With over 217 million monthly active users, Spotify is one of the top 10 most used platforms across the globe. While it hasn’t typically been referred to as a social media platform in the past, Spotify has paved its own way to the social media sector. While it currently holds 36% of the global streaming market, it’s social features have opened this particular platform up to more than just playlists and song streaming. Their newfound social listening features are just one show of this, allowing friends on the platform to DJ together, but with friend activity tracking, artist profiles to follow, their Concerts feature and more, this is hardly the first social feature the platform has introduced.
With users listening to an average of over 25 hours of music every month, this platform is one that businesses can’t ignore. Our social media team have dug a little deeper into the platform, and just why it could be the next big social media platform for businesses.
Table of Contents
01. Branded Playlists
Spotify is made for music and your potential audience are going to be there to listen. With a third of the listening time spent on user-generated playlists, brands and businesses have the opportunity and potential to capture and engage users in a whole new way. Branded playlists of songs relating to your businesses message or representing your service or products can be a great way to not only capture attention but to build alignment between the music and your brand.
Fashion retailer H&M, for example, have a playlist on Spotify dedicated to the music that is played in their stores. Shoppers can head to the playlist to find that one song they found catchy, or those who have listened to the playlist first will get a bit of familiarity when heading in-store to shop.
Disney’s Pixar has taken a slightly different approach to using Spotify, taking to the platform to completely transform their sense of community and increase consumer engagement beyond the big screen. On their account, you can access playlists inspired by a number of their most popular characters including Mike Wazowski and Sulley from Monsters Inc., Nemo, Destiny, Hank, Marlin and Dory from Finding Dory and Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust from Inside Out. There are also playlists inspired by Cars, Monster’s University and the short movie, LAVA.
Businesses that can form playlists relevant to their brand or products have the opportunity to increase engagement, encourage communication and capture retention just as much as any other social media platform. Whether you’re offering travel services and put together inspired playlists for different holiday types or locations, or your business offers gym equipment and you put together ‘pumped up’ playlists to motivate users while they’re working out, the possibilities are endless.
02. Sponsoring Playlists
In addition to creating a playlist, brands also have the opportunity to sponsor Spotify-created playlists for a bit of extra visibility on the platform. Some of it’s most popular playlists, including the likes of ‘Morning Commute’ and ‘Teen Party’, are available to be sponsored, so you can find the playlist that matches with your brand’s message and identity best.
Spotify also opened up the opportunity for brands to sponsor their ‘Discover Weekly’ playlist, as well as other entire-week playlists and have their image, audio and video-based ads appear during ad breaks in the music. Discover Weekly is one of the most popular playlists on all of Spotify due to its personalised nature, giving users an AI-formed playlist of the music they are most likely to enjoy, which will put your brand in front of users who are more likely to be paying attention.
03. ‘Spotify For Brands’
Spotify For Brands is Spotify’s dedicated platform and subdomain for business advertising. It works in a similar way to most ads platforms, with a dedicated Spotify Ad Studio, different ad experiences to choose from, audience insights and measurement products to determine how well your ads are performing once they’re out there. The features work as follows:
Spotify’s advertising capabilities cover three different formats – Audio, Video and Display. Allowing for all three enables brands to capture audiences regardless of whether they’re listening on the go, scrolling through the app on mobile or browsing on desktop.
Their Audio Everywhere package allows users to create audio-based advertisements that will reach the target audience at any time of the day regardless of whether they’re on their mobile, desktop, driving or walking. The package allows for advertisements on mobile, tablet, desktop, web, PlayStation, Chromecast and relevant connected TVs.
Their Sponsored Session package is a video package that allows users 30 minutes of ad-free listening after watching a longer advertisement from brands. This is only available on mobile or tablet devices and will appear at the start or during a listening session on the app. This ad format also allows for a clickable display unit, that businesses can link back to their URL or relevant pages.
Video Takeover Everywhere is a service available on mobile or desktop, which features a rich, immersive canvas advertisement that spans across a lot of the app. Generally, the video views are some of the highest across most benchmarks and with a ‘clickable companion display unit’, businesses can once again make the most of an extra link and increased traffic to their website.
The Display ad options span across Overlay, Homepage Takeover and Leaderboard options. The Display ads are your typical image ads – Each one will span either across the desktop screen, or the mobile app and will only close after 30 seconds, when the user clicks away or on the X or swipes the ad away (mobile only). Display ads on mobile benefit from 13 different CTA buttons including ‘More Info’, ‘Get Info’, ‘Visit Site’, ‘Buy Tickets’, ‘Share’ and more.
The Homepage Takeover is only available on desktop but spans as a banner across the homepage of the Spotify app or website. It displays for 24 hours, is clickable and can support rich media too, so brands can create interactive elements. Leaderboard display units are similar, in that they are a wide banner but this time, appear at the bottom of the app or display, above the play bar. It will be the only add displayed for 30 seconds, is clickable, but will only appear when the app is the top tab or app on your screen.
With 129 million free Spotify users, that’s a lot of people that your ads could reach when designed and circulated efficiently. What we have to remember, however, is that Spotify is a primarily audio-based experience, and while visual ads will be seen, you could have more of an impact with an audible alternative. That’s where the Ad Studio comes in.
Spotify boasts that their ads studio is a simple process, and it is. Creating audio-based ads for your business is simple and they’ll do most of the work for you. You put together the script for the advert, submit it to Spotify, and they record the voiceovers, music and produce the ad for you. From here, you can go on to pick your audience and customise your campaign as you need.
They provide guidelines for the initial script, including advice on understanding your audience, how to be clear and memorable and advice for those that choose to produce and upload their own ad. In terms of distribution, you can target your ad according to age, gender, recent activity, location, device and their music or podcast tastes, before setting a budget and the dates you want your campaign to run between.
Spotify claim that creating an ad takes less than 10 minutes, including the creation of the ad itself. They also offer forecast impression estimates according to the targeting you’ve set, and allow for full tracking and management after the ad goes live.
Spotify’s Streaming Intelligence collects data that reflects just how people are behaving and what they want from their service. Spotify claims that “this new research is starting to reveal the streaming generation’s offline behaviours through their streaming habits”, through the collection of information about the music they’re discovering, how diverse their music taste appears to be, how much they listen to songs typical of their generation, how many times they repeat a song and even how actively, or not, that people curate their experiences.
All of this information comes together to help Spotify determine the moods, tastes, behaviours and mindsets of their users, and they’re offering this intelligence to brands in order to better target their advertising efforts. Currently, they have information displayed about Millennials, Tech Early Adopters and Mums, but encourage brands to get in touch to find out more about the demographic their business is aimed for. These insights can provide more targeted and beneficial ad production and targeting, down to the playlists to sponsor or create, and the best targeting options for display, video or audio ads.
04. Spotify Codes
Spotify’s code system works in a similar way to your typical QR code. Users can generate their own codes for certain playlists or related URLs using the SpotifyCodes.com website, which provides a unique image for that URL that you can go on to use to share playlists, profiles, band profiles, albums, songs and more. For businesses, this is a great way to share your Spotify content over other social media channels, or even within email marketing as a way to encourage engagement with your playlist.
Alternatively, music-based businesses and bands and artists have been known to use these codes on their business cards, posters, leaflets and other physical advertising products in order to integrate digital marketing with standard traditional advertising methods.
If you choose to use these codes, however, there are a few guidelines available to ensure brand consistency for Spotify, including sizing, colour schemes and more. You’ll need to email [email protected] for further approval if you’re using the code on any physical products too, to ensure that its use adheres to guidelines.
05. Social Integration
Instagram stories have become a standard part of social media use for businesses, offering followers an engaging insight into how the business works. While there’s a lot to consider when using Instagram for business, the Spotify integration is a great way to utilise both platforms to enhance one another.
Instagram’s Spotify integration allows for the incorporation of music into the stories, so users can share albums, tracks, playlists and even individual artists through their Instagram Stories, with clicks enabled to bring the user to Spotify too. It can also be a simple way to help build a sense of brand identity for your business.
If your business is creating podcasts, this can also be a great way to share your content directly to your story, encouraging users to listen to the full thing with a simple click or swipe.
Spotify For Podcasters is another of the platform’s features, that allows all users to create their very own podcasts and distribute them on Spotify, though they’ll need to be hosted on an external platform. As the second most popular place to find and listen to podcasts, Spotify’s podcast features allow you to get your recording out there and in front of the right audiences. They offer tracking insights too, with data regarding your listeners and follows starts and streams.
Over 7 million users listen to podcasts every single week and with these numbers continuing to grow, the potential alone is huge. Businesses can benefit from a more actively listening audience who will usually have the intent of actually finding out more about your topic or business. This can make for not just higher engagement, but also for higher conversion rates and with easy data measurement and tracking also included, you can follow this more prominently.
Spotify may not be quite up there with the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but this music streaming platform offers businesses a whole new way of reaching customers online. Audio advertisements, video displays and simple ad options all enable businesses to flourish on Spotify and with branded playlists growing in popularity, it’s easy to have a bit of fun with your marketing.
Jasmine has been a member of Absolute Digital Media’s team for 4 years+ now, having started her journey at the agency as a Digital Copywriter and progressing onto become Social read more.