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The Original Year-in-Review: How Spotify Drives Massive Annual Success

Title reading, The Original Year-in-Review: How to Build a Spotify Wrapped Campaign
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End the Marketing Year on a Good Note

The end of the year is approaching and peak season is right around the corner. That means a flood of year-in-review campaigns are about to fill everyone’s inbox, and all of your friends will be posting their Spotify Wrapped summaries to show off their alternative music tastes or how loyal of a Swiftie they are.

But out of the many year-in-reviews, Spotify’s campaign never fails to stand out. Its lasting popularity can be credited to the simple fact that it is the OG year-in-review campaign. All the way back in 2016, Movable Ink powered the very first Spotify Wrapped. The rest was history.

If you want to innovate your year-in-review campaign, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Here are three tips you can learn from the Spotify Wrapped campaign and how you can apply it to your own year-end messages.

How Spotify Led the Year-in-Review Charge

Here’s some quick background on how Spotify Wrapped came to be in the first place. The streaming brand simply provided all available CRM data, and Movable Ink transformed this treasure trove into a visually engaging and personalized experience at scale. Best of all, the process was automated so Spotify could easily turn their year-in-review into an annual tradition.

Spotify Wrapped 2016 Campaign

Since then, Spotify Wrapped has become an essential part of the streaming service’s overall strategy. App downloads skyrocketed by 21% in 2020, and just this past year Spotify saw a 17% increase in total engagement along with 452 million tweets showcasing listeners’ personalized stats. The power of this campaign has proved to be incredibly effective in driving Spotify’s longevity all year round.

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3 Practical Takeaways From Spotify Wrapped

Ready to make your own top-tier year-in-review? Let’s break down the three main engagement-drivers for this campaign and uncover how you can apply it to your own:

Stats That Customers Care About

Most marketers have mountains of customer information to choose from—whether in your CRM as Spotify uses, zero- and first-party data, or contextual and business data—but not all data is made equal. While you may be able to tell customers exactly how much money they spent, or how mainstream their music tastes statistically are, those are not necessarily data points that will excite them for the year ahead.

Spotify makes the strategic choice of collating top tracks, artists, and genres to create a personalized playlist with all of the listener’s favorite hits. By choosing the data that listeners actually care about, Spotify transforms the data into an experience that’s helpful and enjoyable.

Amazon Music's personalized new releases email

Amazon Music applies this winning idea all year round in their newsletters. Using an API integration that displays personalized music recommendations for each listener, the Amazon Music team updates their “New Release” module.

Instead of manually inputting the latest songs, they use Movable Ink to create an automated, evergreen module that always displays music recommendations that are both new and personalized. Amazon Music can now take the data points that matter most to customers and showcase it in a way that enhances the platform’s experience.

Stats That Reinforce Value

By displaying minutes listened along with unique tracks and artists enjoyed, Spotify succeeded in driving home how much value they brought to their customers. Suddenly, the subscription fee seems infinitesimal when compared to thousands of minutes of entertainment.

Be sure to remind customers of your unique value in a creative way; don’t just show them how much money they spent with you that year—that’s what their bills are for. Instead, get specific, like Jimmy John’s.

Year in review email from Jimmy John's.

The food chain gets creative with their stats by showcasing inches of sandwich consumed, favorite sandwich and sides, as well as where and when the customer eats most. This year-in-review successfully gives customers a taste of all that they’ve enjoyed, combatting churn in the most delicious way.

Stats That People Want to Share

Customers don’t just want to be front and center in their own inbox — they want to be the main character in their entire digital presence, including social media. This is the last pillar of Spotify’s massive success with the year-in-review campaign. By including shareable stats like favorite tracks and artists, customers are able to show a significant piece of their identity to their friends and family.

Social buzz from Spotify Wrapped 2016

We’ve got the receipts for how successful this approach is, all the way back to when X was known as a blue bird named Twitter. Customers love sharing their Spotify stats, generating buzz like the true brand advocates they’ve grown into.

The Foundation of the Year-in-Review

What do all of these campaigns have in common? They’re built from a bedrock of strong data.

If you want to create truly unique and engaging year-in-review campaigns, you need the data to back it up. The best way to make that happen is by ensuring you can access it from every source at all times through the simplicity of automation. From there, all you need is a tool to transform that data into a visually captivating and shareable experience (hello, AI powered personalization). 

With these tips and tools within your grasp, your next year-in-review campaign will ring in the new year with customers more devoted than ever.

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