For 2010 Mercury Prize Winner’s The xx, there has been a lot of anticipation for their new sophomore album, “Coexist”, which was officially released the week of September 10. Hype alone does not get you very far in the music world these days, so in order to promote the album, the band took a different approach than many of its contemporaries. They created, as Bryan Lufkin (http://www.fastcocreate.com/1681548/visualizing-virality-the-xxs-new-album-premieres-through-a-single-fan) so deftly put, a modern-day chain letter the week prior to the release. The album was initially shared with one fan, who began the chain, and reached astronomic proportions, the speed and breadth of which you’ll see below. What is the return on investment? “Coexist” is number #1 on the UK album charts, ahead of both legend Bob Dylan and The Script (whose previous two albums both reached #1 on the UK charts). They also look set to make a top 5 debut in the US, up from the peak of #92 for their first album. A slightly different tactical decision, guided by technology, can make all the difference between a good release and a great release.

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