- Spotify is showing how 30,000 people worldwide listen to the same song at any given second with its "Listening Together" campaign, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer. The audio streaming company created a microsite with an interactive globe to help people visualize those connections in real time.
- The microsite first shows how an anonymous listener in one geographic location is listening to a featured artist and song, then pinpoints where the same song is being played in another region. Spotify shows a distance calculator to indicate how far apart those synced-up listeners are geographically.
- Media artist Kyle McDonald in 2014 inspired "Listening Together" by experimenting with the concept of serendipity when two listeners started streaming the same song within milliseconds of each other. Spotify also asked recording artists including Selena Gomez, Dolly Parton, Troye Sivan and Haim to share their music and podcast playlists with users.
Spotify's "Listening Together" campaign shows how people who live in different cities and countries can share the same tastes in music while showcasing the streaming audio platform's global reach. The microsite aims to engage people in a shared listening experience, which may help Spotify to convert visitors into longer-term users of its apps. The expanded listenership gives Spotify a bigger audience for mobile marketers that buy ad inserts on its free service, though the company mostly depends on paid subscriptions to its ad-free tier.
The "Listening Together" effort comes as Spotify emphasizes the social qualities of its platform, which for years has let users follow their friends, favorite artists and record labels to boost engagement. As part of that effort, Spotify this week added a Group Session feature that lets paid subscribers share music playlists in real time. The feature aims to connect people who are self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic, giving them a shared digital activity that's like a "party mode" on social media sites, TechCrunch reported.
Spotify's campaign and group listening features may help to strengthen its bonds with listeners, after the company was ranked No. 1 in terms of brand intimacy last month. Spotify was among the apps that have bolstered emotional ties with mobile users during the COVID-19 pandemic, per a survey by ad agency MBLM. In another sign of its growing popularity, Spotify said its number of paying subscribers jumped 31% to 130 million in Q1 from a year earlier, while total monthly active users rose 31% to 286 million.
Spotify also has invested in software tools to help creators expand its range of programming, such as podcasts. The company's podcast creation platform Anchor last month introduced a feature that lets people turn their video chats into podcast-ready audio. However, podcast consumption has slumped with fewer people commuting to work during the pandemic, limiting time that had been spent listening to audio programming. With fewer consumers commuting or going to the gym, Spotify's top 200 streams fell 16% in the U.S. and 12% worldwide from before the crisis, per a Raymond James study cited by Barron's. The trends are likely to reverse as more cities, states and countries lift lockdowns.