Spotify launched an interactive Billie Eilish music experience over the weekend. To celebrate the launch of her first studio album When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? Eilish and Spotify designed the 29Rooms-like experience to take fans inside each of her 14 songs through smell, texture, colors, temperature and of course, music.
The Billie Eilish Experience took place in Los Angeles for one weekend only and tickets quickly sold out. The experience was in partnership with Interscope records and supported by a digital campaign and limited edition clothing on the merch “drop” mobile platform NTWRK.
Marketing for music can often feel behind in comparison to other entertainment industries relying on the power of music streaming playlists and digital advertising along with name recognition to drum up sales. Still, seeing a brand new artist on their first album push the status quo with a massive experiential marketing activation is noteworthy.
Eilish’s album was also promoted across digital and social channels with a YouTube front-page takeover, as well as localized display ads on UberEats. Eilish also played the food delivery service’s show at SXSW in mid-March.
Guests to the Billie Eilish Experience were greeted by a giant statue of the artist that was designed by contemporary artist Takashi Murakami. Fan art lined the walls as guests wandered through each song on the musician’s new album. One room even had puppies from the Marley’s Mutts animal rescue that were free to roam and play.
In a post on Spotify’s Newsroom, each song and corresponding room experience is described as such, “‘all the good girls go to hell‘ – Get ready to descend into the underworld. The experience heats up for “all good girls go to hell,” where you’ll find yourself surrounded by LED flames and scorching floors.”
Eilish explained that she wanted listeners to physically feel her music and creative process, from subwoofers in the floor to items they can touch.
“I wanted a project that wasn’t just a bunch of songs put together and [once] you listen to them, it’s over,” Eilish said in a video. “I wanted it to [include] the whole body and energy and every sort of sense. I wanted it to literally be an experience.”
As mentioned, NTWRK partnered with Eilish to sell her merchandise through the mobile app from March 29-April 2. The items, all under $60, include a bathrobe, tee shirt, long-sleeved shirt
Music publishers are finding new ways to let fans interact with releases and artists. Sony launched a music experience at its Sony Square NYC location last year and hosted a pop-up in SoHo that featured private concerts, music customizations
Augmented and virtual reality integrations are also becoming more common, animating album covers or creating 360-degree experiences for fans. Social media companies are investing millions in music licensing with the hope of creating personalized experiences, as well.
“We’re seeing a big new wave of start-ups coming to us wanting to talk about how music, or music video, can be a part of their offerings, apps, social messaging, virtual reality [and] augmented reality products,” Ole Obermann, chief digital officer and EVP of business development for Warner Music said in IFPI’s 2017 state of the industry report.