With a customer base of over four million paying subscribers and over 15 million active users, it’s fair to say Spotify’s rise has been nothing short of gigantic. And, as it seeks new ways of monetising its service, its sight is set on big brands that are equally keen to tap into the service to create unique marketing opportunities. The likes of McDonald’s and Reebok are already on board with their recommended playlists, and it’s even making tracks in political circles, with the creation of the official 2012 Obama campaign playlist. It recently gained some traction locally, too, with ASB and Saatchi & Saatchi teaming up to create what it says is a “New Zealand media-first” branded Facebook app that integrated with the Spotify platform and industry commentators to create an ‘Olympic Moods’ soundtrack to the Olympics.
The Moodulator app shared regular updates from the Olympics and invited Facebook members to record their reaction to the news using a series of sliders, which gauged emotions such as pride, happiness and excitement. And now that the games have wrapped up, a soundtrack summarising how New Zealanders felt over the course of the two weeks is available for free download via Spotify. Over the course of two weeks, the campaign received 17,500 total visits and 14,800 individual visits.
Saatchi & Saatchi group account director Philip O’Neill says ASB already had a relationship with Spotify and was also a key partner of the Olympics, so it was about unifying the two.
“It was spotting the opportunity to bring together those two significant partnerships in a way that would add something to both. And it gave people another way of experiencing the Olympics.”
ASB is no stranger to social media and technological innovation. It came out trumps this year when Canstar dished out its inaugural annual online banking award, recognised for its leading edge innovation in the departments of internet banking, banking website and online apps.
The bank also has active Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube accounts and features in Financial Brand’s Top 35 Banks on Facebook and Top 35 Banks on Twitter. It was also awarded the Service Innovation Award in the 2011 BAI-Finance Global Banking Innovation Awards for its Facebook virtual branch.
O’Neill says this kind of success means customers having a heightened expectation of ASB.
“Those used to engaging with ASB through social channels expect ASB to deliver something interesting and the Moodulator was another way of doing that.”
But not everyone gets social media right, and O’Neill credits ASB success in part to its ability to use social media in way that delivers value and enhances the user experience, “rather than it being another intrusive way to get in the face of people”.
The final playlist looks to be an eclectic one, featuring everyone from Jay-Z to Whitesnake, Foo Fighters to Marvin Gaye. Stadium anthem rockers Queen make numerous appearances and there's a couple of Kiwi songs thrown in for good measure.
“There are a lot of classic, particularly New Zealand anthems which crop up again and again,” says O’Neill. “That’s not surprising given that patriotism breeds patriotism. When you’re feeling great about a New Zealand sports person it’s not surprising that a great New Zealand song is the first thing that comes to mind.”
Successful as it is, Spotify still has massive licensing fees to pay and brand apps could prove to be very lucrative. Along with the Reebok and McDonald’s branded apps, earlier this year the music service announced partnerships with Intel, AT&T and a worldwide deal with Coca-Cola, all of which ought to go someway in helping it reach its targeted revenue of US$889 million this year.
Client: Debbie Lowe, Senior Campaigns Manager
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi
Executive Creative Director: Antonio Navas
Creative Team: Arnya Karaitiana, Phil Hickes, Adam Thompson
Digital Director: Fee McLeod
Executive Digital Producer: Haydn Thomsen
Design & Development Partner: Gladeye