There’s plenty of competition in the crowded marketplace of online music streaming services--and, ultimately, it’s the music they have to offer, rather than the platform itself, that users are there to experience. So how do you make your music streaming service stand out? Music subscription service Rdio has an innovative idea: make new music easier than ever to discover by spotlighting new, unreleased music and combining it with an animated "motion art" video once a week for the next year.
The videos are each a quick 15 seconds long--just enough to capture the song’s hook--and come up with some frankly pretty mind-bending visuals, which are curated by the indie production house Blacklist. The first one in the series is "Lost Innocent World" by Gypsy-punks Gogol Bordello, which features visuals by Blacklist’s Holbrooks. It’s a memorable bit of surrealism that features a mouth turning into fish, which further evolves from a bird to, eventually, the Rdio logo. The second in the series features art from Tendril, which he syncs up to the beat from a new track by former Spearhead frontman Michael Franti. Other executions include Bernstein & Andriulli artists Ilovedust animating "Human Nature" by Gauntlet Hair.
Attention spans are short, and that’s especially true when every new song is competing with almost literally every song ever recorded for a listener’s attention at all times--so a 15-second snippet of the song with a visual hook that might lead a person to want to check out the whole thing on Rdio is a pretty good idea. At the very least, it’s a creative partnership between musicians and visual artists in ways that we don’t see as much as we used to--and everybody knows that the most memorable music videos were animated, too.