By Crystal Ramos
Spotify is a top-tier streaming platform that has changed the way millions of people listen to music. The platform’s attention to user data has skyrocketed its success.
It is no secret that they use this data for storytelling and creating rich curated experiences for each user. From their hand-picked playlists to their “Discover Weekly” feature to “Spotify Wrapped,” Spotify prides itself in giving data back to users.
Aside from building creative playlists, they have transformed the way we see music as well. When listening to certain tracks on Spotify, you may have noticed various dynamic visual loops. This is called Canvas, a platform that gives artists the ability to upload mixed media, moving 2D and 3D graphics and even video to their tracks.
Canvas creates a world of possibilities and allows for new imagery connections to the artist’s music. Spotify has also worked with artists like Bon Iver and Twenty One Pilots to create alluring digital artistic interactive experiences.
In partnership with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, a website called “ViiSUAliiZER” was created for the “i, i” album. This connected Spotify streaming data to a live moving art display. Each “i” represented a stream and allowed you to “see how the world was listening to the album.”
For Twenty One Pilots’ song “Bandito,” a more interactive website was created that took users into the world of Trench, their fifth studio album. As the song plays in the background, users are taken through different scenes in search of uncovering the meaning of different artistic symbols.
Thanks to Spotify, musical digital experiences have also been made tangible and brought out into the real world. Immersive experiences have been created in collaboration with artists like Ariana Grande, Billie Eilish and Harry Styles. Through these displays, music has touched more than just the auditory senses.
In March 2019, Billie Eilish’s album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? was curated into an entire museum experience. Each room was crafted with Eilish’s thought process of each song. Fans were allowed to quite literally walk through her mind.
A personal favorite immersive experience that took social media by storm was the #JourneyToEroda experience for Harry Styles. An entire location was transformed to reflect the music video for Adore You, which took place on a fictional island named Eroda. Fans were given yellow raincoats and prepared themselves to go to a place where the people were known for having “resting fish face.” Styles showed up and surprised fans with a listening party for his new album, Fine Line.
What Spotify has created in collaboration with these artists allows music lovers to step into the headspace of these creatives. Their innovation has taken fans into journeys with their music. Spotify will continue to shape the way we experience our sounds, aesthetics, images and voices.
Although the pandemic has put a halt to the live music scene and real-life experiences like these, I would love to see more digital experiences. Despite delays or date changes, music is still being released. We need more immersive ways to experience this music more than ever and Spotify has the ability to create them. It would be great to see them participate in innovative music releases or a form of at-home concerts.
Featured screenshot by Crystal Ramos.