If you’re anything like me, you’ve been loving Spotify’s personalized “Discover Weekly” playlists. It’s a great opportunity to discover new music, with the added benefit of being specifically crafted to your music taste.
In the event that you're not already familiar with it, Discover Weekly is a two-hour playlist Spotify sends users each week, filled with music its algorithms think will be a good fit for that individual user based on their past listening behavior.
It hits the mark nearly every time for me, which explains its popularity among users.
In fact, TechCrunch reported that Discover Weekly streams more than twice the amount of users who don’t listen to the playlist because of the heavily personalized experience the playlist offers users.
Spotify has always run ads on these playlists, but they made an announcement this week that will allow brands to capitalize on this hype more than ever before: they’re now allowing brands to fully sponsor a week’s playlist, offering much more brand awareness and engagement than a simple ad would.
How Do Spotify's Sponsored Discover Weekly Playlists Work?
These sponsorships will include a mix of ads within the playlist and native ads - which is similar to the existing ad options they offer on existing sponsored playlists - but this new option has the added benefit of reaching over half of Spotify’s 200 million daily active users.
The loyal fanbase this weekly playlist already has ensured that listeners will be touched by your brand throughout the entire week, which is a great opportunity to build brand awareness.
Right now, this feature is only in beta testing, with Microsoft being the first brand sponsorship deal they have for the Discover Weekly playlist.
Microsoft is running a campaign they’re calling “Empowering Us All”, which is focused on artificial intelligence (AI) technology across different sectors such as education, healthcare and philanthropy.
Since the Discover Weekly playlist is created using AI technology, this is a great fit for their first sponsorship.
What Does This Mean For Marketers?
While it's unknown when the ability to sponsor Discover Weekly playlists will roll out to all brands, the demand for this type of sponsorship is a strong indicator of the trend towards brands exploring new platforms (beyond Facebook, Google and the other major social networks) for their paid media spend.
While short advertisements can be very effective, many brands are looking for something on a larger scale that offers more consistent exposure on a regular basis.
Spotify's sponsored Discover Weekly Playlists are the perfect avenue for that without being disruptive to the standard user experience for listeners. I wouldn’t be surprised if the paid media landscape shift more in the direction of sponsored content as opposed to traditional paid ads.
Additionally, this move points to the power of personalization.
Consumers are craving personalized experiences - and the popularity of the Discover Weekly playlist alone shows the dramatic impact that personalized content can have on user consumption.
Marketers who create these kinds of experiences for their audience - or seek out opportunities where they can insert themselves into an already existing one (such as on Spotify) - have an opportunity to significantly expand brand awareness while engaging more deeply with their audiences.