29 September 2016
Google and NME are giving music fans the chance to experience one of Britain’s most iconic music landmarks, Abbey Road Studios. 80,000 Google Cardboard virtual reality viewers will be distributed for free across the UK alongside the magazine to be used with Google’s stunning virtual reality app Inside Abbey Road. The campaign will be supported with cross-platform content across print, digital and social and is the first time Google has distributed the virtual reality viewers for free at this scale in the UK.
Google Cardboard and the app will be promoted and distributed through co-branded and designed distribution stands in key London locations, regional stations and universities throughout the UK. Cardboard viewers will also be available with copies of NME at pop-up distribution points outside live music events, shopping areas and social spaces.
Google will also be bringing the campaign to life by recreating the iconic Studio 2, made famous for so many Beatles recordings, at an experiential installation in London’s King’s Cross Station from 29 September to 01 October.
Giles Martin, critically acclaimed producer at Abbey Road, says: "The decision to work with Google was all about embracing this new technology, but it was also a great opportunity to let people see what happens there. Abbey Road is like the Tardis, and most people have no idea what goes on behind the front door. It's a working studio, so you can't really show people around, but there are so many fans who make the pilgrimage there, and it's always seemed a bit unfair that they can't have a look inside. Modern technology now allows you to step through that doorway into a three-dimensional world - and in a funny way, that's very Abbey Road."
Inside Abbey Road offers fans a new and exclusive music VR experience. Despite attracting nearly 500k visitors a year, Abbey Road Studios was completely closed to the public until last year when Google unlocked the studio doors with a 360 degree interactive online experience. The new experience gave millions of music fans from around the world the opportunity to step inside the studios that have played host to the greatest musical legends of all time, and this year Google pushed the technology boundaries further to launch the VR app. It’s a stunning and fully immersive VR experience, allowing users to explore the three recording studios and the innovative technology used, view photographs, watch videos and listen to music.
Romano Sidoli, managing director of Time Inc. UK’s Innovation Group, adds: “We want to give our audience the latest in music experiences and this partnership is another way we can do that. NME’s distribution can unlock our audience for partners and get products in their hands. Acting as a gateway to discovery, this partnership gives our audience the chance to try exciting technology that is augmenting our experiences.”
In print, NME is running a four-page spread that talks readers through the Inside Abbey Road VR experience and the history of the legendary studios. The feature also includes an interview with Giles Martin, the iconic voice behind the app and online experience; explores how VR is changing the music industry; and gives readers the lowdown on what VR apps to download now. Popular franchise ‘What’s on your Headphones’ will become ‘What’s on your Cardboard’ in the 14 October issue, finding out which VR apps 18-34 year-olds are escaping reality with right now.
This partnership was brokered between Benedict Ransley, creative media manager for NME and OMD UK for Google.
Google Cardboard viewers retail at £15 per pair or £25 for two. The Inside Abbey Road app is free to download on Android and iOS.
Notes to editors:T&Cs: Selected NME distribution points only. Limited Cardboards available, one per person.
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Abbey Road Studios is the most famous recording studios in the world and a global music icon.
Home to countless landmark recordings and pioneering advances in recording technology, the legendary studio complex has a phenomenal history spanning over 80 years, encompassing celebrated work by many of the world’s most famous recording artists including The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Frank Ocean, Florence + The Machine, Radiohead, Oasis, Kanye West, Lady Gaga and Adele.
Since the score for Raiders of The Lost Ark was recorded at the studios in 1980, Abbey Road has developed into one of the world’s premiere locations for movie scoring. Blockbuster films such as The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, The King’s Speech and Skyfall feature scores recorded there, while recent projects include the Oscar-winning score to Gravity. Additionally, a number of high-profile video games such as Halo 5 and Call of Duty have recorded in-game music at Abbey Road Studios.
The Studios house a number of state of the art mastering suites. Recent projects mastered or re-mastered by Abbey Road’s award-winning engineers include music from Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, Queen, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, New Order, Mary J Blige.
Abbey Road Studios also offers online mixing and mastering, audio products for professional and home studio music producers, live concert recording, archiving and video services. The Studios also host a select number of special events each year.
Abbey Road recently launched Abbey Road Red, Europe’s only music-focused technology incubator which supports the endeavours of entrepreneurs, research and developers.
Abbey Road Institute recently began offering vocational diplomas in music production and audio engineering to students at the studio complex in London and state of the art facilities in Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Munich, Melbourne and Sydney.
Holly McNally, NME+44 (0)203 148 5405
Emily Clarke, Google+44 (0)7734 967 284