In this article, we will analyze the marketing mix of Spotify including the four Ps in its marketing mix. We will also analyze the promotional strategy of the music streaming platform in brief and its growth strategy.
Our lives continue to be transformed by digital technology from work to fun and all other spheres of life. Over the past several years, the way we consume our daily dose of entertainment has been radically altered by a growing number of apps and other online channels.
Spotify is one of the leading names in the world of digital entertainment that has acquired global fame swiftly despite being challenged by formidable competitors including leading names like Google, YouTube, Amazon and Apple. Driving the growth of the company are technology and customer experience and people’s need for entertainment worldwide.
The music streaming platform stores more than 82 million tracks including more than 3.6 million podcast titles. Instead of buying and owning music, customers can access music on Spotify whenever and wherever they like. It has adopted a different business model compared to the other online music streaming channels.
As a music streaming network, Spotify has enjoyed excellent growth in the recent years. It had 406 million monthly active users and more than 180 million premium subscribers in 2021. The company mainly converts its ad based account users into premium subscribers.
7 Ps in the Marketing Mix of Spotify
Music is the core product offered by Spotify. It stores more than 82 million tracks in various languages and across several genres to the cater to the needs of its customers worldwide. It is quite a large collection and therefore, Spotify suits the needs of a large segment of customers across the globe. However, its product range is not limited to just musical tracks but it also offers podcasts. There are more than 3.6 million podcast titles on Spotify. The company has entered into licensing agreements with several music brands for the tracks owned by them. Its invests heavily in research and development to increase the effectiveness of its platform and products. In 2021, it spent around $915 million on research and development. The focus of its research and development efforts is also to improve user engagement on its platform.
Spotify is a Luxembourg company that went public in 2009. Its legal name is Spotify technologies S.A. The company has its headquarters located at Stockholm, Sweden. The company offers is services online through its website and app. People across 184 countries and territories can avail of its services using the internet. In 2021, it launches its services across 80 new markets in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, and Latin America. Its largest market based on number of monthly active users is Europe. The United States is its largest individual market based on net revenue.
Spotify follows a very different business strategy compared to the other inline streaming platforms including music and movies streaming networks. Its pricing strategy is a mix of premium and ad-based pricing strategies. At the end of 2021, the company had around 406 million monthly active users including around 180 million premium subscribers. The company offers various types of premium plans based on the end of specific customer segments. It offers Standard plan, Family Plan, Duo Plan, and Student Plan to its customers globally. The number of premium subscribers of Spotify’s online music streaming services underwent impressive growth in 2021 and rose from 155 million in 2020 to 180 million 2021. The premium segment is the larger source of revenue for the company. Its freemium pricing strategy has worked well to drive higher subscription rate and growth in user base and revenue.
Spotify has adopted a digital business model, which is different from any traditional radio service and the other music streaming services providers. The company’s focus on excellent user experience and customer friendly pricing strategy have led to fast growth in its user base. It has been able to establish itself as a unique music streaming platform that enjoys solid popularity worldwide in various markets. The popularity of its services is particularly high in the western markets including the US, Latin America and Europe.
The company enjoys strong brand awareness in most corners of the world including the Asia Pacific region. However, it also invests in advertising and promotions to drive increase in brand awareness, user base growth and to improve its premium subscription rate. The company invested $1,135 million in sales and marketing in 2021 according to its annual report 2021, which was 10% higher than the previous year. The demand for its services in various markets has also grown due to the user friendliness of its platform and its continuous focus on product quality.
It is the era of digital marketing and social media channels have also become leading marketing platforms for businesses of all sizes including small sized startups and leading technology businesses. Spotify has an excellent social media. Marketing strategy in place that is a part of its core branding strategy. The company uses various social media channels to bolster its branding efforts, improve brand awareness and to drive higher user engagement. Facebook is the leading social media channel used by Spotify, where it has more than 23 million followers. The company also has an impressive presence on the other social media platforms including YouTube and Twitter.
Here is Spotify’s mission statement:
“Our mission is to unlock the potential of human creativity by giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by these creators.”
The mission statement is a bit broadly defined for a music streaming platform and does not sufficiently capture the essence of its business. Spotify is a music streaming company and not an art website that promotes artists. The company must focus its mission statement on music and listeners since that is what is at the core of its business.
For any tech organization, its employees are an important asset driving its performance, growth and competitiveness in the market. Spotify also maintains a strong focus on its human resources and apart from impressive salaries also invests in other areas to promote higher employee development and happiness. As of 2021, the company had average 6617 employees. The number of employees working for Spotify has increased sharply in recent years. Two years ago, the number of employees working for Spotify was 4,405. Around 26% of its employees in 2021 were based in Sweden. Daniel Ek is the founder, CEO and chairman of Board of directors at Spotify.
As a tech brand, who service business model is based on digital technology, the company maintains strong focus on its business processes to ensure delivery of high-quality services to customers across the globe. It invests in research and development. The company relies on cloud computing for the delivery of its services worldwide to consumers. It relies mainly on Google Cloud Platform, which provides a distributed computing infrastructure platform for its business operations. Spotify also relies mainly on GCP for majority of its primary storage.
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Spotify is an entirely digital business model which widely differs from any traditional business. However, there is very little in its case that might count as physical evidence. However, its excellence in the other areas of its marketing mix more than makes up for the lack of physical evidence. Apart from that, a vast group of users across the world is now familiar with such digital services providers and their operating model, which is another crucial factor related to the marketing and sales of digital services like Spotify does.
A few last words:
The spectacular rise of Spotify against several dominant players in the music streaming industry proves that technological innovation can help even small brands win in the global market. It is set in a highly competitive market against the most dominant players like Google and Apple. However, it has been able to establish itself as a distinct brand and achieve solid growth in its user base. Not just technological innovation, but customer experience has also remained Spotify’s focus. At the surface, it might not look different but when you check deeper, Spotify has a solid competitive advantage driven by excellent user experience, a large collection of music titles and podcasts and an excellent customer friendly business model.
The favorable pricing strategy of the company has also remained a critical driver of growth for the business. Spotify’s financial performance has also improved in recent years as its net loss has continued to fall, having declined to under $50 million in fiscal 2021. In 2021, its net loss was $581 million according to its annual report. The financial condition of the music streaming platform is improving and so is its user base. Spotify also continues to increase its investment in innovation to find faster growth. The company’s brand awareness continues to rise. It is using social media platforms and other digital channels for promotions and user engagement. In the above marketing mix of Spotify, you can note the critical role of its promotions, place and pricing strategies to drive higher growth for the platform worldwide. The company continues to expand its business by entering new markets and continues to retain a strong position in the US as well..
OTHER SOURCES: Spotify form 10K 2021.