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.

Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.

Here's our head-to-head comparison of Pandora and Spotify

Which music streaming platform is best for you? We pit Spotify versus Pandora, two mighty streaming services with on-demand music and massive catalogs, comparing every facet of the two services to help you decide which is best.

Tune in to the best internet radio stations for your listening pleasure

Even in the streaming era, radio stations get some of the best exclusives and curate some of the finest handpicked playlists around. Here are the best internet radio stations, for your listening pleasure.
Home Theater

Step aside set-top boxes, the best streaming sticks are tiny and just as powerful

Which streaming stick reigns supreme? We pit the Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra against the Roku Premiere, Roku Streaming Stick+, and the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K to help you decide which one will be the best fit in your living room.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

From Paul McCartney to Mariah Carey, this is the best holiday music

Whether you're a fan of classic jazz standards or modern R&B masterpieces, there's something for everyone on our playlist of the best holiday music. Pour some eggnog and curl up by the fire, this one is sure to get you in the holiday…

From Jay Rock to Saba, these are the 50 best albums of 2018

We've spent the year listening to new albums, digging deep, and culling our master list into 50 favorites. From blockbuster releases to hidden gems, these are the best albums of 2018.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.

Apple Music may sign up more exclusive artists with purchase of Platoon

Apple purchased London-based Platoon, which is a startup that helps independent musicians get discovered by major labels. The acquisition may help Apple Music sign up more exclusive artists.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ becomes the most-streamed 20th-century song

Queen's iconic Bohemian Rhapsody has become the most-streamed 20th-century song. Knocking Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit off the top spot, the British band's 1975 classic has now been streamed 1.6 billion times globally.

Jam out in style with the 25 best playlists on Spotify

Music is the world's most potent drug, and the best playlists on Spotify will make you catch feelings. We've scoured the service for its top collections, and brought them together in one place -- for you.

Spotify is the best streaming service, but its competitors aren’t far behind

It can be hard to decide which music streaming service is for you, so we've picked out the individual strengths of the most popular services, aiming to make your decision a little easier.
Home Theater

Radiohead, The Cure, and more to join Rock Hall of Fame. Listen to their hits

Radiohead, The Cure, Janet Jackson, Stevie Nicks, and more have been selected to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Here are our favorite songs from the four artists' hit-filled careers.