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The Future of Music-Based Entertainment

The Future of Music-Based Entertainment Is Here In New Zealand

A New Zealand company has invested more than $1 million into developing a unique interactive value-added entertainment system called Hypertainment.

The system combines advanced CD-ROM, Internet and new 3D 'Virtual Realm' technologies with CD-quality music and a dynamic user interface to deliver "an exciting on-line music/video/gaming experience," the company says.

The concept enables people to listen to a music CD, watch videos, play games and win contemporary prizes.

To play, you slip a special "hyper" CD into your PC or Mac. The CD opens a link to a core web site from where Information and clues are downloaded automatically to your computer. The computer interacts with the site through a futuristic game interface.

Music videos play as clues appear on a special display panel. By watching the videos and spotting hidden elements, you find cryptic answers. Points are awarded for every correctly-answered question and these can be traded for sponsors’ products or accumulated toward major prizes.

The current HyperGame CD release retails for the price of a normal music CD. The patent-pending Hypertainment formula can be applied to any form of recorded music, from rock to classical, and everything in between. Game elements can also be included in live concerts, TVC or print ad campaigns and other forms of artist promotion.

Hypertainment has been launched in New Zealand with a high profile campaign featuring award-winning New Zealand rock band Shihad. The group's world-wide distributor Warner Music is fully supporting all launch efforts showcasing a progressive approach to music marketing in New Zealand and internationally.

“This is a world first, a completely new value-added concept for the music industry,” says Hypertainment general manager Matt Coleman. “We've invested more than $1 million and longer than three years developing and perfecting the Hypertainment system.”

“For the turbulent music industry — which fiercely opposes free (MP3) music downloads on the Internet and loses billions fighting CD piracy of global proportions — Hypertainment is a God-send,” Mr Coleman says.

“Hypertainment adds huge value to an already accepted format (compact discs) and greatly enhances the music without any extra cost to the consumer. The system also prevents piracy by issuing unique access-codes only to bonafide buyers.”

Mr Coleman said the music industry was hearing the message loud and clear.

Warner Music general manager James Southgate said the company was very excited to be part of what is being billed as "the biggest music product release ever in New Zealand, and an industry first".

“Fans have never been offered so much added value,” he says.

“Hypertainment expands traditional music marketing to entice video-gamers and internet users, who tend to embrace new innovations and converging technologies far sooner than others.

“More than anything, it brings the music of Shihad to life, through a format unparalleled in today's music industry. We're very proud that a band so deserving was chosen to launch this new product onto the world stage,” Mr Southgate said.

When you buy the Shihad album The General Electric, you get a second HyperGameCD containing web-linking, videos, music and clue data.

Future releases are planned on a single DVD to achieve dramatically higher sound and picture quality and increased disc storage.

Hypertainment said its product provided artists with a new creative format to interact directly with their fans.

Hypertainment built a customised on-line community for each artist, providing a forum for band updates, news, articles, chat rooms and cooperative game interaction. Web-streaming concerts and live interviews were also planned the company said

“This system blends video gaming and music into a completely new interactive experience where everyone wins,” Mr Coleman says.

“When you understand the benefits this provides for artists, music labels, retailers, advertisers and the fans themselves, it's amazing that no one thought of putting it all together before.

“The net simply cannot deliver now the quality of video image and complexity of games we're producing,” Mr Coleman says.

“Compact discs are the perfect delivery vehicle until broadband digital delivery is accessible to the masses — and that's several years off in reality. “

For the time being, the Hypertainment.com website provides a link to on-line sales through retailers and the HyperGame CD is available on retail shelves throughout the country.

The Shihad Hypergame CD comprises three videos — one of which was filmed exclusively for Hypertainment at the 'Big Day Out' earlier this year.

Shihad drummer Tom Larkin says Hypertainment is "light years" ahead of the status quo in the music industry.

“The thing that excites me about the Shihad Hypergame CD is that for the first time people will be able to buy a re-issue CD that actually has some real value,” he said.

“Most enhanced CDs offer video clips and maybe some backstage shots, but everyone's doing this — boring! Hypertainment is way ahead of the pack — we can get closer to the fans who really love the band, and turn new heads in the process.

“We'll be getting to know everyone out there far more than we ever would have dreamed possible only a year ago — and that's awesome!” Larkin says.

In addition to thousands of contemporary prizes a grand prize of a new VW Beetle worth $44,000 is up for grabs. The major prize will be awarded LIVE on the music-television show "Space" to the player who wins the most points overall during the Shihad campaign.

Hypertainment's aim is to release between 12 and 20 top music acts in time for Christmas 2000. The New Zealand launch is considered the first step towards rapid global expansion. Offices are currently opening in the US and Europe, with Asia following early in 2001.

The most likely music genres for HyperGames are Pop, Dance, Rock, Alternative and Classical albums, providing a vast array of music-lovers with a new interactive experience.


ends


Prepared by 141 Palace Plus for Hypertainment Limited

Contacts:
Matt Coleman Karen Crabb
General Manager Account Director
Hypertainment Limited 141 Palace Plus
Tel: +64-9-378 8003 +64-9-358 0141
Mob: +64-21-433 201 +64-25-833-418

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