Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Off the charts: Spotify's marketing prowess

Spotify has pioneered customer engagement where listeners not only enjoy their favourite music fix, but marketers, too, can personalise their ad campaigns with a universe of possibilities at hand

Published: Sep 30, 2021 01:25:28 PM IST
Updated: Sep 30, 2021 03:52:31 PM IST

Off the charts: Spotify's marketing prowess

It didn’t take long for Spotify to become a household name in India. Listeners glue onto the streaming service for hours at end whether on long commutes or while working on their favourite projects. Spotify has pioneered intelligent music recommendation algorithms which learn from the tastes and preferences, among a zillion other attributes, of all listeners. Small wonder that it is common to watch bobbing heads on metros, buses, cars or trains, of folks listening to their Spotify playlists.

Sample this: on an average, the Indian listener spends around 2.5 hours each day consuming audio. More crucially, two-fifths of the time, they can’t be reached and wooed through visual media. eMarketer, a research firm reports that adoption of music streaming was the number one activity on peoples’ lists during the pandemic.

The advent of connected devices has caught the fancy of millions of millennials in the country. This has also given marketers different ways in which they can reach their audience. Imagine disseminating the advertising message to listeners who now enjoy portability of audio through sources such as car, watch, Smart TV, game console and home speakers. These are key “screenless” moments where the message can be personalised and targeted to all listeners. Spotify, a global force in music streaming, has marched ahead since it was introduced in India in 2019. Its music catalogue grows by the day and it has tied up with podcasters to create exclusive and curated content for listeners who love a good story.

Off the charts: Spotify's marketing prowess

Spotify is privy to billions of hours of listening data from users across the country. This lets the company to derive actionable insights about consumer behaviour to recommend songs, among other things, through what is called “Streaming Intelligence”. This also helps brands make their communication more relevant, engaging, and meaningful. For instance, in a survey, it was found that 75% of Spotify listeners remember ads more when the messages recognise their moment or setting. This sensory combination extends the marketers’ creative options.

Spotify fans also create and curate playlists for every mood, and use their customised sound tracks for every moment of their lives. Imagine being able to target your message to the relevant audience, who, too can benefit from the advertising message. Moreover, data from Spotify suggest that running both video and audio increases ad recall by 90%. This also results in a 2.2x increase in brand awareness. In other words, a plan which includes only display or video advertising misses out on valuable time and engagement with its intended audience.

Off the charts: Spotify's marketing prowess

Comfort in the time of uncertainty

Often, the medium itself is the message, goes an old saying. With the festive season on the anvil, marketers can reach millions of customers during times when they are not available for other forms of advertising.

This time round, things are especially different. People are looking to reboot and reset their lives. Sample this: after delaying purchases in 2020, 1 in 3 Spotify users are looking at large, big-ticket purchases in what appears to be a bout of revenge shopping. More importantly, this user base is likely to spend 15% more as compared to others.
Victor Hugo, the legendary French poet once said that “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words”. This was particularly relevant during these unsettling times when people relied on the warm embrace of music as a healer, more so for festive content which celebrates life.

Off the charts: Spotify's marketing prowess

According to some previous estimates daily festive streams saw an increase of 63%, and occasion and activity based streams grew 155%. With music being an integral part of the celebrations, which bring friends and family together on Spotify, it is a platform that marketers can plug into to reap dividends.
Turn on, tune in

Spotify lets brands engage with their audience in personal moments. This festive season, the key moments will be shopping, nostalgia, party, and cooking/dining with family. As friends and families start to come together after more than a year of physical distancing, familiar festive customs and traditions will return but in a way that’s unique.
Listeners are in the mood for memories as much as living in the moment with activities such as festive cooking. A massive 441% increase in user-generated cooking/dinner playlists bears this out while a growth of 290% for nostalgia streams and 590% for home (and homesick) playlists show that listeners are turning to music to connect with memories of good times past. This provides a unique opportunity for brands to tune in to consumers and engage with them in more ways than one.

Off the charts: Spotify's marketing prowess

A never-ending stream of ideas for brands

Unlike the “spray and pray” approach of mass media, Spotify offers marketers the unique ability to personalise their messages to clusters of consumers based on their listening habits. For instance, marketers can sponsor the most-streamed festive playlists, deliver real-time audio ads while the targeted audience is listening to specific moods, turn the brand profile into a cookbook with every special recipe having its own unique playlist or even to create a special campaign with a unique digital experience to targeted listeners to drive the brand’s message home.

What more? Marketers can also create co-branded digital experiences around festive or shopping wishlists, multiple branded playlists crafted keeping specific consumer personas and/or festive moods, creative audio to complement a brand’s in-store experience. The list of possibilities goes on and on.

So, for all the marketers who would like to go above and beyond to reach their customers this festive season, Spotify is a go-to option in addition to the traditional methods.

Click here to download Diwali ad solutions packages from Spotify Advertising. There is something in it for the customers, too, who are likely to receive ads that are worth their time.

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