O2's head of sponsorship Gareth Griffiths has spoken to Music Week about the success of the brand's Priority Tickets rewards scheme, its augmented reality promotion with Michael Bublé and the potential for 5G at The O2.
More than seven million tickets have been purchased to date through Priority Tickets, which gives O2 customers access to tickets for thousands of shows across the UK 48 hours before general release .
“Priority is a huge part of what we do as a brand and is our most loved proposition,” said Griffiths, speaking as part of Music Week's recent special report on the arenas sector. "It was borne from The O2 partnership. It’s a huge customer benefit and ensures that our customers are always front of the queue. We’re not a ticketing platform, so don't compete with AXS or Ticketmaster in that respect, nor do we take any commission from ticket sales."
Last year, O2 partnered with Michael Bublé on an innovative promotion, which enabled fans to download an augmented reality version of the singer, giving them the ability to take selfies and videos with a 3D video avatar of the star on their smartphones.
"We had a huge response to the Michael Bublé augmented reality activity," said Griffiths. "This was a totally new artist experience. We used breakthrough AR technology which enabled fans to pose alongside Michael Bublé’s avatar having filmed the artist using Volumetric 3D capture technology and 106 video cameras at a high-tech studio in London – one of only three AR stages in the world. This had never been done before and attracted a great deal of attention and was something that Michael was excited to be part of.
"We’re continually exploring new opportunities for ‘world firsts’ and ways to work with artists to enhance the fan experience so this certainly won’t be the last time we do something like this."
The potential for 5G at The O2 is huge
The telecommunications giant is once again partnering on the Music Week Tech Summit Together With O2, which returns to dissect the music technology sector on October 8.
"This year we’ll be discussing how technology can be utilised to enhance the experience at our venues and we look forward to highlighting how innovation and new product development, including 5G, can benefit both the fan and wider music industry," added Griffiths.
"We installed O2 Wifi in the arena bowl early on, and we have now built our 5G test bed, which will offer customers in our store and our O2 Blueroom customer space, access to 5G. And we’re exploring ways in which 5G can play a significant role in the artist and gig-goer experience at the venue in the future. The potential for 5G at The O2 is huge and we’re really excited by the possibilities and how it can enhance the experience for all."