Spotify, a freemium audio streaming app, first entered our lives in 2006. However, it took us some time to actually meet it. Until 2011, the app relied heavily on UK and US users and it was free without any ads or additional services. In 2012, however, this business method changed. They started to place ads after 4 or 7 songs and later made some features available only to premium users. This marked the domination of Spotify as an audio streaming app and planted the roots to become on of the most used apps of our age.
Slowly, all of us became Spotify addicts. Before that, we had YouTube to listen to music. Thinking about how Spotify poached that user populace from YouTube, which now goes as YouTube Music, it can safely be said that new features were the key to this success. Users absolutely loved listening to offline music, which seemed like an efficient feature to use on walks, in transportation, and while working! Even I, while writing this article, shuffle through my Spotify playlists.
However, new features are not limited to offline listening. In the age of social media, Spotify found new ways to connect people. There is a ‘Friends Activity’ bar on the right side of the desktop app, displaying what your ‘friends’ on Spotify are listening to. Such a great way to embrace connection by sharing songs!
Talking about sharing, we should also mention Spotify Blend. This feature creates playlists for you and your friends to see what songs you ‘have in common’. Similarly, Discover Weekly playlist enables you to connect with undiscovered artists and songs that are curated to your specific tastes. Basically, all these features help you become an addict to the app, and one can safely crack jokes about how this is the best addiction.
The most important, and topical thing in Spotify right now is definitely Spotify Wrapped. It is a playlist of your top songs of the year, but it comes with some more gems. Every year, Spotify creates story-like statistics where you can see your top 5 artists, songs, podcasts, genres, and total minutes listened. This year, they added a few more sections such as your listener type, which is like your music MBTI.
You may ask, how did a music app survive this far? Even though some may argue that it does not have enough features that would make it count as one of the better, if not the best, music platforms, the app has come a long way and it is no longer only about songs and podcasts. For example, some people actually wait and try to guess which day Wrapped comes. This playlist, or this Wrapped culture, became a meme-like template. Lots of organizations use it to publish their yearly statistics in a joyful, entertaining way. Besides, it is not limited to organizations, but users have been sharing their ‘Spotify Wrapped’s online and bonding over this as well.
Spotify, brilliantly, changed the audio service industry into something social media-like, where people can share and increase the statistics for Spotify. They achieved this through strategies that were never seen before and did not cease to continue responding to users’ needs and feedback. Now, the app has a total user number of 406 million people and a premium account number of more than 188 million. This data reinforces the effectiveness of Spotify’s marketing strategy with Wrapped, and how they do marketing without even trying. Yet, we are happy with that because marketing and the modern day are all about connections, whether face-to-face or online.
Edited by Simay Cemre Tülübaş