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#SpotifyWrapped: How Spotify Turned Listening Stats to a Free Ad Campaign
Who would’ve thought that showing users their listening habits would be one of Spotify’s most successful marketing campaigns?
Last Wednesday, #SpotifyWrapped was trending all over social media. Spotify which usually hovers at around the 15th position in the App store suddenly jumped to 2nd place!
How it Started
In 2015, Spotify launched “Year in Music” to show users their top songs and artists at the end of the year. At the time, it was only a webpage that users weren’t really excited to share.
“Year in Music” was renamed “Wrapped” in 2016.
Spotify realized the campaign’s potential and turned it into an annual tradition. Every year many teams focusing on marketing, and design, and engineering are spun up months before year-end to work on the campaign.
The project is so big that Spotify has to work closely with the Google Cloud Team since the dataflow jobs are run on Google Cloud (GCP).
“In 2018, the Wrapped Campaign data pipeline had one of the largest Dataflow jobs to ever run on GCP.”
While Wrapped was popular since it was first launched, A few changes in 2019 campaign were instrumental to make it go viral.
Wrapped became accessible through the Spotify app instead of a webpage that was shared with the users by email.
The campaign presented the insights in stories that can be shared to Instagram in one click.
Users loved the new features and flooded social media with their listening stats.
Was the Story Format an Intern Project?
Jewel Ham, who interned at Spotify, claimed that she invented the wrapped story concept as an intern project.
Jewel liked Wrapped but she wanted to make it more interactive and shareable.
She gave her presentation about the concept on her last day of the internship. She was caught by surprise when she witnessed the concept come to life a few months later!
Spotify rejected Jewel’s claims.
”While ideas generated during Spotify’s internship program have on occasion informed campaigns and products, based on our internal review, that is not the case here with Spotify Wrapped. It’s unfortunate that things have been characterized otherwise.”
I’ll leave it to you to choose who to believe.
Is Apple Music Punishing Its Users?
While Spotify users spend Wrapped day having fun sharing their taste in music, Apple Music’s users only get a playlist of their most listened to songs.
Honestly, it is baffling that apple with all the resources it has puts almost no effort to build a campaign that can compete with Wrapped.
And this is how Spotifyturned Wrapped into a free annual advertising campaign that its users were happy to promote!
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