- Oscar winner Jordan Peele's "Us" film launched a takeover of Spotify’s TV & Movies hub on March 18 to promote the film, which debuts in theaters on March 22, according to information provided to Marketing Dive. The takeover is a partnership between Universal Pictures and Spotify.
- The takeover involves a nearly two-hour listening experience during which Peele discusses the music used in "Us," and how other films have used music, like the role of Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song (Day-O)" in the film "Beetlejuice." There is also a playlist curated by Peele and another curated by Winston Duke, star of "Us," called "Black Boy Joy," with tracks including "Tribe" by Bas featuring J. Cole and "Carry Go" by Chief Obi featuring Olimade.
- The campaign is the first film takeover of a Spotify hub, and the content is available to premium and free users. Peele and Duke recorded custom content for their playlists, and content was also created by Spotify's in-house Creative Solutions team in collaboration with its Shows and Editorial teams.
With the "Us" Spotify takeover, Universal is hoping to drum up excitement about the upcoming release, called one of the most anticipated films of 2019. The film follows Peele's massively popular "Get Out," which won the best screenplay Oscar in 2018 and was nominated for best picture. The takeover is likely targeting millennial audiences, who are fans of Peele and also the biggest Spotify user base. U.S. streams of the track "I Got 5 On It" by Luniz increased by 120% a few days after it was featured in the "Us" trailer compared to the previous week, according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
Spotify has been seeking out unique partnerships with brands to offer memorable experiences to users, grow its subscribers and boost time spent on the platform, which the company likely hopes will translate into increased revenue and help it compete against Pandora, Apple Music and other services. Along with the "Us"-themed playlists, Spotify announced a long-term, cross-promotional content partnership with "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." The tie-up includes a content hub for DeGeneres, who will curate themed playlists of her favorite artists, video clips and the "Ellen on the Go" podcast.
Brands are investing more in digital audio to reach younger consumers, with spend jumping 31% to $935 million in the first half of 2018 and on track to surpass the format’s $1.8 billion for all of the 2017, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Teaming up with Spotify allows brands to engage with a large, highly engaged audience. Spotify's paid subscribers reached 87 million, a 40% increase, in Q3 2018, and was projected to be as high as 96 million by Q4, according to a separate Variety report. Total users grew 28% to 191 million and were estimated to be 199 million to 206 million by Q4. The platform’s TV & Movies hub has more than 1 million followers.
Smirnoff, for example, drove 630 million impressions with 90% earned with its Spotify API, the Smirnoff Equalizer, last year. The Smirnoff Equalizer connected to users' accounts and analyzed the number of male versus female artists that they listened to and offered a personalized slider to help people listen to more female artist. The campaign also drove a 52% increase in the number of female artists streamed on Spotify.