This week sees two of the world’s leading streaming audio platforms take over New York City’s subway stations to highlight two very different music-inspired campaigns and experiences.
Spotify has taken over the MTA station at Broadway-Lafayette, located at the corner of Broadway and Houston Street, with a stunning ode to David Bowie, the musical chameleon who had an apartment nearby and loved exploring the neighborhood and walking around the city.
Spotify’s Instagram feed offers a virtual tour, with a mosaic of Bowie as Aladdin Sane telling a different story from the underground exhibition on each image—the one below highlights the significance of a photo of shoes.
The arty installation is promoting David Bowie is, the touring Bowie exhibit that started at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and is at the Brooklyn Museum through July.
In a larger-than-life extension of the exhibition, Spotify is transforming New York City’s Broadway-Lafayette subway station into an underground takeover that pays tribute to the legendary works and sensational life of the musical icon.
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Since it opened on Tuesday, fans and tourists have been flocking to the experience, which turns the subway hub into a living gallery throughout the Broadway-Lafayette station and runs until Sunday, May 13.
Spotify is giving music lovers the opportunity to go on a journey through the immersive David Bowie Subway Takeover, exploring the musician’s influence on music, fashion, culture, and the city that he loved.
Inside the station, visitors will encounter numerous subway-wall-sized images of Bowie-inspired art, from fan-made to pieces currently on display at the museum exhibition.
Each piece of art is paired with something Bowie said that speaks to his affection for the city and its impact on his work, giving further insight into the artist’s mindset and methods.
Each piece will also contain a unique Spotify code that brings fans closer to Bowie music and will accompany the underground experience.
Commuters and subway station visitors will also be able to fly away to their very own “Life On Mars” with “Tickets to Mars;” keepsake MetroCards that may be found available for purchase inside the Broadway-Lafayette station.
These MetroCards, which each display one of five Bowie personas including Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, and Thin White Duke, will be great mementos for those lucky enough to snag them.
Visitors can also create their own Bowie universe by posting photos of the experience with the hashtag #DavidBowieIsHere.
Beyond the physical subway takeover, Spotify’s multimedia format, Spotlight will further extend the everlasting magic of Bowie with the introduction of a new series, David Bowie Stories. This series gives fans an even deeper look into the life of the musical icon with content including anecdotes, tall tales, origin stories, making of’s, mini-essays and more, paired with photos, video, and items from the David Bowie Archive.
SoundCloud Brings #SCFIRST to Union Square
And 14 blocks north, traveling up Broadway to Union Square on 14th Street, is a different kind of music-inspired branded subway station takeover—this one an ode to the up and coming artists who are hoping to be the next Bowie, and uploading their songs to SoundCloud.
SoundCloud—the world’s “largest open audio platform” as it calls itself—is taking over another major New York City subway station to unveil the out-of-home advertising component of its “First on SoundCloud” multi-platform campaign.
As the first-ever out-of-home advertising initiative for SoundCloud, the campaign spotlights 10 inspiring creators who began their creative journeys on the platform, and are representative of its 10 million active monthly users.
Take over 2,100 sq. feet of Union Square, located between 14th and 17th streets one of the busiest subway stations and transit hubs in New York, the activation encompasses more than 10 different ad units, including turnstiles, wall scapes, stairwells, “I” beams and more.
“First On SoundCloud” is the brand’s first-ever creator advertising campaign, spotlighting 10 groundbreaking artists from across SoundCloud’s global community. Spanning hip hop, electronic and pop, these artists represent the more than 10 million creators heard each month on the platform, and the accelerating global shift toward creators building their sound, their audiences, and their careers directly online.
“SoundCloud is the only truly open audio platform, built for creators first,” said SoundCloud CEO Kerry Trainor. “Creators are the center of our ecosystem, and this campaign underscores our commitment to empower them with the best tools, data and resources to share their work, inspire their audiences, and build their careers on SoundCloud first.”
Erika Leone, SoundCloud’s Director of Brand and Integrated Marketing, added: “We’re inspired and humbled to have such an incredible line-up of artists tell their stories of starting on SoundCloud, and to connect them with even more fans through the campaign. These stories represent the millions of creative journeys that begin on SoundCloud first.”
Below, some of the artists featured in the #SCFIRST campaign: