#SpotifyWrapped: The Ultimate Social Media Campaign

Are you #TeamSpotify or #TeamAppleMusic? No matter your choice, everyone can agree that the Spotify Wrapped Campaign marks an exciting point at the end of each year that celebrates music, and while doing so sparks a wave of social media engagement. Most social media campaigns create buzz through users viewing posts and then sharing these posts to their own following. What has made Spotify’s campaign so unique is that the brand has created a campaign that relies less on their own posts prowess, but more so on what Spotify users share on their personal social media platforms involving the campaign. The campaign gives users the opportunity to share something that is both personal to them while simultaneously relating back to the product Spotify is looking to promote.

If you’re living under a rock and have no idea what it is I’m talking about when I refer to Spotify Wrapped, then listen up. “There are two parts to it: a marketing campaign, which involves a number of humorous billboards looking back on yearly music trends and lampooning funny user playlists; and an individual event, in which Spotify subscribers receive their personalized listening data from the past eleven months” (Sentence, 2018). Spotify launched this campaign in 2015 to originally showcase to their users the “top” songs and genres that they enjoyed listening to while streaming content on Spotify over the past year. Every December since the original launch, the campaign and initiative has become a staple part of social media conversation each 12th month of the year. The biggest change the campaign created was in 2019. Coming to the close of the decade, Spotify wanted to reveal what users were streaming since its beginnings. This meant that in December 2019, users Wrapped would include the songs, albums, artists, and podcasts they discovered throughout 2019, plus the artists they streamed the most throughout the decade on Spotify. It’s “Wrapped” the way you love it — but with more nostalgia than ever before (Spotify, 2019).

The most fun aspect of their updated campaign, was that users could easily share what their wrapped revealed was by taking screenshots of the summary snapshots and posting them to their own social media platforms. Users were sharing it to platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook, which ultimately created a community around Spotify and its social media campaign. “The irresistible nostalgia combined with the fun of personalized data made for an incredibly sharable campaign, which is why your feeds were probably dominated by #SpotifyWrapped posts in December” (Cyca, 2020). I can remember going on Instagram and only seeing Spotify Wrapped content to then switch platforms to Twitter to only see the same thing. I’ll be honest…I felt pretty left out that I wasn’t part of the #SpotifyWrapped community in 2019 and couldn’t post about my top genre of the decade to my Instagram story. Sounds like something to not be left out of, but this is the exact type of buzz Spotify’s campaign created.

The way I perceive this campaign is that Spotify wanted to raise awareness of its brand but also to the campaign itself. Honestly, I think Spotify clearly achieved that goal and did more than a successful job in doing so. In fact, “in the first week after Spotify Wrapped 2019 went live, Spotify told Forbes, more than 60 million users engaged with the in-app story experience that racked up nearly 3 billion streams from Wrapped playlists. It’s also been a massive hit on social media, which according to Twitter has been mentioned in at least 1.2 million posts during the same period of time” (Swant, 2019). These statistics as a result of the campaign are just a few quantitative measures indicating success.

Key performance indicators are also quantifiable measures to essentially evaluate the success of a brand’s objective or goal. KPIs are in place to keep an organization or brand on track and help them understand what’s working and what’s not. There are plenty of KPIs that track different indicators as to whether your audience is growing or not. In Spotify’s campaigns case, the KPIs that I think are most relevant are impressions, audience growth rate, and conversion rate. Impressions are the amount of time a brand’s content shows up in a feed. Audience growth rate measures how much a brand’s following count (or audience) grew from the beginning of a campaign. And conversation rate refers to how many visitors are taking action towards a campaign. From the data mentioned earlier, the #SpotifyWrapped campaign had a great number of impressions on various social media platforms. I would also assume that Spotify’s following increased and that the amount of users who promoted their Spotify Wrapped statistics increased. I am also confident in saying that the amount of users who took action to become a new Spotify user or to view their Spotify Wrapped sky rocketed. There are plenty of other KPIs that would reveal the quantifiable measures the campaign produced, but growth rate, impressions and conversion rate are the most obvious to me. “Furthermore, what is genius about this campaign is it a hugely efficient social multiplier — a user-generated campaign built on personalized data” (ThinkHous, 2019).

And if you’re wondering — Spotify Wrapped is the reason why I switched from #TeamAppleMusic to #TeamSpotify. The Spotify Wrapped social media campaign is one of the greatest campaigns each year, and one that will continue to connect to subscribers like myself for years to come.

Graduate student at the University of Florida