December 11, 2020

Spotify Wrapped: Personalized Marketing Done Right

Why we love it and why it works — It’s all about putting users first.

Spotify Wrapped: Personalized Marketing Done Right

If there’s a wildly successful marketing campaign, it’s Spotify Wrapped. From the way it’s been celebrated and talked about the past couple years, it easily beats all other annual throwback traditions like Youtube Rewind and Facebook’s Year in Review by a mile.

Near the end of the past few years, our socials had been flooded with posts and stories of Spotify Wrapped results from friends, family and acquaintances. At this point, it’s hard to ignore how incredibly successful Spotify has been at getting the feature to become a viral sensation. 

But why is it so effective? Why does it effortlessly start conversations, usher in new users, and keep us actively looking forward to engaging with it every year?

Here are my two cents on why it works.

It’s About You, Not the Brand

Spotify Wrapped focuses on your music, your data, and your year. Nothing about it is centered around Spotify as a leading streaming platform. 

In your yearly review, Spotify sits in the background simply as the platform on which you curate your music, the deliverer of your package, the packer of your gift. And it’s pleasant. There’s little to be skeptical about before you tap the ‘share’ button — No schemes, no gimmicks, just your favourite music.

Because of this, when we share our Wrapped results, we feel a sense of ownership. We’re not posting about a company or an organization, we’re posting about ourselves — our top songs, top artists, top genres, genres and artists we’ve discovered, etc. Most of us don’t want people to see what apps we’re using as much as we want them to see who we are — and with Spotify Wrapped, it’s through our music.

The sentimental value of music is where Spotify has advantage over other platforms with yearly reviews.

Unlike anything else we circulate on social media, music can be extremely personal to us. It’s an extension of one’s personality, identity and image, and our desire to project that image to people we care about is what drives us to share our music online. Spotify fulfills this desire with Spotify Wrapped, an entirely you-focused highlight reel.

Variety of Bite-Sized Shareables

Speaking of sharing, what’s also great about Spotify Wrapped is that any part of it can be shared so easily. 

Tapping on ‘Share this story’ on each section will generate a card that sums up the section with eye-catching graphics and layouts. You can choose to share your top artist, your top 5 genres, or even the song you played before it hit 50k streams. Any other slide can also be screencapped and shared as an image that looks just as great.

spotify wrapped collage top artist pioneer top genres cards share

Why do these little cards work? 

Because the internet has a short attention span. At any given time, content with fewer words or clutter is more likely to catch people’s attention, especially on platforms that focus on short, bite-sized content like Instagram Stories, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Being able to pick which bits and pieces users want to share from their Spotify Wrapped, and from such a variety of categories, makes sharing much more meaningful for them and viewing much less draining for others.

Recommendations to Keep You Going

Spotify is known and loved for their recommendations. It’s one of the most common reasons why their users choose them over other music streaming platforms.

Along with your Wrapped year review, Spotify generates a ‘Missed Hits’ playlist to help you discover songs you may also love, according to your listening behavior. This makes the wrap-up feel less like an end and more like a transition into a new journey.

spotify wrapped 2020 missed hits playlist recommended

Marketing with FOMO

What’s genius is this — Premium is the only way to get the most accurate Wrapped results. 

Without Premium, you’re limited to a number of specific plays. After you’ve exhausted those plays, you’re stuck with shuffling, and I don’t need to go into the details of why that (together with unskippable ads) is not the best experience.

So, Spotify users who want to be able to join in the fun with accurate yearly reviews will feel compelled to sign up for Premium. And needless to say, that goes for non-Spotify users too. It feeds on our FOMO (fear of missing out), and serves an additional reason to jump on the bandwagon with our friends.

The Takeaway

After all that’s said, what can we learn from this massive success of a feature? 

Personal is Good

Users love digital products that reflect themselves and are tailored to their preferences. 

When designing a product, it might be worth keeping in mind that users are sentient, social human beings. We care about sharing parts of ourselves with the people around us for interaction, comparison, and connection. 

The more your platform reflects who they are in a way that they can be proud of, the more likely they will be proud to share it with others.

Think Outside Your Userbase

Caring about how your app or platform is presented to non-users can boost your acquisition rates. 

Make shareable bits that are attention-grabbing and palatable. Show them what they’re missing and what they could have if they were part of the experience too.

Build Away With Us

At Snappymob, we understand the importance of user-centric design and believe in building products that function with feelings. 

If you have a big idea in mind, talk to us! We’d be happy to unwrap it with you.