Cannes Lions

Listening Together

SPOTIFY IN-HOUSE, New York / SPOTIFY / 2021

Presentation Image
Presentation Image

Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

We found a way to visualize the accidental connection that takes place thousands of times every second - when two perfect strangers hit play on the same song, at the exact same time. From South Africa to Australia, Mexico to Singapore, this is “Listening Together.”

Idea

As the pandemic and lockdown made people around the world feel more isolated and anxious, Spotify wanted to use real-time data to engender a sense of connection. So we found a way to visualize the accidental connection that takes place thousands of times every second - when two perfect strangers hit play on the same song, at the exact same time.

Strategy

Drawing data from a real-time API, we tried to make the experience visually captivating and interactive, encouraging users to engage with the data and explore the world. real-time data about songs being played at the same time. While there’s about 30,000 songs a second to choose from, we wanted to highlight data points that would tell a visual story (as selecting two points from the same city wouldn’t look very compelling).

Given the API gave latitude and longitude data, we were able to avoid visual overlap and make camera adjustments as the data story plays out. For instance, the lower the latitude, the steeper the camera angle.

We also preferenced songs that trended highly in terms of recent popularity and inclusion in classic and emotional playlists.

Execution

Methods and process, Timeline

The data experiment took the form of a microsite experience, with a stylized world globe at its center. Every few seconds, two new pins fall on two different locations on the globe, identifying two users that have just synchronistically started playing the song at the exact same time.

The cover art of the song appears, and a preview of the song plays, so that you can listen along with these two complete strangers.

You are invited to interact and spin the globe, visiting different parts of the world to discover new connections.

There are over 30,000 of these accidental connections every second on Spotify, so a random assortment are constantly pulled - favoring more popular and iconic tracks - making it a real-time experience for every visitor.

The site and the data pipeline were developed in only four weeks, and the process began immediately after the Covid lockdown began in the US.

Early design experimentations began with 3D renders in Cinema4D. This allowed us to find a compelling creative direction that could be recreated in WebGL for the actual experience. Given our intention was to create a dynamic and realistic-feeling world, we created the globe with a ‘day and night’ feel that loosely maps to the timezone that the user is viewing the experience from.

Outcome

The site received global PR coverage from outlets ranging from Fast Company to Billboard. Over a million people visited the site in the first 24 hours, hopefully making them feel more connected.

Similar Campaigns

12 items

Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Spotify Wrapped For Advertisers

HUGE, New york

Spotify Wrapped For Advertisers

2021, SPOTIFY

(opens in a new tab)