Take a trip down 2019’s musical memory lane

by Alice Hope

Tuesday, December 10th, 2019

Spotify’s yearly best-of – continuously its best annual PR stunt?

Take a trip down 2019’s musical memory lane | Entertainment PR

WITH 2019 drawing to a close, it is time to take a look back at the year’s best bits, courtesy of Spotify.

That’s right – it is the time of year where Spotify gives users a complete nostalgic run through of their year in music.

Spotify Wrapped is the company’s end of year gift to all its 243 million users.

In one quick Instagram story-like video, Spotify spills all to listeners, on how many minutes users have listened for over the year, who they listened to the most, where their favourite artists came from, and what genres made it into their top five.

Take a trip down 2019’s musical memory lane | Entertainment PR

Spotify enticed its users into uncovering their top artists with emails announcing how many different songs they had played over the year.

As Spotify guides you through the individual songs that captured each season – every song is certain to evoke a personal memory.

It got everyone talking, and that probably is what makes the New Year round-up Spotify’s greatest PR stunt.

On the day it first came out, almost every other Instagram story was someone sharing their most listened-to artist of the year or their song of the year.

It marks a clear example of a business using their own services and expertise to show users a personal touch, which they can then talk about and share with other users – strengthening the community of Spotify users.

Artists too took to social media to humbly bask in their end-of-year statistics and thank listeners for their continued support – something that works to lessen the distance between artist and fanatic.

Take a trip down 2019’s musical memory lane | Entertainment PR

One of the world’s biggest artists, Ariana Grande, took to twitter to thank Spotify for her 2019 round-up.

This year, however, users had even more reason to take to social media as Spotify bid farewell to the decade as well.

Many listeners hit out at their own questionable music tastes as they looked back over a decade of nostalgic and somewhat embarrassing choices (something that personally felt a bit too close to home [see below]).

Take a trip down 2019’s musical memory lane | Entertainment PR

As some Spotify users took to social media to mock their previous music tastes, as helpfully highlighted by Spotify, my own lay bare for insult as well.

The personal element of one’s music taste is something Spotify has always relished in, proving that it is more than just a streaming service.

Throughout the years, Spotify has conjured up more and more ways to deliver a tailor-made listening experience for its users. Its Discover Weekly playlists curate a selection of new music to cater to each listeners’ individual tastes, whilst its Daily Mixes handpick your favourite tunes and weave them together with new music in genre-specific playlists.

Spotify has always been about individual experience, which may have perhaps left users of other streaming platforms, such as Apple Music and Youtube, feeling slightly less loved this Christmas.

How, then, have personalised PR stunts such as this one propelled Spotify to the top of the bunch?

It is a clear case of theoretical public relations, more specifically, the PESO model.

The PESO model refers to Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned, and some of the best examples of successful PR blend a combination of all elements.

By emailing all its users with a teaser to draw them into their 2019 Spotify Wrapped, Spotify benefitted from using paid features, which in turn will have delivered on the earned aspect – media coverage.

As highly anticipated, a flurry of shared social coverage, from Spotify and its users alike, then followed across many platforms and across the world.

In the case of Spotify Wrapped, the company is heavily capitalising on its sharing capacity as, using its owned data, it has crafted an image which showcases an individual’s music tastes in one shot to then be shared far and wide by its own users.

Lastly, as the basis of this success, Spotify has its owned aspect – its website, which now unveils the round-up feature on its primary log in page.

In terms of creating the feature and spreading its message, Spotify will have hardly spent a penny – it will be automatically generated with users’ information and spread by them in turn.

Is it enough, however, to get forlorn onlookers from Apple Music and Youtube to switch? We’re unsure.

It does, however, ensure that for the first couple of weeks of December, Spotify is talk of the town.


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    Alice Hope is a member of the expert PR team at Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

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    Account Executive, Alice Hope, is a part of the award-winning PR agency, Holyrood PR - based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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