American Express is using augmented reality (AR) to create a new way for music fans to buy merchandise from their favorite musicians — starting with Justin Timberlake.
On April 6th, the American Express Music app released a new mobile AR experience called Outside In, in partnership with Timberlake. In the app the you are navigated by Timberlake, hearing his stories behind the songs of his new album Man of the Woods.
You can also explore the lush Montana scenery and can interact with different icons while “Breeze Off the Pond” plays.
“We surprised fans and Card Members with exclusive first listens of the album leading up to its release and are excited to connect on a deeper level with the Outside In experience on the American Express Music app,” Timberlake said of the new experience in a statement.
Outside In is a taste of Timberlake’s live performances that also play that can also be played in AR, bringing the audience closer to nature. As he is on stage performing songs from Man of the Woods, grass physically grows under his feet as he dances down the concert runway.
As you interact within the app, you’re able to buy exclusive Man Of The Woods merchandise including t-shirts, sweatshirts, and flannels.
“The first-of-its-kind,” Timberlake said. “[This] mixed reality experience uses cutting-edge technology to bring me directly to my fans; walk them through the concept of my new album and provide access to purchase specially designed merch in collaboration with Levi’s, Heron Preston, Ryan McGinley and more.”
Timberlake’s experience seems similar to many of other artist profiles within the American Express Music app, like Taylor Swift and Kings of Leon, who feature behind the scenes videos and event pre-sales. But with so many music streaming services reshaping how music is financed, AR experiences like this one seem like an interesting way to reinvigorate the financial side of the music industry.