Spotify – Wrapped in Success

As the 2021 festive season kicks off, Spotify’s most successful and highly anticipated marketing campaign launches and preserves its title as the musical landmark of the holiday season.

Spotify Wrapped launched in 2015, then known as a Year in Music, where users could take a look back at their listening habits for the previous year. Each year, Spotify have progressively added more features to the yearly roundup, and while the format has remained the same to its core, it’s almost unrecognisable when compared to the version released over half a decade ago.

Why has it remained so popular?

Spotify has implemented a personalisation strategy for many years, stressing that “data should serve the audience rather than the brand itself.” As well as compiling playlists of frequently listened to music, they use information based on listening patterns and behaviour to suggest new artists, songs, albums and podcasts. While personalisation is something their users benefit from all year round, Wrapped highlights just how effective their personalisation is, and how popular it is among users. From mixes, to Discover Weekly, to suggested songs available to add at the end of each playlist, there’s personalisation for every genre or mood.

Intelligent free advertising

While Spotify Wrapped continues to elicit copious amounts of attention from the mainstream press, it’s the wealth of social media posts shared by their users that spread the word the quickest and most effectively – and at no cost to the streaming service itself. Spotify encourages users to share their experience and results on social media stories, and prompt them to do so at the bottom of each page. These story posts allow fellow users to connect over and compare results of their Spotify wrapped, which may also create FOMO (fear of missing out) for those who either don’t have Spotify, or use a competitor’s service that isn’t as comprehensive, and may even encourage them to convert.

Ahead of the Competition

Spotify’s biggest competitor, Apple Music, debuted their Replay feature in 2019. It’s not nearly as detailed as Wrapped, but its concept is fundamentally the same and serves the same purpose. Spotify is able to provide personalised top artists and song metrics for the past decade (or from whenever a user creates an account), whereas Apple Music can only display top artists and songs from 2015 when it was launched. Unless existing Spotify users were presented with an offer by a competitor that was significant enough to convert them, or enough changes were made that Spotify struggled to compete, it seems highly unlikely they wouldn’t remain a loyal customer.

Customer retention

Although during weeks before its launch each year, users take to social media platforms anticipating when Spotify Wrapped will be available to view. As mentioned previously, the Christmas campaign encapsulates Spotify’s ardent focus on prioritising the user experience through personalisation and illustrating to customers how much they understand their preferences and tastes. These days, consumers are wanting to be seen as more than what their demographic might suggest about them, and Spotify excels in this. When customers have reached the stage in which they recognise their preferences are being acknowledged and they’re discovering new artists, songs, and albums as a result, they have very little to no reason to move to a competitor. Spotify has the physical evidence to prove this, as their churn rate was down from 5.2% to 4.8% in 201


Competitors struggle to compete with Spotify where personalisation is concerned, which is why their churn rate is decreasing annually and acquiring new customers. It’s hard to imagine what they’ll think of adding next year!

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