Iconic camera brand Polaroid is getting into the music business, not only launching four bluetooth music players but also an ad-free digital radio station and a dedicated music app.
Far from turning its back on the best instant cameras (opens in new tab) that brought it to the pop culture mainstream (having achieved the cultural milestone of seeing a Polaroid Camera Funko Pop! (opens in new tab) release next month), the company sees this as an extension of its artistic expression.
"Great musicians and photographers capture what we can’t always express with words," said Oskar Smolokowski, Polaroid Chairman.
"They make us feel. We're new in the music world, but we want to bring as much color and emotion to the space as we can. We’re excited about this new chapter while still being as committed as ever to instant photography."
At the heart of the new endeavor is "an experimental music discovery service" called Polaroid Radio. Designed to counteract the encroaching world of algorithmic selection that is eroding the art of careful curation, Polaroid Radio "puts radio back in the hands of real people".
Artists, DJs and audiophiles have designed five "ever-evolving FM-like stations that are human-curated, free, and ad-free. Like five sonic worlds, with no pause, skip, or rewind." These are Itchy Teeth ("Where pop gets weird"), Poly Chrome ("Like a rave in a kaleidoscope"), Iris ("Mist those plants, burn that incense"), Royal Pine ("Uplifting anthems with real roots") and Radio Heatwave ("Eternal sounds of summer").
Combining up-and-coming artists along with old favorites, Polaroid Radio is available across the world via the web at radio.polaroid.com (opens in new tab) or via the dedicated Polaroid Music app initially in the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal and Austria, with launches in further regions coming soon.
Of course, the most colorful way to enjoy the aural experience is via one of the four new Polaroid Players – all of which feature an analog dial for tactile experience when changing radio stations, and a red 'play' button like the iconic red shutter button of Polaroid cameras. They can all be paired with a second Player for stereo playback.
The Polaroid P1 is the smallest (about the size of an old double CD case) and features a carabiner to clip to your belt loops. It doesn't include the app but is IPX5 waterproof, has 10W output and a 10-hour battery life.
The Polaroid P2 (about the size of two bananas) offers a carabiner and wrist strap, 20W of output and 15 hours of battery life. The boombox-like Polaroid P3 is the most iconic-looking, with 35W of power and 15 hours of playback, while the Polaroid P4 delivers 60W of big party sound with an adjustable stand.
All the Players are available now in the US and UK. The Polaroid P1 retails for $59.99 / £49.99 (and comes in 4 colors), the Polaroid P2 runs $129.99 / £119.99 (5 colors), the Polaroid P3 clocks in at $189.99 / £169.99, while the Polaroid P4 will cost you $289.99 / £259.99. For more information, head over to Polaroid Music (opens in new tab).