In March of 2024 Popins set up a volumetric video studio in London, England. Over 5 days leading up to The Brit Awards, leading UK record companies and their diverse set of artists stepped into a ring of cameras in Finsbury Park’s Mango Studios LDN and moments later were transformed into AR 3D holograms.

An invited member of The British Phonographic Industry’s (BPIs) Insights and Innovation program, Popins was selected and matched with indie labels and music companies through the Matchmaker initiative.

“We presented our indie community with about 12 different startups ranging from image verification to data applications...and every single label wanted holographic XR. And I think it's because it's fun. It's playful. It speaks to lots of different people's needs - whether it's engaging artists, or new monetization." Amalie Briden, Innovation Manager, BPI. See and hear Amalie in 3D by clicking here.

The labels include London Symphony Orchestra’s LSO Live, The Sound Corporation and Signum Records, Regent Street Records, and On Da Beat. Together, the teams plan to explore the many opportunities for artists and fans in the new realm of mixed reality, turning flat music files into immersive and rich 360 video experiences that echo the spirit of the UK’s roots in defying standards in music. As a nod of recognition, the collection will be called “London Calling”. 

Popins is leading the world in taking this magical new technology to market for tangible and measurable exploration of real business models that will benefit fans, artists, and the broader global music industry.

This Spring, the London Calling collection will become available over several months to redefine music memorabilia and shift music merchandise and artist-fan engagement to a new environment. In addition, London Calling will bring to market captivating artist announcements, song debuts, and a few surprises.

"There's so much we lost in moving away from physical albums...the tactile experience of holding a record or unfolding a sleeve...learning more about your artist or reading the lyrics. All of that got really flattened in the DSP experience. I think there's a real opportunity to bring back that context...the creativity and immersive-ness around an album...and then, augmenting them with things we can't even imagine right now." Kristen Bender, SVP, Digital Innovation Strategy & Business Development, Universal Music Group.

Popins is looking forward to continued work with BPI and the broader music industry to anticipate and collaborate to push the boundaries of the artist-fan experience and shifts in consumer behaviors, in the ever-changing world of the music.

About BPI Insights and Innovation

The BPI’s Insight and Innovation department, a rebrand of the former BPI Innovation Hub and Music and Tech Springboard Programme, will focus on future trends, data and analysis within the UK’s recorded music industry.

The BPI Insight strand will continue to provide research, insights and market data on the recorded music industry. This includes BPI reports around consumption and consumer trends, the annual All About The Music yearbook, the BRIT Certified Awards and BRIT Billion schemes, and the Insight Session Series in collaboration with audio partner Bowers & Wilkins.

The BPI Innovation side of the department will formalise the work that BPI has been delivering since 2016 through the Music & Tech Springboard Programme. It aims to foster effective partnerships that funnel tech solutions to the UK’s recorded music industry. 

BPI Innovation’s community of start-ups and entrepreneurs will represent a wide range of offers and services for record labels and rights-holders, including AI-powered back-office solutions, experiential opportunities, artist residencies, access to facilities to data providers, SaaS solutions and more. The community will have access to collaboration opportunities with BPI members, idea testing and mentoring support.

A new six-episode, fortnightly series, The BPI Innovation Podcast, will host conversations between the technology and record label communities. Episode one will launch this Spring, featuring Tanguy Giraud (COO and labs programme director, Marathon Artists) and Pat Carr (founder, Remote Control Marketing & co-owner, The Vertex), followed by an episode dedicated to “London Calling” and featuring Popins and LSO Live.

We are proud to be one of the first music industry trade bodies in the world to establish a designated innovation department. Dr Jo Twist

Dr Jo Twist OBE, BPI chief executive, said: “We are proud to be one of the first music industry trade bodies in the world to establish a designated innovation department, which sets a clear vision for BPI as a future-facing and trailblazing organisation. The new Insight & Innovation department is a natural progression of the work that BPI has done in this space since 2016, and the soon-to-launch podcast series, networking events and pilot schemes will take it to the next level. I am excited to see our Insight & Innovation team get these projects underway, adding real-value tech solutions and investment into our world-leading music market. It’s an important step for us to help companies of all sizes embrace innovation as part of their future growth and success.”

Leon Neville (pictured), director of BPI Insight & Innovation, said: “Leading our new department at BPI is a great honour and I’m excited by the warm responses we’ve had so far from our members and wider partners across the UK and Europe. We look forward to a busy year ahead, collaborating with UK and international partners, investors, record labels and of course, entrepreneurs, to tap into the rich opportunities that will come from music and tech partnerships.”