Carat Connect: Spotify & Sounds Familiar


For July’s Carat Connect, we were lucky enough to have Spotify in the offices, presenting insights of how advertising through their audio platform can work for media planners and delving into the interesting listening habits of Carat employees in Manchester...

Carat Connect media planning

Nearly ten years ago, we’d never believe that very shortly we would be able to have almost any music track at the touch of a button, no matter where we were or what we were doing.  However, Spotify have made audio accessible to everyone within a matter or seconds, whether you’re stuck on a delayed train with no air-conditioning, hosting a dinner party for friends, or trying to drown out the children’s cries of “are we nearly there yet?” on a mammoth road trip.  But with 140 million users in 60 countries worldwide, and 30,000 streams a minute in the UK alone, Spotify have made audio streaming and essential part of our everyday routine.

Spotify highlight that “music reflects who we are, what we are doing and how we are feeling”. Cheesy? Maybe, but true. The effects of music on the mood has been widely acknowledged for years, and with Spotify’s playlist function, there’s something for everyone. If you are finishing off a presentation for work, there’s the ‘Music for Concentration’ playlist. If you are sick of the British drizzle running down your office window and like to imagine yourself in sunnier climates, the ‘Ibiza Sunset’ playlist is there for you. Or if you think you could give Bonnie Tyler a run for her money while you are washing your hair, the ‘Songs to Sing in the Shower’ playlist (seriously) will be right up your street. And through using 15 touchpoints to understand user’s listening habits, Spotify can provide tailored music playlists such as ‘Discover Weekly’, which creates bespoke recommendations based on music preferences.

So, what does this mean for advertisers? According to Spotify, 85% of their audio is streamed through headphones, solidifying our assumptions that media consumption on the go is more popular than ever. And with Spotify for Brands, media planners can discover how listening habits are related to user’s brand opinions, buying habits and personality characteristics, allowing them to create more in-tailored campaigns through 3D audio or video advertising (the latter providing 40% of Spotify’s advertising revenue). Spotify’s technology also enables us to track when target audiences are likely to be listening to the app, whether it’s on their morning commute into work, through the desktop site during office hours, or listening over the newly released Google Home whilst cooking their evening meal, ensuring users are targeted with relevant ads.

To demonstrate how well Spotify can understand their users, they asked for any brave employees to handover their usernames for screening, promising there would be prizes (read: public humiliation), for any particularly interesting results. Some of the results were unsurprising, with Ed Sheeran, Arctic Monkeys and Kanye West proving the most popular artists in our Manchester office and Pop being the overall most popular genre. However, the cool kids upstairs in iProspect preferred Rap over any other genre, and Carat seem to be big fans of The XX. The digging went deeper, however, and not only did we find out we had some very proud ‘Beliebers’ in our midst, but we were the creators of some interesting (if not a little depressing) playlists such as ‘Still sad, but that’s ok’. As the great presentation from Spotify came to a close, office friends became enemies as we were treated to a music quiz by the fantastic Sounds Familiar. Us competitive? Never! A huge thank you to Spotify and Sounds Familiar for hosting this truly memorable Carat Connect.

Carat Connect media planning
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