As our regular readers will know, we’re big fans of Webdoc over here at Music Ally HQ and we’ve covered a wide range of interesting campaigns since they launched last year at Midem 2012. They’ve worked with a wide range of artists that have included: David Bowie, Example, and Ellie Goulding and in each case we’ve seen fans have been extremely engaged. Urturn reports that the average engagement per music campaign is between 5-20%.

The platform hasn’t been restricted to music though and has slowly started entering other sectors where fashionistas can create their own expressions or TV addicts can create visuals based on their favourite shows.

It was announced yesterday that Webdoc will be continuing their stellar work but will be rebranded and renamed as Urturn. We spoke to CEO, Stelios Tzonis and Head of Music, Olivier de Simone about what has brought on the change and what 2013 will entail for the exciting start-up.

The focus was allowing consumers/fans to express themselves via a simple platform that can easily be shared with their friends or from a marketer’s point-of-view, easily go viral. It’s easy for some readers to make the comparison to Tumblr or Pinterest but de Simone adds, “The web was first made social with comments, then came likes and then reposts (media content). Urturn is centered on the use of Expressions. The sharing and expressing mechanic has been simplified, – it’s the consumers turn to mix the previous iterations into one interactive expressive experience, the ability to share and reuse Expressions makes Urturn unique.”

For users that are familiar with Webdoc, not too much will change, users will still be able to express themselves and start with a blank canvas and then pull in multimedia via SoundCloud, YouTube and Instagram to name a few. What Urturn will introduce is pre-made templates that make the whole creative experience quicker and easier and allows anybody to create a professional and slick expression.

The Music Industry will be familiar with these templates; David Bowie and Example used simple templates where all fans could use their webcam to take a photo and it was instantly inserted into a rich visual backdrop. de Simone added, “The Music business was always focused on monetizing the content, now its about monetizing the audience. The deeper level of engagement that you can achieve on Urturn gives users (audience owners) the ability to engage with their fanbase. Engagement is the new metric, getting fans active must be the focus,”

To add to the rebranding Urturn have announced the launch of their private API. The API and hosting is free, with the aim to link developers with artists, “We got a lot of demand from the developers and digital marketing agencies who have recognised the power of the platform so we are really excited to be able to  give them the ability to develop a crazy Expression on top of our API If you wanted to do the a campaign similar to the David Bowie campaign from scratch, you would spend more time worrying about the platform than the creative process. All that stuff is done by Urturn… for free.” Says Tzonis, while adding that  mobile will be a bigger focus for the company in 2013.

This is exciting for marketers because it could be that Urturn is shoehorned into an official artist app like Universal did for Robbie Williams’ recent app with Augmented Reality built that was supported by Aurasma and built in Mobile Roadie.

Aaron Bogucki, Head of Digital at Polydor Records is already a fan, “Fan co-creation, collaboration and expression is now at the heart of our community engagement strategies. For our most engaged and social fans Urturn provides a platform for authentic personal engagement with our artists, helping us spread awareness in the process.”

2012 was an exciting year for Webdoc but if Urturn’s bite is as big as their bark 2013 could be even better.

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