Innovation 50: How Spotify has carved a distinctive place in our lives

Innovation 50: How Spotify has carved a distinctive place in our lives

Spotify has truly mastered marketing. From revealing its most popular artists, songs and albums of the year to its invention of AI that lets songwriters know if their new chord progression plagiarises others’ work, Spotify has become a major force in the music industry since it was launched in 2008.

A key to its success has been its smart approach to marketing. Through a clear understanding of how users of the streaming service actually use it, Spotify has carved a distinctive place in many people’s lives, says Will Holloway, Creative Director, Fever PR.

“Spotify’s marketing shows a real understanding of how customers use its service. It consistently holds a mirror up to the many weird and wonderful ways in which they consume and listen to music, podcasts and more,” he says.

“There’s no better example of this than the playful and creative ways it incorporates audience data into its billboard campaigns.”

Listening Together

In May last year, for example, an in-house data-driven campaign (‘Listening Together’) focused on the power of music to bring people together during lockdown isolation. Its annual ‘Wrapped’ campaign celebrated resilience and showed gratitude to people such as artists, podcast producers, listeners and frontline workers.

The previous December, in pre-covid times, its ‘Wrapped’ campaign was more traditional, celebrating the cultural moments, memes and listening trends of the past year.

Will says, “A particular favourite was its 2017 campaign that celebrated some of the weirder playlist titles and selections its users had uploaded; ‘Be as loving as the person who put 48 Ed Sheeran songs on their ‘I Love Gingers’ playlist.”

Spotify used rich data to tell the stories of its users.

That particular campaign was its biggest of the year and ended it with some humorous New Year’s resolutions with a ‘2018 Goals’ theme in 18 markets. It featured over 70 artists, from Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith to Cardi B and Bruno Mars, using OOH marketing and digital. It followed on from the successful ‘Thanks, 2016…It’s Been Weird’ campaign.

Buy-in from other brands

Other brands have even cashed-in, such as when KFC created its own ‘Bucket Bangers’ campaign in France featuring playlist of 46 hip hop tracks that referenced KFC in the song, in collaboration with Spotify.

Yet more brands have used the platform in their content strategies. Fashion brands H&M, Pull & Bear and Prada, for example, have created playlists that reflect the ambience the brand would like to exude.

Freelance Creative Copywriter Daniel Nixon also nominated Spotify.

Daniel says, With a crafted tone of voice, and campaigns that always seem to be deployed at just the right time, Spotify manages to highlight its offering without distancing the customer.”

So for these and many other reasons, Spotify is a Just.Marketing Innovation 50 company.