As part of a 4-film collaboration with Disney and Spotify, we built a movie promotion site intended to increase awareness for soundtrack artists and sell movie tickets. Our product matches users with movie characters based on similar musical tastes. This platform was built to be skinnable for new films as they’re released.
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Disney wanted a way to quickly and affordably launch promotional utility sites to compliment a film’s official site without a custom build each time. Specifically, they were interested in creating a way for users to have their Spotify history analyzed and then be matched with similar playlists they create. This type of movie promotion can be expensive and time-consuming–two characteristics movie studios don’t tend to have a lot of tolerance for when releasing new films.
We opted to build a custom universal/isomorphic React app that would let users easily authenticate with their Spotify account, see imagery from the film, find their match, and listen to music from the film. We built this with a particular focus on social acquisition and ensured the entire experience was full responsive.
The matching portion proved more difficult than anticipated because the Spotify API data wasn’t as complete as we hoped. Many of the endpoints (like genre) were returning blank responses. Still others returned very specific genres like “Power pop”. We needed to build a custom way to roll-up very specific genres into more general genre classifications. Once that was done, we could more consistently analyze and score artist playlists (and user listening history).
Our end product is a reusable platform that we can reskin for new films without additional back-end development. We’ve created two instances so far of our product for the Disney Pixar’s Finding Dory and Disney’s Alice Through the Looking Glass and have two more film sites slated for release during holiday 2016.