Spotify Wrapped: Social Media Analyzation

Spotify is the world’s most popular audio streaming software with over 286 million monthly active users and 130 million subscribers. Its closest competitor, Apple Music, is extremely far behind with only 60 million subscribers, leaving Spotify practically untouchable. This is surprising considering Apple’s established reputation and popularity. However, Spotify has been able to utilize social media marketing efforts to stay ahead of the competition. One of, if not, their most popular social media campaigns is Spotify Wrapped, a yearly recap of its users’ favorite streams. The goal of this campaign is to increase their number of subscribers and Spotify achieves this by providing a personalized experience that leads to a trend of user generated content. This campaign has continued to be successful year after year due to Spotify’s intelligent strategy and adaptability. This year in particular, the campaign focused on gratitude as they used their content to thank artists, listeners, podcasters, and playlist creators for helping the world through this challenging time.

The Campaign

The Spotify Wrapped campaign is mostly promoted across social media and this year in particular, has been primarily optimized for Instagram with its debut of “Story of Your 2020”. This feature made it seamless and easy for users to post their Wrapped results to their Instagram stories, which creates an increase of user generated content. This is an important part of Spotify’s strategy, considering user generated content on Instagram has a 4.5% higher engagement rate than the average post (Blitch, 2021). Plus, according to The Statista Research Department, Spotify’s target demographic is millennials, with 25–34-year-olds making up 29% of their audience. They are closely followed by gen-z, who make up 26% of the audience, leaving Spotify with more than half of their listeners between the ages of 18 and 34 (2021). Using Instagram allows Spotify to focus on their target audience considering 18–34-year-olds are the most active age range on the platform (Blitch, 2021). It is important to note that artists and podcasters also have access to yearly statistics and are encouraged to share those across social media. Another important strategy for Spotify, as this provides them with volunteer influencers of all sizes, catering to multiple demographics.

On December 1st, Spotify posted a short, 10-second video with an even shorter caption containing link information and their hashtag for this year — #2020Wrapped. They posted this promotional video across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. While Facebook does not focus on their target age demographic, Spotify is available in 79 markets worldwide and growing. According to the website World Population Review, India has the highest number of Facebook users in the world (2021). India is also Spotify’s newest market and played a pivotal role in their growth over this past quarter (SN, 2021). Bearing in mind how much of an impact Facebook has globally, Spotify is sure to include it in this campaign.

Alongside their 2020 Spotify Wrapped announcement posts, they also created four longer videos for their YouTube channel, which were later cross posted on the other platforms as well. Three of these videos were 30-second-long thank you letters to top artists and podcasters, told from the perspective of a listener. The fourth video was a bit longer, just under two minutes, and promoted their niche hashtag in Italy, #GrazieBalconi. Again, Spotify is definitely reaching their target age demographic here, as 96% of internet users between the ages of 18–26 actively watch YouTube (Blitch, 2021). Plus, with YouTube being the second largest search engine, it also helps them to increase search engine optimization.

Social media, however, was not the only form of medium Spotify used to promote this campaign. They also used billboards and marquees, sticking with their theme of gratitude, to thank artists, podcasters, and venues across the country. The billboards paid thanks to famous chart-topping stars such as Cardi-B, as well as local musicians plastered above their home cities. The marquees were a touching partnership with the National Independent Venue Association, using #SaveOurStages to help struggling entertainment venues during the pandemic. The partnership came with a donation, which is not only the right thing to do, but was also extremely heartwarming to Spotify’s largest audience of all: music lovers.

Reach and Engagement

This is a large, global campaign stretching across multiple platforms and mediums and it certainly paid off. The graph below displays how Spotify’s initial announcement post performed in video views and likes across the four major platforms. When it comes to video views, YouTube topped the chart, receiving 1.1 million views on its 30-second video about Taylor Swift. On Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, the shorter 10-second video proved to be less popular, receiving views of 430K, 314.4K, and 23.6K respectively. However, Instagram proved to be more engaging for the audience with 55,745 likes (as of the date of this paper) and over 2,300 comments. YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook fell behind with like counts of 20K, 9.6K, and 459, respectively. Follower count was a bit harder to pinpoint, but in November of 2020, Spotify had just under 6.1 million followers on Instagram, 3.8 million on Twitter, and 1.12 million on YouTube. In December, those numbers all increased to 6.4 million, 3.9 million, and 1.14 million respectively (2021).

Results

As apparent on the graph, Facebook definitely missed the mark in this campaign strategy. While Facebook is important to reach their global audience, it is obviously not having the same impact as it is on other platforms. 449 post likes is a sad number for a Facebook page hosting over 22 million followers. They have more followers on Facebook than they do on Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter combined, so why is their engagement so low? As mentioned before, it is much easier to be successful across these other platforms because they house their largest age demographic. However, implementing some Facebook best practices could potentially help them increase engagement and close that gap between the other platforms. Videos are the ideal content for Facebook posts, and it is recommended that videos be between 3–5 minutes in length and include a call-to-action (Blitch, 2021). Spotify’s #2020Wrapped video was only 10 seconds long and contained a 12-character caption, “2020 Wrapped”. So not only was this video shorter than recommended, but there was also no call-to-action. Spotify had an opportunity to post a link for its followers with information, and just completely dropped the ball. If you visit Spotify’s “video” tab on their Facebook page, their most popular video has 199K views, 8.5K likes, and 3.5K shares (2021). This video of Justin Bieber is much longer, over 9 minutes, and also has a longer, more interesting caption. By simply tweaking a few small details, Spotify could have easily increased their engagement on Facebook to keep up with the success of the other platforms.

Discussion

While not performing so well on Facebook, Spotify Wrapped was certainly successful across all other platforms. It increased its follower counts steadily and was a highly engaging campaign reaching over 1.8 million video views and over 65K post-likes combined across the four major platforms. Their social media audience also made it crystal clear that they enjoyed this year’s theme of gratitude and were sure to give a thank you back to Spotify. One Instagram user commented, “Wow @spotify…. BRAVO “2020 may have been a bad movie, but at least the soundtrack was good.” 💯💯💯🙌 YEZIR! Thank you @spotify” (2020). Also, on Instagram, there are over 30K posts using the campaign hashtag, #2020Wrapped, and that does not even include all the user generated content shared on Instagram stories. The “Story of Your 2020” feature was extremely successful as it became an instant trend for its listeners to share their results on social media. #2020Wrapped was trending for several days, which is definitely the mark of a successful social media campaign.

Conclusion

To sum it up, Spotify Wrapped was an overall successful campaign, becoming a viral trend that every millennial and gen-z looks forward to every December. It is one thing to learn about the best practices across all social platforms, but it is another to see it implemented on such a large scale. Seeing minor details such as character counts on captions and video lengths making such a huge difference on a global campaign is eye-opening. It is extremely possible to have a successful campaign, while still finding and evaluating areas of improvement. Spotify has continued to analyze and improve its Wrapped campaign over the last few years, so there is no doubt that #2021Wrapped will be bigger and better than ever.

Sources

Blitch, K. (2021). Best Practices on Platforms [Powerpoint]. https://ufl.instructure.com/courses/418165/files/57077468?wrap=1

Blitch, K. (2021). Social Networks [Powerpoint]. https://ufl.instructure.com/courses/418165/files/56452620?wrap=1

Facebook, Spotify. 2021. https://www.facebook.com/spotifyusa/videos/?ref=page_internal

Facebook users by country 2021. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2021, from https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/facebook-users-by-country

Instagram, sexinthesuncity. 2020. https://www.instagram.com/p/CIWXf2HnoOD/

SN, V. (2021, February 03). India powers Spotify’s growth as it closes in on 350 million monthly active users. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/technology/india-powers-spotifys-growth-as-it-closes-in-on-350-million-monthly-active-users/articleshow/80670544.cms?from=mdr

Spotify Twitter Followers Statistics / Analytics — SPEARKJ. (n.d.). Retrieved March 01, 2021, from https://www.speakrj.com/audit/report/spotify/twitter

Statista Research Department. (2021, January 08). Spotify users by age in the U.S. 2018. Retrieved March 01, 2021, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/475821/spotify-users-age-usa/

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