- Spotify's advertising sales group this month launched "Outside Voice," an audio series to highlight creativity of Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) worldwide. The audio company each month will offer original playlists selected by creators who also tell personal stories, discuss their creative passion and speak about social issues, per an announcement emailed to Mobile Marketer.
- Juan Reyes, a Black creative who works as brand narrative director at Nike, appears in the first part of the series, along with Alyza Enriquez, a non-binary artist and advocate for LGBTQ and Latinx communities who works as a video producer and writer at digital publisher Vice Media.
- Spotify also plans to feature creatives from the U.K. and Latin America in future "Outside Voice" series, using "the intimacy and richness of audio to metaphorically tap into their 'outside voice' — the robust, unapologetic tone used when one needs to be understood above noise and distractions," per the announcement.
Spotify's "Outside Voice" series that highlights creative people in the BIPOC community aims to connect with younger listeners who tend to be more ethnically and racially diverse than older groups. In developing the series, Spotify Advertising relied on findings from its recent Culture Next 2020 report that surveyed Generation Z and millennials to show how they're influencing art, technology and culture. Its study found that 62% of Gen Zers said their generation is ready to "rebuild society from the ground up," while 65% plan to be, or already are, their own boss.
Amid the heightened awareness about racial inequality following the summer's protests against police violence, Spotify is providing a platform for professionals who are underrepresented in the media and marketing industries to share their stories and opinions, while offering music playlists to provide inspiration to listeners. For example, the audio experience created by Nike's Juan Reyes includes spoken-word segments titled "The Art of Storytelling" and "Creative Philosophy," interspersed with dozens of songs from artists including Drake, Kanye West, Wu-Tang Clan and Nipsey Hussle. Vice's Alyza Enriquez discusses topics like "Bringing My Full Self to Work" and "Being a Good Ally," and highlights performers such as Abba, Bad Bunny, Fleetwood Mac and Sun Ra.
The "Outside Voices" series comes as Spotify expands its advertising sales even though most of its revenue comes from subscribers to its ad-free platform. Spotify's ad revenue rose 9% to $185 million in Q3 from a year earlier, while subscription revenue climbed 15% to $1.79 billion, per its quarterly earnings report. The results showed a strong 41% jump in ad revenue from the prior quarter, when many marketers had slashed spending or delayed campaigns because of the pandemic. Spotify's ad-supported monthly average users (MAUs) rose 31% to 185 million in Q3 from the prior year, while its total user base increased 29% to 320 million worldwide.
Amid Spotfiy's audience growth, brands are developing campaigns for the platform to reach target audiences and even interact them through smart speakers. Beauty brand Estée Lauder last month for the first time started letting Spotify listeners verbally request a sample of its Advanced Night Repair serum from a Google Home device. Before that, restaurant chain Jack in the Box created a gamified advertising experience that gave Spotify listeners a chance to win free tacos with any purchase. Campbell Soups snack brand Late July ran a takeover "Summer on Spotify" campaign that featured its ads in several customized playlists.