March 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

SXSW: ShareSquare’s ‘Most Scanned Bands’ Contest Points to Next-Generation Artist Marketing

sharesquare sxsw heat map most scanned band

As we’ve mentioned before, QR codes experienced somewhat of a coming-out party at last year’s South by Southwest conference. This year, they’re planning a takeover.

One group leading the charge is ShareSquare, an exciting new startup that uses QR codes to connect members with their specific bands’ music videos, tour information, downloadable tracks and other assets. The company is holding a “Most Scanned Bands” contest running throughout the festival that’s part scavenger hunt, part popularity contest, and part a measure of marketing savvy.

qr code

Point your smartphone's QR code-capable camera app at this image to follow on Twitter.

The way the contest works is simple: Throughout SXSW, ShareSquare will keep track of all the QR code scans of posters put up by bands using its service. Those numbers are logged in real-time and posted on ShareSquare’s leaderboard, which you can visit at any point to see whose QR codes are picking up the most scans. ShareSquare’s also touting a fancy heatmap (pictured above) that’ll show you where scans are taking place — right now, if you’re playing the game and you’re not spreading your word around the 6th and Red River area, you’re missing out on the action.

The top five bands at the end of the week will receive a yearlong subscription to ShareSquare’s premium, enterprise-level service, a package whose details CEO Matthias Galica won’t fully disclose until Friday but teased by saying it should provide bands with a number of unique ways to bring in revenue.

Right now ShareSquare has only hooked up with 50 bands performing at this year’s SXSW, so their “Most Scanned Bands” likely won’t take the conference by storm. But events like this are a telling sign of things to come. As the number of bands using QR codes grows, as it seems certain to given the steep growth rate of QR codes contests like this should tell the tale of which acts are getting their name out and marketing in the right places.