STOCKHOLM, April 21 ― The Swedish music streaming giant seems to be up for testing new avenues these days. After releasing its first accessory, Spotify now seems to be moving towards video games with Flu Game. A promotional tool for British rapper AJ Tracey, but also a way for Spotify to enter a booming market.

Gone are the commercials and TV appearances. To promote AJ Tracey's new album, Flu Game, Spotify has launched a video game about basketball. A nod to the second album of the British rapper, whose title itself refers to a game of the NBA finals in 1997 during which Michael Jordan fell victim to food poisoning. This disturbance did not prevent him from winning the American championship with the Chicago Bulls.

While there's no food poisoning in Spotify's new game, gamers will have to navigate their way around a number of obstacles in the hope of scoring as many baskets as possible. They'll be able to encourage each other in this effort with the various songs from Flu Game, compiled into a single in-game playlist. “[My] album [is] so hot [that] Spotify UK made me my own game,” AJ Tracey said on Twitter, inviting his followers to share their scores in comments.


Attracting gamers' attention

While Flu Game is primarily a promotional tool, it's part of a series of initiatives Spotify has launched in recent years to get closer to the video game industry. And for good reason, a recent study by Twitch and MIDiA Research found that the most passionate gamers are also the most engaged music fans. This is a godsend for music streaming platforms, which are keen to reach out to video game fans. According to the specialized firm Newzoo, they are more numerous than ever and total some 2.7 billion people worldwide.

In 2016, Spotify created a music platform tailored to their needs, where they can discover the original soundtracks of their favorite video games but also playlists designed specifically to be listened to during a game. These little touches have paid off during the pandemic. The Swedish giant noted in April an increase in the number of gamers who use its platform while playing. In addition, they are increasingly interested in specialised music selections such as “Top Gaming Tracks,” “Power Gaming” and “Hip Hop Controller” (+ 41 per cent overall). So gaming is big business on Spotify. ― ETX Studio