Universal Music Group is the first partner for a new location-based messaging app called Traces, which is launching officially at SXSW this week. The app blends location, messaging and augmented reality (AR) features to get people sending videos and messages to friends that will only be unlocked when they’re at a specific location. Does anyone actually want to do this, though? Well, brands might, which we suspect is the bigger factor behind Traces. 

And Universal Music is the first brand to test it out, creating 50 “traces” for artists including Laura Marling and James Bay around Austin during the SXSW conference. “Location is a great but largely untapped opportunity in the mobile space. Being able to deliver location-specific content and reward footfall allows brands to open up innovative new creative ideas and revenue opportunities through mobile,” said Traces’ marketing boss Tamara Sword. Let’s see if users see the value and help the app reach a wide audience, though.

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