Blippar the AR Monster

Augmented reality (AR) has had a relatively slow uptake amongst magazine publishers and media agencies however publishers globally are beginning to see AR as an opportunity to innovate and even create new revenue streams, thus reinforcing the power of print. The recent takeover of AR company Layar, by image recognition platform Blippar, is poised to create a leviathan in the AR world that will generate a major push towards a broader adoption of augmented reality.

“Blippar’s takeover of Layar has
caused shockwaves in the
augmented reality market,
and rightly so – it is the most
important acquisition yet within
this sector.” – Output Magazine

Recently I had the pleasure in sharing breakfast with Ms. Kate Russell, an ex-pat Australian executive previously employed by Layar and who is now the Strategic Accounts Director for Blippar – based in their Amsterdam offices.

Tell me Kate, what did the purchase of Layar mean to you and your colleagues?

“Although both companies will continue to operate as separate entities for a while, Blippar have begun incorporating our staff and clients into their systems. By joining forces we have now effectively created the largest AR reach in the world. Together, we are the undisputed leader of Augmented Reality and visual browsing with offices in the US, UK, Europe and Asia.”

So what has the takeover meant for your clients?

“The deal represents an exciting opportunity for clients of both businesses –the combining of two of the globally leading AR platforms and all the data and best-practice that both business have accumulated. Together we have over 100,000 users of either the Blippbuilder or Layar Creator platform spread throughout around 5,000 publishers and brands that use our products. Publishing companies such as Condé Nast, Hearst and Meredith have enjoyed the success of AR campaigns as have major brands such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Procter & Gamble.”

Output Magazine has reported that the takeover of Layar by Blippar is one of the most important acquisitions ever within the augmented reality sector. Would you agree?

“Definitely. Independent research has shown that mobile AR apps are tipped to generate $5.2 billion in revenues by 2017 and that customers are 165% more likely to buy a product that includes an AR marketing component. To be the leading provider of AR solutions at this time provides a wonderful mix of benefits for our clients and the company as a whole.”

So interactive print really offers significant advantages to publishers and advertisers.

“For sure. Our research shows that people viewing interactive print will click on the content 87% of the time. That is a major improvement on engagement over static advertising. Publishers can now measure how their readers interact with the printed version, which is of great value to them.”

That’s great news for publishers and marketers. So when do you think you’ll be moving back to Australia?

“Ha ha. Well I think the Australian market is ready to embrace interactive print so I don’t think it will be long before we have a more permanent presence here.”

We hope so too.

For more information on Blippar and Layar please follow the links to their websites and you can contact Kate on kate.russell@blippar.com