How Spotify uses data to tell a story


Cannings Purple 27 Apr 2021
3 mins

Big data can feel scary. Data collection is seen as a giant absorbent spongesoaking up any and all information from consumers. At least, that’s the sentiment shared by 70% of Australians 

Yet without the power of data, life would not be the same. Take Spotify. 

The popular audio streaming and media service provider celebrates its data and uses it to tell stories about its subscribers. Spotify not only relies on data to make its user experience better, but it is also the source of its marketing campaigns that users find hilarious and relatable.  

Spotify Wrapped  

With more than 345 million users, Spotify annually causes a social media frenzy with its ‘Wrapped’ feature, a window into the listening habits of its users. Spotify provides subscribers with a detailed summary of their music history over the year, top artists, favourite genres, total minutes they listened and more.  

This is a fun and personalised way of making big data feel accessible, all wrapped up in a well-designed graphic display ready for users to share to their own social media platforms  

When #SpotifyWrapped is launched, it’s almost impossible to escape the Spotify logo with users sharing their results with friends and family. #SpotifyWrapped on Instagram alone has been tagged 102,000 times, demonstrating the engagement these campaigns spark.  

Spotify then uses the data from Wrapped to create billboards that turn heads across the globe.  

Thanks, 2016… it’s been weird

In 2016, Spotify launched a campaign showcasing the most unusual user activity within the platform.  

This campaign was one of Spotify’s most successful with the brand seeing an increase in brand awareness.   

2018 Goals   

Two years later Spotify went with its 2018 Goals campaign following the popularity of the hashtag #goals in 2017 to show that it was optimistic for the year.  

Laurel v Yanny  

In 2018, Spotify jumped on the Laurel v Yanny trend, following the worldwide debate whether a man said “Laurel” or “Yanny” in an audio recording. 

Music for every mood  

In 2019, Spotify deepened its relationship with its younger audiences by incorporating memes into their campaign.  

Spotify can be a humorous and engaging storyteller but its insights only come through the power of data 

It’s through the personalisation of data that Spotify is able to create campaigns that people can easily relate to. Making people laugh means they are more likely to share the quirky ad they saw to a friend or two, who then share it with their friends.  

It won’t suit every brand but for Spotify, its comic timing is perfect. 

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Courtney Hull is Cannings Purple’s Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) specialist, with responsibility for validating and maintaining CRM databases belonging to a range of key clients. Courtney is skilled in the areas of relationship management, communications across multiple platforms, content creation and brand awareness.

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