- Universal Music Group debuted a dual-phone music video for singer Post Malone that's only available on Spotify. The vertical videos for the song "Circles" are divided into two parts that can be watched separately, but are synchronized to show a continual story when viewers place two phones side by side, per an announcement.
- To view the video, users must scan a QR code at a microsite and follow prompts to open Spotify and sync their phone with another user. The dual-screen viewing experience highlights the narrative of the videos, which tell the story of two people who continually break up and get back together.
- Universal and its Republic Records label worked with creative studio Powster on the dual-screen video for Malone, per the announcement.
Post Malone's dual-screen video for "Circles" is notable for being a mobile-first experience that likely will help to market the song and drive viewership on Spotify. The format may not be practical for most mobile marketers, but Malone can take creative license as an artist and entertainer (and brand ambassador) who wants to connect with fans on streaming media platforms like Spotify. The videos are another sign of how technical innovation continues to transform the music and entertainment industries.
Music publishing giants like Universal Music have the marketing budgets to stand out on platforms like Spotify, which also provides software tools for independent record labels to distribute their work and to sell merchandise. Spotify this year teamed with Sony Music Entertainment musical group Bring Me the Horizon to offer T-shirts personalized based on fans' favorite songs from the U.K. rock band's sixth studio album.
The exclusive Post Malone videos also show how Spotify is seeking to cultivate content that differentiates its platform from rivals like Apple Music. Apple Music reportedly overtook Spotify in U.S. paid subscribers last year, although Spotify has a bigger worldwide audience because it also has a free, ad-supported tier that reaches people who don't want to pay monthly fees for ad-free service.
Spotify and other streaming platforms have helped to revive music sales after 20 years of declines, helping independent labels to expand their reach globally. The platform recently made its annual Wrapped feature a central part of a global multichannel campaign through the end of the year, and opened the experience to its mobile app for the first time.