We just pressed our first CDs that feature a QR code on the packaging. When the artist, songwriter Tonya Tyner, handed in her artwork, I didn't even know what the black and white square on the back of the digipak was. Now it seems like I am seeing them everywhere. When she told me that it was readable by smart phones and that you could have it link to a variety of functions, I thought it sounded like a great idea. In fact it sounded like such a good idea, I was kind of surprised that everyone wasn't already using them and that I had never heard of them. Tonya also had us put the code on her posters so that if someone saw the poster and was interested in finding out more, they could read the code and immediately be taken to her website. An artist could also have the code take the user to a YouTube video, Facebook page or just display text.
I did a little research into QR codes and apparently they were created for the auto industry in 1994. The Pet Shop Boys used one in 2007 on the artwork for a download-only single but it seems like the first prominent music-related use was less than a year ago when Labrinth used the codes extensively in promoting his debut single. I will definitely be using them on all Freedom Records-related product from now on. The codes can be generated easily, just Google "QR Code Generator." Here's one I just generated that takes you to the Any and All Media, Inc. website. By the way, the new AAM site is 90% built and will be up very soon!