Which song will save you from Vecna? In partnership with Netflix, Spotify has launched a personalized “Stranger Things” playlist dedicated to Season 4 Volume 2, which premieres this Friday, July 1. The Upside Down playlist, as it’s called, blends music from a listener’s own selection with a handful of “Stranger Things” classics from the newest season.
“Stranger Things” already demonstrated its ability to influence the Spotify charts and now the companies are doubling down on consumer interest in the popular series to drive engagement.
Netflix’s “Stranger Things” ushered in a wave of ’80s nostalgia when the character Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) manages to escape from Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) once her friends play her favorite song, “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush. Following the Season 4 premiere, the song reached No. 1 on iTunes. On May 30, it was streamed on Spotify by over 8,700% globally and 9,900% in the U.S, per the company.
As for the newly released curated playlist, it is a personalized experience for the listener and selects a top song that will be their “savior song” to help them escape from Vecna’s grasp. The collection updates automatically every day and will feature some of the top songs from the “Stranger Things” soundtrack, like “Rock You Like a Hurricane,” “Should I Stay or Should I Go” and “Running Up That Hill “ (of course), while also mixing in the users’ own favorite tunes.
There will also be Easter eggs to enhance the experience further.
For instance, when clicking the “Now Playing” view to go full-screen on Android devices and desktops, fans can watch the progress bar turn into a flashlight that waves over the screen.
Additionally, mobile users who scroll through the playlist enough times will encounter Vecna himself on their screens. After the first three visits, the Vecna Easter egg will appear every eleventh visit to the playlist. Interactive music-oriented experiences such as these help Netflix and its most-watched show stand out from other streaming services.
In addition to the Upside Down playlist, Spotify has its “Stranger Things” official playlist, which has more than 969,000 followers and is the most followed playlist on the Netflix Hub, according to Spotify.
On May 30, streams increased by more than 1,700% globally. Currently, the playlist features “Psycho Killer,” “I Was a Teenage Werewolf” and more. On July 1, Spotify will add all the latest sounds from Season 4, Volume 2, to the “Stranger Things” official playlist.
Also, fans can go to Spotify’s Throwback Thursday playlist, where Caleb McLaughlin, who plays Lucas in the show, will pick some of his favorite ’80s jams.
This year, Netflix has heavily promoted the popular series and hopes that it can save the company from collapsing. Recently, the company has had an array of struggles, including layoffs of over 400 employees and a substantial loss of 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022.
Over the past few months, Netflix has announced an in-person experience in Brooklyn, New York, along with custom Reddit avatars, a Domino’s pizza app, Dorito packaging and more.
The company has also partnered with watch party platform Scener to bring viewers a worldwide watch party event on the night of the premiere. The event kicked off on June 30, at 11:15 p.m. PST or July 1 at 2:15 a.m. EST. There was a Q&A starring actors from the show as well as Netflix Geeked host Terri Schwartz. The second Q&A started at 1:15 a.m. PST or 4:15 a.m. EST.
Cast members that made an appearance include actors Brett Gelman (Murray), David Harbour (Jim Hopper), Jamie Campbell Bower (Henry Creel/Vecna) and Joseph Quinn (Eddie Munson).
Thousands of fans virtually screened the last two episodes of the season, saw real-time reactions from stars and connected with other fans over Scener’s live chat messenger. In total, the final two episodes of “Stranger Things” is four hours long. Scener told TechCrunch that 32,000 people registered for the event.