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Spotify Wrapped: Decoding the strategy behind the success

The success of “Spotify wrapped” is not hidden from anyone. It’s become a hot topic on social media as well. While it is an effective and viral marketing tool for Spotify. For users, it’s a means to express themselves and share a part of their identity with friends and family. Spotify’s continuous innovations to capture and retain its vast user base have not only contributed to its user engagement but also to brand loyalty and overall growth. 

According to one of Time’s articles, the campaign has garnered immense popularity and success since its inception in 2016. No wonder it’s been frequently copied by other music streaming services and companies like Duolingo and Reddit. In 2017, 30 million Spotify users were accessing it, and in 2021, the number crossed 120 million. That same year, nearly 60 million ‘Spotify Wrapped’ stories and graphics were also shared across social media platforms. 2022 was no different with over 156 million users engaging with Wrapped.

What is Spotify Wrapped and the math behind it?

Spotify Wrapped is an annual feature that collects data from streamed content from January to an unspecified date of the last two months of the year.  The date was 29 Nov for this year. This campaign provides users with an overview of their activity on the platform over the past year and invites them to share it on social media. This process typically involves analysing each user’s listening history, including top songs, artists, genres, and total listening time.

A song or a podcast is considered streamed only if a user has listened to it for 30 minutes or more. The statistics of the top albums, top songs, and top artists are based on stream counts, whereas the list of top podcasts is assessed based on the number of unique listeners. This personalised Spotify Wrapped can be accessed by logging into their accounts on the Spotify app or website. 

How has this strategy helped Spotify?

User engagement and retention

Spotify Wrapped offers a personalised and visually appealing summary of the user’s music preferences over the year. This entices them to spend more time on the platform. Not only does this engagement retain existing users but also attracts new ones who wish to experience the personalised year-end review.

Enhanced reach 

The campaign helped in reaching the majority by its strategic use of social media. Users who are excited about their musical journeys share their Spotify Wrapped summaries on various platforms readily. This serves as a free promotion for Spotify to reach out to a wider audience and potentially convert non-users into active subscribers.

Positive brand image

Spotify Wrapped not only showcases the platform’s ability to utilise data effectively but also demonstrates its commitment to personalisation. This enhances the user experience and sets the stage for future recommendations, playlists, and features catered to individual preferences.

Increased brand loyalty

The emotional connection users develop with their music is extended to Spotify through Wrapped. By allowing users to share their music journey online, it tapped into users’ sentiments. This emotional resonance fosters brand loyalty and ensures users stick with Spotify over other streaming services.

What can marketers learn from it?

As marketers look forward to 2024 planning, here are three key lessons from Spotify’s Wrapped campaign.

Personalisation is key

Spotify Wrapped has made this clear that users appreciate and respond positively to content that is catered to their preferences. 

Stir the sentiments

Never forget that users are individuals, with their own choices and emotions attached to those choices. Hence, any strategy without those factors into consideration would be a disaster. This has been proven right by Spotify Wrapped. All you need to do is touch that soft corner and watch them become brand advocates. 

Timing matters

Spotify Wrapped is strategically timed to coincide with the holiday season and the end of the year. The significance of timing in campaigns and aligning marketing efforts with key events or holidays can enhance their impact and relevance.

The bigger picture

Spotify Wrapped is not just a clever marketing campaign, it is indicative of Spotify’s commitment to understanding its users and delivering an unparalleled music streaming experience. It serves as a beacon for marketers, guiding them toward creating campaigns that not only attract attention but also build lasting connections with the audience.

Hence, it is clear by now that Spotify Wrapped is more than a year-end gimmick, it’s a strategic masterpiece that has contributed significantly to Spotify’s success. Marketers can draw inspiration from its success in understanding and connecting with the audience in a way that goes beyond the ordinary.

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