Built by Internet Explorer in conjunction with 9elements, the specially created web app, was hosted from the band’s website. The stream was said to encourage the ‘art of digital sharing’, as fans could listen, share and track where the stream was being played and continuing to be shared.
It’s development is said to be inspired by 9elements’ “Live Is Beautiful” project. The live visualization of the picture sharing service img.ly. Each curve starts with a tweet, an email or a Facebook post from the original poster, and ends with the location of a new listener.
One of the really interesting aspects of the site for me was the visual representation of swiping lines which just completely complemented the music that was being streamed, bringing together the notion of music and art as a combined entity. On the right-hand side a slider allowed fans to see when the most streams/ shares took place from its launch. The movement of this dial impacted upon the visuals which are working across the screen, highlighting how much the stream was shared at a particular time during the pre-stream period.
The site was built entirely on HTML5. On their blog Internet Explorer stated that the concept was an ‘opportunity to step back and rethink what’s possible on the web’.
This was obviously a big tech development for an album pre-stream, but I think it just adds to the idea of music being about more than a listening habit. The album here is really represented as a piece of art.
There was also a nice addition when you clicked on the ‘Pre order’ link, that listed independent music stores along with the expected retailers!
Internet Explorer’s blog post: http://windowsteamblog.com/ie/b/ie/archive/2012/09/03/internet-explorer-collaborates-with-musical-artists-the-xx.aspx
On 11/09 Hypebot posted an article about this project: http://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2012/09/the-xx-debuted-coexist-to-one-person-and-watched-it-spread-worldwide.html
I love the idea that The xx were originally a word of mouth band, and this streaming project fits in with the idea of the album organically spreading around the World.
Find out more about 9elements ‘LiveProject’ here: http://nine2011.9elements.com/#!/project/c5