SPOTIFY X WLLX

SPOTIFY X WLLX

SOMETHING’S GONNA POP!

Spotify’s People Experience (PX) team appointed WLLX as their global creative and execution lead agency to deliver their 2020 end-of-year company celebration events for 6,000 employees around the world.

What was originally envisioned as POP, a series of 42 in-person parties across Spotify’s country office locations, became POP Stream, an ambitious and memorable COVID-secure virtual experience.
HIGHLIGHTS
  • 6,000 participants across 42 locations in multiple time zones
  • 8 rooms streamed through a 3D virtual venue, plus 6 live studio streams
  • 17 emerging artists and 2 DJs performed Headline performance by Zara Larsson, with 2.5 billion streams on Spotify
  • Average of 15 colleague interactions per participant
  • Average engaged session length of 130 minutes
WE WANT TO BE INNOVATIVE AND PLAYFUL AT THE SAME TIME. WLLX REALLY GRASPED THAT, UNDERSTOOD OUR VALUES AND CULTURE AND GOT ON BOARD WITH HOW WE PUT THAT FORWARD TO OUR SPOTIFY WORLD, WITH THIS END OF YEAR PARTY.
SENIOR PX SPECIALIST, UK
SPOTIFY, 2020
THE CHALLENGE
How does the world’s leading music streaming service connect, inspire and engage its 6,000-strong workforce from their homes at the end of a memorably challenging year?
THE BIG IDEA

WLLX took the IRL concept online and created POP Stream, a fun and vibrant theme encompassing headline talent, emerging artists, live photo opportunities, live MCs, DJs, games and the chance for colleagues to interact online in new yet intuitive ways.

To enable Spotify’s employees to reconnect in a social setting from the comfort and safety of their homes, we created a virtual POP party venue—a 3D immersive environment where Spotifiers could explore, mingle and socialise, just like at a regular party!

  • Global stream for up to 6,000 Spotifiers from 42 offices
  • 8 rooms streamed through a 3D virtual venue with moving video and audio audience feeds
  • Live 3 shows, repeated three times in one day across 3 regions (JAPAC, EMEA, Americas)
  • 17 emerging talent artists and podcasters performed
  • Interactive audience elements with shows built around live call and response
  • 2 interactive DJs
  • Zara Larsson headline performance
  • Broadcasting from 5 live studios in 3 locations (Stockholm, London, New York) with London master control gallery driven by WLLX
  • International locations streaming directly into the platform
  • COVID-19 secure protocols and production practices

The technically complex concept demanded significant prior research and technical development, along with dozens of test events to ensure feasibility and a POP-perfect delivery on the day.

THE NUTS AND BOLTS

An immersive virtual environment

Spotify employees accessed and navigated the bespoke virtual two-storey venue, where they could sit at a table or join a meeting point to enjoy video and chat conversations with their workmates. On-screen navigation allowed users to search for, message, teleport to or invite others to teleport to them, and emit emojis.

In addition to the main stage room and mezzanine space were eight rooms, each containing a different activity. Six featured interactive game shows or participatory content experiences. Throughout the virtual venue, Spotifiers found QR codes linked to the event’s interactive app, creating ‘surprise and delight’ moments and inviting feedback about the experience.

Live interaction and highlights

WLLX is especially proud of its groundbreaking technical production work with live two-way audio and video technology for POP Stream.

The main stage and six rooms featuring interactive game shows or content brought presenters in Stockholm, London and New York into the homes of Spotifiers all over the world, in seamless broadcasts. Our ‘Sing the famous lyrics’, musical bingo and pop culture trivia game shows posed not only the greatest challenge – latency free participation – but also the greatest reward, as employees became the stars of every game at their party, singing, dancing and laughing their way into the broadcast.

To enhance a sense of community, our main stage show featured highlights packages, just like you’d find in a professional sports broadcast. This meant that employees who missed one activity in favour of another could see a recap of what they’d missed and witness the joy that their colleagues had experienced. This helped perpetuate the party energy and keep FOMO at bay.

Adding IRL aspects to the virtual experience with at-home party packs

WLLX brought the POP party home with a carefully-curated bespoke ‘POP Pack’, containing decorations, props, POP-themed food (popcorn, anyone?) and even a ‘POPtail’ making kit for the party’s global ‘cheers’ moment. Employees received their party packs, which also contained unique playing cards to enable participation in the various interactive game shows, at home in advance of the event.

Keep it real

WLLX was also asked by Spotify to create a short opener video that acknowledged the challenges of the year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic while also sharing a message of hope and optimism that built in feel-good energy to eventually launch the party. Featuring dancing employees, special effects and music, the video got the party poppin’ from the get-go.

THE UPSHOT

The event brought thousands of Spotifiers together virtually in a year where physical meet-ups were impossible. Employees all over the world loved the event, with the ground-breaking interactive elements allowing for a sense of community that many had been sorely missing.

  • 7 out of 10 people engaged in conversations at meeting points
  • Individuals reconnected with an average of 15 other people
  • Average sessions length of 130 minutes for engaged participants
The biggest takeaway for me has just been how many connections have been made with people across the business… people from all across the world got value from the party and we were able to make sure they left with that sense of being a Spotifier and what it is to be a Spotifier. I think the POP party has done that this year
Senior PX Specialist, UK
Spotify, 2020