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This article was published on October 15, 2012

Interscope Records relaunches its corporate website for the e-commerce, Twitter generation

Interscope Records relaunches its corporate website for the e-commerce, Twitter generation
Paul Sawers
Story by

Paul Sawers

Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

Interscope Records, the record company behind the likes of Lady Gaga, No Doubt, Lana Del Rey, Carly Rae Jepsen and La Roux, is taking a new approach to its corporate website, working to merge traditional and social content.

Interscope Geffen A&M (IGA) is actually the full name of the umbrella label, owned by Universal Music Group (UMG) and founded when Geffen and A&M Records were merged into Interscope more than a decade ago.

IGA’s new website is setting out to reimagine the concept of what a record label website does as, oftentimes, it isn’t the number one go-to for fans seeking information and news around their favorite artists.

Using real-time social technologies from Echo and Arktan (see previous coverage here), Interscope draws on the social activities of its signed artists. In the process, it seems that Interscope is hoping to draw fans to the site not only to engage with the artists they already like, but discover other ones too.

What you’ll now see is a stream of tweets, with content from Instagram and YouTube embedded and permeating across the site. Interscope is essentially weaving all the social content associated with its artists together into one portal, with all the latest posts appearing first on the homepage.

“Everything a record label does is social,” explains Lee Hammond, VP of Digital for IGA. “By leveraging this activity as the primary content source for our label website, we will always have the freshest, most relevant content available for our fans. When our social media manager posts content to Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, that content will instantly flow into the Featured content on our home page.”

It’s not just about reeling in social network data from Interscope’s artists, but e-commerce and the latest releases also get a look-in with this makeover. Every piece of content is now displayed in a pinboard-style visualization, with the ability to ‘Like’ and Comment on each item, as you can see here with Lady Gaga’s Bravado store:

Visitors can tab through each category of the site by swiping from side to side, designed to work on a desktop or an iPad. If you’re just there to get content on one particular artist, say…Eminem, you can make your way to their dedicated portal on the IGA site, and you’ll see:

  • Featured: A mix of Facebook posts, YouTube videos and exclusive content generated by Interscope.
  • Tweets: The latest tweets, which interestingly are curated to filter out spam and obscenities from ‘fans’.
  • Music: Their latest music on Spotify.
  • Videos: A media wall featuring the artist’s most recent videos from YouTube.
  • Photos: A mix of artist photos from social networks and Interscope’s image library.

The new site, ultimately, is geared towards helping Interscope generate revenue by bringing everything together into one place, and guiding fans towards other artists, content and merchandize. The infrastructure can inject any piece of content into the artist streams, such as merchandise, new Spotify tracks, ads and other promotions.

User-generated content is also getting a massive look-in with new site, with the homepage featuring photos taken by fans from Sleeveface. Interscope says it also plans to accept user-generated sleeveart for each artist directly from the site.

All of the content is generated in real-time through cloud APIs. Arktan, a curation service that aggregates real-time social data from social networks, provides the social activity for each artist and brand. That data, alongside other real-time feeds from Interscope’s merchandise and brand partners (e.g. Bravado), is injected into Echo StreamServer, a real-time activity database that captures, storing and broadcasting social activity data across the Web.

As part of this, Interscope is tapping Echo’s new (launching today) Pinboard visualization plug-in to display each piece of real-time content on the site.

“The real-time, social infrastructure from Echo and Arktan provides Interscope with a very flexible framework to promote everything that a record label needs to promote, while keeping content fresh for the visitor,” says Hammond. “We believe that this approach sets a new bar for corporate websites in the music industry.”

The website was designed by Autumn 01, a technology, design and strategy agency based in Australia.

The notion of using a corporate website as a sort of holding page for all its social interactions isn’t new, with the likes of Skittles’ main portal essentially acting as conduits to drive traffic to its Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels. But it’s interesting to see traditionally more ‘stuffy’, corporate record labels taking this approach…not so much to drive fans elsewhere, but to keep them on there.

EMI, for example, does integrate some social elements into its site, but Interscope seems to be ramping things up a notch on this front.


Feature Image Credit – JOHANNES EISELE/Getty Images