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The xx collaboration with Microsoft visualizes music spreading virally

the xx coexist microsoft

The XX’s highly anticipated sophomore album, “Coexist” has finally launched in stores nation-wide, and the band, in conjunction with Microsoft, got creative leading up to the album’s debut. The Microsoft team developed a visual representation of how The Coexist Website is going viral throughout the world.

Microsoft was able to exercise its HTML5 capabilities while showcasing just why a feature like this is best suited for an Internet Explorer 10 browser. The desktop app is plug-in free – you don’t have to worry about flash crashing midway – and is the only place you can find a stream of the complete album from beginning end before Coexist hits the shelves.

White threads (or “curves” as Microsoft refers to them) set against a black background and a silhouette of a global map illustrate how fans are sharing the site with friends through the in-app sharing feature. “With The xx, it was about blending music, art, and technology – creating beauty in simplicity,” Steve Lake, Microsoft’s marketing manager, wrote on Microsoft’s blog.

What’s intriguing about the way the app became viral however was that the site began with one person, and as you can see from the app itself, the white curves have carpeted the United States and Europe. “Each curve begins with a Tweet, e-mail, or Facebook post or e-mail and ends with the location of a new listener,” the site states.

When we first noticed this yesterday, much of the sharing was concentrated in the United States, and after returning to the app today, we’ve noticed how in just over two days the stream has been shared heavily throughout Europe. You can also scroll through the sharing history beginning from September 3, when the site began with its first listener.

The Coexist website is one example of artists that are turning to technology (granted that they have the resources) to develop intriguing new strategies to market their album in an industry saturated with musicians who can simply take to YouTube and become a viral hit in an instant. This app in particular was a success as it showed up on the front page of Reddit.

Do you have plans on purchasing The xx’s latest album now that you’ve listened to the tracks in the app? Let us know in the comments below.

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