German Tabloid Bild Offers AR Soccer Videos for Print Newspaper

German newspaper Bild is offering a high-tech augmented reality addition to its low-tech print product. A free app scans Bundesliga soccer photos from the page and then plays video clips on a smartphone.

Bild is the largest circulation daily newspaper in Europe and has indicated that the AR feature will later expand beyond soccer highlights to other topics.

“[Readers] are getting direct, exclusive access to this highly attractive video content by buying the newspaper,” Bild’s editor-in-chief for sports, Matthias Bruegelmann, said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “We’re making the printed newspaper more attractive and are showing the potential of the newspaper of the future.”

The AR video reels are in partnership with streaming service DAZN, which has the broadcast rights to Bundesliga highlights in Germany, and with the league itself.

“This innovation brings together traditional reading habits and digital opportunities,” Bundesliga managing director Christian Seifert said in a statement, according to Google Translate. “The objective of the DFL is always to make the Bundesliga experience as attractive as possible on all media distribution channels. Against this background, Bild is an ideal partner for this forward-looking combination of print and digital.”

SportTechie Takeaway

Plenty of media companies have made a pivot to video, but a print newspaper doing so is certainly novel. Predicting whether this will drive more subscribers or newsstand buyers is tricky, but this AR feature certainly could make the daily tabloid more appealing. The other question is how much the demographic that buys a print newspaper overlaps with the demographic who would take advantage of augmented reality.