Brand's Guide to Spotify Marketing Strategy

Written by Oguz Ozdil

How Can You Use Spotify in Marketing Activities?


The journey of music from record players to our pockets is fascinating. Let's think about music lovers of the past who would go to local record stores and carefully choose the album they would listen to for countless hours. 

Imagine telling these people that there is a huge library where they can access all the music records in the world, that they can listen to all the records whenever they want for a certain monthly fee. Imagine telling them that they can even do it for free if they are ready for the advertisements that will pop out of their record players. They would probably think it’s impossible. 

But in today's world, these possibilities have become our standard. Now listening to music from physical sources appeals only to those who are fond of nostalgia. And for a music lover, the thought of living without modern music platforms is a nightmare. 

In this article, we will talk about Spotify, the music platform with more than 400 million monthly active users, and the potential of Spotify in marketing campaigns.


Spotify and the Evolution of Digital Streaming Services


The digitalization of music started with the introduction of the internet into our daily lives. Piracy in music is not a recent problem. However, with the emergence of platforms such as Napster that allow the whole world to share files online with each other, it has become unstoppable. 

Spotify was born from the idea of ​​transforming the digital reach of music in a way that artists can monetize. Of course, Spotify has faced many difficulties from the day its seeds were planted to its glorious position today.

Despite all the problems they had with record companies, artists and governments, they managed to create the music listening experience of today and the future. The huge impact of the model they created has led even big actors like Apple to create similar platforms.


What Makes Spotify Different?



The competition between subscription-based audio streaming platforms is different from other subscription-based platforms, such as movies and TV show streaming services. 

The reason for this difference is that series or movies can be produced specifically for the platform and the competition arises from the quality of these products. However, since all platforms have the same musical content, it's almost impossible for music streaming services to compete over the content.

Spotify offers its users alternative content creation opportunities, such as podcasts and audiobooks, where they can create their own stories. However, what makes Spotify’s marketing strategy unique is focusing on the entire music listening experience, not the content itself

During its growth, Spotify acquired many companies aiming to strengthen the music experience through artificial intelligence and used their products to add value to the platform. In this way, Spotify recognizes the music taste of its users in a short time. 

Each week, it creates a playlist of new songs that users may like and offers accurate song suggestions that can be added to existing playlists. It can even adapt to the mood and movement speed of the user and can segment all the data it collects according to demographics.

They have also found a way to use the user data they obtained in a creative way. Spotify offers users personal listening statistics at the end of each year in a story format called Spotify Wrapped. And in the days that follow, it's pretty hard to see posts on social media other than those Spotify Wrapped recaps. The success of Spotify Wrapped can be considered one of the near-perfect modern examples of word-of-mouth marketing.


Spotify and Digital Marketing


Although Spotify is not considered a social media channel, it appeals to more than 400 million users. Of course, the ability to reach such a large target audience makes it an important gem for digital marketing. Spotify is offering paid advertising through its advertising platform. However, Spotify’s different content creating and storytelling options also pave the way for alternative creative advertising possibilities.


Audio, Video, and Podcast Ads 


Spotify's advertising platform has 3 basic advertising opportunities. These ads are served to users who have not purchased a subscription. Considering that free listeners make up the majority of the user base, and 61% of these users say that digital audio ads help them discover new brands, the value of these ads increases significantly.

  • The first advertising opportunity is audio ads. This type of advertisement is placed between two songs. Users pay full attention to these ads, as they are placed in the small slot where the user focuses on the next song. 
  • Some brands use this type of advertising creatively. When IKEA designed low-noise ads for use in baby lullaby playlists, the ads received a 164% increase in click rate compared to a standard Spotify ad.
  • The second advertising opportunity is video ads. These ads only appear when users are actively browsing menus or playlists. It provides the advertiser with not only audio but also visual visibility.
  • The last type of ad is podcast ads. Podcasts have gained tremendous popularity lately. But that's not the only factor that makes podcast ads attractive. 


source: campaigns of the world


Podcasters are turning into influencers for most Spotify listeners. The majority of listeners tend to trust what they listen to in podcasts. Of course, advertising through a person they trust has a significant impact on the audience. For this reason, the importance of podcast ads is increasing simultaneously with the popularity of podcasts.


Branded Playlists


Playlists are one of the most customizable areas of Spotify. For this reason, users create their playlists or discover new playlists as a form of socialisation. Companies that make creative playlists a part of their marketing strategies can increase their brand awareness and customer acquisition.

Some companies create playlists of songs that can be listened to during activities that match their brands. While a brand that sells sports products prepares playlists for songs to listen to while exercising, a brand that sells bathroom products prepares playlists that include songs to listen or sing to in the shower.

Some companies go beyond this level of creativity. Barilla has prepared customized playlists specific to their types of pasta. The total duration of the songs in these playlists is equal to the cooking time of the pasta. By using these playlists, users make sure of the cooking time of their pasta and listen to pleasant songs while waiting.

When used with other marketing channels, branded playlists can become an important part of a solid digital marketing strategy.


Why Should You Watch Out for Spotify?


Spotify continued to grow without profit for many years. Despite this, it continued to receive support from investors. Spotify's game-changing identity and growing user base make investing in its potential worthwhile. 

It has managed to become an actor taking an active role in digital marketing today, and it is likely to become one of the leading actors in the future. For this reason, it is always important to follow the moves of Spotify while setting up long-term marketing plans.

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