The Weeknd Experience, An Innovative TikTok LIVE Stream, Draws Over 2 Million Unique Viewers
Presented by TikTok, XO/Republic, and Wave, the XR Music Experience Brought Unforgettable Visuals, Welcomed a Special Guest, and Raised Funds for The Equal Justice Initiative
The Weeknd Experience presents viewers with a fateful choice: to lick the frog, or not?
TikTok and The Weeknd delivered an unforgettable experience for fans with The Weeknd Experience, an interactive XR broadcast. Airing on TikTok LIVE on August 7th, with rebroadcasts on various TikTok channels for international audiences through August 10th, The Weeknd raised the bar for TikTok livestreams, racking up more than 2 million total views of the Experience and smashing the TikTok record with 275,000 concurrent viewers at its peak. Creations with #TheWeekndEXP hashtag earned more than 1.3 billion video views.
“We’re always trying to find new ways for fans to experience their favorite songs through TikTok,” says Isabel Quinteros, TikTok Senior Manager Music Partnerships & Artist Relations. “The Weeknd Experience transformed Abel’s music into an immersive and interactive world. It’s so important to keep fans engaged and entertained with innovative music events during the pandemic, and I think the Experience did that while also serving as a ‘thank you’ from The Weeknd to the TikTok community for their support of his music.”
Created with Wave, the market leader in interactive virtual entertainment experiences, and presented by XO/Republic Records, The Weeknd Experience thrilled fans with state-of-the-art visuals and immersive presentation of The Weeknd’s music, including highlights from After Hours, the most-streamed R&B album in history.
“The Weeknd is one of the world’s most forward-thinking artists, so this partnership allowed for limitless, virtual opportunities for him and his fans. By combining our technology with his team’s creativity, we’ve created a truly unique, interactive experience that demonstrates the huge potential of this new medium,” said Adam Arrigo, CEO of Wave. “TikTok served as the perfect platform to host this virtual event, as it is home for the next generation of concert-goers – young passionate music lovers.”
Appearing in digital avatar form, The Weeknd played hits like the TikTok-trending “Blinding Lights,” welcomed special guest Doja Cat for “In Your Eyes” (Remix), and interacted with comments from fans viewing at home. The experience followed a loose narrative, as The Weeknd led fans through a hallucinatory XR dream world. During pivotal moments of the broadcast, fans voted in the comments to guide the visual theme of the experience.
Topping the Billboard 200 for four consecutive weeks, After Hours has earned enormous success, with Rolling Stone declaring it as the biggest album of the first half of 2020. “Blinding Lights,” the second single from After Hours, inspired over 1.5 million video creations on TikTok, racking up tens of millions of views and birthing the “#BlindingLightsChallenge.” The song’s success on TikTok helped propel it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The Weeknd Experience raised $350,000 for the Equal Justice Initiative through sales of a new Weeknd x TikTok capsule collection of merchandise, which was available for a limited time. The Equal Justice Initiative is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society.
Check out the recap at TikTok’s Newsroom: https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/the-weeknd-experience-an-innovative-tiktok-live-stream-draws-over-2-million-unique-viewers
Check out TikTok’s announcement blog post: https://newsroom.tiktok.com/en-us/the-weeknd-experience-on-tiktok-live
Check out media (B-roll, stills, and animated gifs) from The Weeknd Experience, provided courtesy of Wave: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1nkOvRiqzdZ787v6n4P_wu2HXJrFrCjgu?usp=sharing
At the end of the Experience, The Weeknd dissolves into the digital ether
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The Weeknd: TikTok