- Spotify is again making Wrapped — the feature that shows listeners their favorite songs and artists from the year — a central part of a global multichannel campaign through the end of 2019, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. The campaign highlights Spotify user habits from the entire decade, marking the first time that the company has let users see their Wrapped favorites beyond a single year, and also shines a light on how the company's recent bets on podcast content have attracted listeners.
- Mariah Carey, Lil Nas X, BTS and J. Balvin are among the artists that Spotify is featuring in the "A Decade Wrapped" campaign, which includes out-of-home, digital and social activations in 21 countries, along with TV spots in select regions. Spotify is blanketing highly trafficked pedestrian hubs like New York's Penn Station, the Westfield London shopping center and São Paulo's mass transit system with posters and billboard placements that, as in years' past, show quirky factoids gleaned from Spotify's listener data.
- Spotify for the first time is also letting people see their Wrapped history in its mobile app, unlike past years when it was available through a dedicated website, SpotifyWrapped.com. In its mobile app, Spotify shows Wrapped highlights in a Stories format that auto-plays a series of animated cards.
Spotify has extended its Wrapped feature to include the entire decade, building on past marketing efforts and highlighting its differences with rivals like Apple Music. The 2019 campaign also shows Spotify putting some marketing behind its hard push into podcasts this year, with billboards calling out most-listened-to programs like "Reply All," a show on Gimlet Media, the network Spotify acquired in February.
Spotify last year reintroduced Wrapped with a similar multichannel campaign that included a heavy OOH presence to raise awareness among audiences that are difficult to reach through other media outlets. For 2018, the service let subscribers post their Wrapped picks to billboards in urban centers worldwide.
The company's outdoor campaigns are part of a growing trend in OOH advertising, whose total revenue rose 7% to $1.98 billion in Q3 from the prior year, per the Out of Home Advertising Association of America.
By letting people see their favorite songs and artists going back to 2010, Spotify aims to showcase its longer background compared with rivals such as Apple Music, which last month debuted a similar yearly lookback with Apple Music Replay. Unlike Apple, Spotify is letting people share their top music and artists on social media and popular channels like Instagram Stories, helping to boost the viral publicity for its platform.
Apple Music reportedly overtook Spotify in U.S. paid subscribers last year, although Spotify has a bigger worldwide audience because it also has a free, ad-supported service that reaches people who don't want to commit to paying monthly fees for ad-free service. Spotify reported a surprise profit as the streaming giant's ad revenue rose 29% to $189 million in Q3 from a year earlier. Listeners of its ad-supported service grew by 29% to 141 million people, while paid subscriptions climbed 31% to 113 million.
As a sign of their growing rivalry, Spotify this year complained about Apple to antitrust authorities in Europe, claiming that Apple's App Store charges onerous fees. Apple denied the claim in a response filed with the European Commission. In October, U.S. officials investigating whether the iPhone maker harms competitors asked Spotify for more information as part their own antitrust probe, Reuters reported.