Spotify’s Marketing Mastery

After taking the music industry by storm by launching in 2006, Spotify has quickly become the top music streaming service in the world. Kicking off 2020 with an estimated 286 million monthly users they are establishing a business model many in the music industry hope to imitate. Now the million dollar question is how the company gained so much attention and traction in such a short amount of time. Also, how will they continue to compete with competition and stay relevant for years to follow? The answer is their marketing. Today we will look at some of Spotify's marketing techniques over the years and how it has helped them become a global name.

This growth has been generated through strategic marketing campaigns and an advertising structure that benefits not only consumers but also their sponsors. Spotify works hard to keep up with trends in society and personalize its campaigns to find connections with all of its audience. Spotify has learned how to properly adapt in our ever changing society by incorporating trends and events into their campaigns. Unlike other companies who use the same marketing strategy year after year, Spotify looks to the future. Their techniques change from year to year based on popular trends and they are constantly revising their marketing campaigns to play off of what is going on in the world. They then look at the success and feedback on the campaigns over the years and use that to their advantage.

Take their 2016 campaign for example, a year that turned everything on their head when Donald Trump was elected President, the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and so much more happening all while the Summer Olympics in Rio took place. Spotify decided to capitalize on this unexpected year using the slogan “Thanks, 2016. It’s been weird.” This was Spotify’s first data-driven marketing campaign, using these slogans on billboards and ads around the world. They used the phrase to poke fun at what some of their listeners were listening to in that year with the slogan written at the bottom of each billboard. This data driven marketing campaign would prove successful for Spotify as they continued these campaigns in the years following.

In 2017, Spotify kicked off the first Spotify Wrapped feature. This advertising feature was created by user-generated content, the first time Spotify incorporated their audience data into a marketing feature. It was essentially an overview of what users were listening to that year. It displayed a user's preferences, their top artist, how many songs they listened to and how much time they spent using the app. All in a personalized chart made just for them. This campaign connected the app and the user by creating a personalized experience for them. One they can share with their friends and family by comparing all of their data.

Following the success of their data driven campaigns, Spotify continued to change things up by expanding this feature in 2019. They included users preferences for the entire decade. This included who their top artist of the decade was, what albums they listened to the most and what their most streamed songs were. They even utilized social media by giving users the chance to share and post their data on Instagram and Twitter so friends could compare their listening habits. Spotify gamified the listening experience by giving users the opportunity to compare how much more they were listening to music then their friends by tracking how many days, hours and minutes users were on the app. The day this data was released thousands of users shared their charts to either an Instagram story or a Facebook post.

Some may wonder, why is personalized marketing so important? And how does it generate revenue? This type of marketing creates brand loyalty. By sharing their data, users make it known that Spotify is their streaming service of choice. Also, Spotify shows users that they are paying attention to them and their wants by creating a valuable streaming experience. It also shows that the app is always adapting, constantly updating their user interface and features ensuring continued subscriptions as the app continues to peak their interests. The timeliness of the data is also what users enjoy. Giving them this data at the end of the year gives users the chance to reflect on the past year as it pertains to what they were listening to and even provide nostalgia for the year.

For anyone who wants to edit or change their marketing strategy it’s important to ask yourself how can your company create personalized marketing campaigns? How can your business provide something to their consumer that your competitors can’t. Spotify’s marketing campaigns have attracted global attention. They proved that constantly adapting your marketing strategies and keeping up with trends has worked for them by establishing a connection with their users. They also found a way to incorporate data in a way that is fun and that gives audiences the opportunity to engage with one another. Putting a large focus on social media trends gives Spotify's marketing structure the ability to be fluid and gives them the chance to attract new users. Spotify will continue to lean on social trends in the years to follow, now the question is, will other streaming services follow suit?