite.

How it works is simple: unreleased music from bands/artists are hidden as a digital files somewhere throughout the real-world. Using the Hipster Bait app, you get out and explore your city, town, or neighborhood to seek out these AR “Bait Cassettes”. Once you discover a cassette, you can then listen to the track and deliver a rating. When you’re finished, add it to your cassette box and listen to it anytime.

Sounds cool, right? 

Now you get to reset the music trap by taking the Bait Cassette you just found and hiding it in a brand new location for someone else to find and review. This helps the band/artist gain additional exposure while giving you the opportunity to listen to new music before anyone else. Who knows? You might even help a band get their big break!

Getting your music on Hipster Bait is as easy as submitting your songs to the official website; tthe company plans on accepting new song submissions beginning July 17th. Just keep in mind that Hipster Bait features a heavy focus on underground rock-and-roll, so don’t be surprised if your tropical house track doesn’t make the cut.

That isn’t too say other types of music won’t someday make their way to the unique AR platform. Here are some subgenres of rock that Hipster Bait is currently considering. 

If your music is accepted and added to the Hipster Bait catalog, there are a couple of things you should know about. 

  • The song needs to be unreleased. Meaning, it can’t be available anywhere digitally or physically and it must remain unreleased for the first two weeks on Hipster Bait.
  • For the first two weeks on Hipster Bait, the name of the artist will be kept anonymous. According to the folks at Hipster Bait, removing the name of the artist lets the song stand on its own without local, regional, or national buzz; or because the band once toured with Sebadoh.
  • You can absolutely tell your friends and fans that you have a new track floating around on Hipster Bait, you just can’t’ tell them which Cassette it is. Make your fans work for it! 
  • After two weeks as an anonymous Bait Cassette, Hipster Bait will lift the veil of secrecy and announce the name of the band through their website, social media, and the Bail Mail newsletter. Your band logo will also be added to the Hipster Bait artist’s page. At this point you can release your song on streaming sites such as Bandcamp, Soundcloud, and Spotify.
  • You’ll also be able to download an email list of people who found your Bait Cassette.
  • After four weeks, your song will be removed from Hipster Bait, but your profile page will remain on At this point you can submit another unreleased track and start the whole thing all over again.

You can find more artist info and FAQs here along with the current list of artists on Hipster Bait.

To keep things fresh, Hipster Bait will release new Bait Cassettes every week and hide them throughout the U.S. for music fans to find.

“Great music tracks are getting laid down everyday but it’s harder than ever to get that music out to people and make a living while doing it,” said Michael Tension, Co-founder of Hipster Bait in an official press release. “As artists, we can’t rely solely on the algorithms of over-crowded streaming services. We need to find new ways for fans to experience music.”

During early beta testing 75% of artists on Hipster Bait reported an increase of traffic on streaming sites that hosted their music after someone found their AR Bait Cassette. Hipster Bait looks like a great way to get your music out there and into the fans of music lovers. So turn up the fuzz on the Big Muff, tighten up those drums, and get your music out there!

Hipster Bait is available free via iOS and Google Play.

Image Credit: Hipster Bait

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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