Spotify and the power of earned media
There is nothing better than creating tools for your audience that help them help you.
👋 Welcome to the FWIW by David Tvrdon, your weekly tech, media & audio digest.
In this edition
🏆 How is Spotify winning
🤔 What does the Slack acquisition by Salesforce mean
💬 Other tech, media, audio & podcasting news
👻 BONUS: My latest column for The Fix titled Two trends from US media European media won’t have to deal with.
How Spotify’s end of the year Wrapped series gives it an extra boost
📸 by Spotify
It’s that time of the year again and people are sharing their Spotify listening stats and habits. All data Spotify has nicely repackaged for social sharing and there lies a good lesson and there are some obvious outcomes for the streaming service.
First things first, for those who are struggling with the marketing term earned media, here is a good explainer by Hubspot:
Earned media, or earned content, is any material written about you or your business that you haven't paid for or created yourself. Although this type of media is always published by a third party, there are ways marketers can position themselves for earned media opportunities.
In other words, if you can make your content spread on other platforms without paying for it, that’s what is meant here.
Spotify’s Wrapped series creates a lot of buzz for the company. “Spotify always sees a jump in app store rankings in early December following the Year in Review campaign,” analyst Kevin Rippey told Bloomberg in a note.
Keep in mind, for the company to create the series each year a team of developers, graphic designers, and data analysts (and others) have to come together and spend weeks, possibly months creating the experience.
It’s not just a web experience, it’s built-in to the Spotify app. This year the company made it available for outside audiences as well. That takes quite a lot of work, if you ever released an app, you will know the drill. If not, trust me, there is quite a lot of work involved - prototyping, developing, iterating, testing, releasing…
Though the result is all that matters in this case and that is users spreading the message instead of Spotify.
Each year, my timelines on various social channels get taken over by people sharing the most listened to songs, artists, podcasts, and more.
This is great, for Spotify. Free marketing. But as I explained above, it did not just come from thin air. The whole Wrapped series is designed to appeal to both existing users and people who see those messages.
The lesson here is to help your fans promote your brand and service. The Spotify Wrapped series is in this regard one of the best tools and yearly campaigns out there.
Related news regarding Spotify:
Anchor powered more than 1 million show launches in 2020. Spotify says Anchor shows account for more consumption, in terms of time spent listening, than any other third-party podcast hosting or distribution provider on its platform. [The Verge]
Most popular podcasts globally on Spotify in 2020
The Joe Rogan Experience
TED Talks Daily
The Michelle Obama Podcast
Call Her Daddy
Most popular podcast genres globally on Spotify in 2020
Society & Culture
Lifestyle & Health
Arts & Entertainment
Spotify for Podcasters @forpodcastersA look at the top podcasts of the year on Spotify 🌎🎙️ #2020Wrapped #SpotifyCharts https://t.co/hVSPyVoc5j
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In other news
🤑 Salesforce is buying Slack. It’s huge news, not only because of the amount which is one of the highest-paid for another tech company ($28 billion) but also what it all could mean for both companies. Salesforce has been doing good, Slack less so, especially since Microsoft introduces Teams in 2016 and by bundling it into Office 365 managed to grow it well past 100 million users (115 currently) compared to Slack’s 12 million.
Here is a good primer on the history of Slack vs. Microsoft by Casey Newton: How Microsoft crushed Slack. Also, keep in mind, with this acquisition Salesforce can better compete against Microsoft, and Slack gets an army of salespeople who will bundle Slack with existing Salesforce products.
And here is a list of biggest tech acquisitions by Inside / Business:
💱 Cryptocurrency news:
The world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency is getting a major upgrade a long-delayed upgrade to its underlying network known as Ethereum 2.0. Here is CNBC to explain: The planned upgrade [to Ethereum 2.0] could allow thousands more transactions to take place every second. Meanwhile, investors believe it could also lead to further adoption of ether as well as price appreciation.
Bitcoin hits a new record, no bubble this time, more investors now are buying it for the long term. Here is NYTimes to explain what is happening: Nearly three years after it went on a hair-bending rise and hit a peak of $19,783, the price of a single Bitcoin rose above that for the first time on Monday. Buyers — led by American investors, including companies and other traditional investors — are treating Bitcoin as an alternative asset, somewhat like gold, according to an analysis from the data firm Chainalysis. Rather than quickly trading in and out of it, more investors are using Bitcoin as a place to park part of their investment portfolios outside the influence of governments and the traditional financial system.
The breakthrough could help researchers design new drugs and understand diseases. In the longer term, predicting protein structure will also help design synthetic proteins, such as enzymes that digest waste or produce biofuels.
📈 Reddit has 52 million daily active users. That's not a huge userbase compared to Facebook's 1.82 billion and even Twitter's 187 million. Reddit said it's growing fast, up 44% since last year. Reddit has some of the same problems as Twitter, huge impact, and an undervalued platform. [Wall Street Journal]
📲 The future for WhatsApp might be a customer service tool. A recent acquisition of the Kustomer startup by Facebook hints at what could be the messaging platform’s future in terms of monetization. Shira Ovide writes: With the planned purchase of Kustomer, a (ridiculously named) start-up that helps businesses do customer service by chat apps, you can see that Facebook wants WhatsApp to be a version of customer call centers. It’s also trying to make WhatsApp a 21st-century Sears catalog, or maybe a digital currency. [NY Times]
🎥 Netflix plans to double spending on original content in Asia. Why? The Asian market is crowded and diverse and in order to better compete, Netflix needs more shows like the popular Korean zombie period thriller Kingdom or the hugely popular and divisive reality series Indian Matchmaking. [Bloomberg]
RELATED: Bloomberg makes the case that if ‘Queen’s Gambit’ (Netflix’s biggest hit this year) was made by Disney, the company would build to the IP, develop special edition chessboards, include theme-park attractions, and more. For Netflix, it’s just another show, for Disney it could be much more. Also, coming back to Netflix’s release strategy, Bloomberg reminds us: "The Mandalorian" is a lot more in-demand online than "The Queen's Gambit," per Parrot Analytics. And that’s because of the weekly release schedule and building anticipation.
💸 Writers of the hugely popular and influential Politico Playbook will start their own newsletter and independent media venture. It’s yet another case of high profile journalists leaving established media to start their own thing. Definitely the biggest trend of this year. [Axios]
📺 Daytime video usage is the new norm among working professionals. Nielsen says after living in a pandemic for nine months, daytime has become a second primetime for total TV consumption among many former office professionals and managers who increased their total TV time (live, time-shifted, internet-connected device, game console). The 21% increase between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m in October 2020 among professionals equates to 26 additional minutes per day and the uptick in daytime consumption has not negatively affected evening viewing.[Nielsen]
🗞️ What we think we know and what we want to know: perspectives on trust in news in a changing world. The Trust in News Project by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism published its first report. One of the key takeaways is that there is no single ‘trust in news’ problem, but rather multiple challenges involving both the supply of news and demand for information. What’s more alarming to me is that per the report many scholars and practitioners have diagnosed problems in the production of news that may contribute to distrust. [Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism]
🧒🏼 EBU launched The 2020 Youth Report. Aimed at public service media but there are lessons for anyone. Just register and you can download the report with 60 success stories from all over Europe and 10 strategic recommendations.[EBU]
🏆 Apple releases its ‘Best of 2020’ App Store winners and most downloaded apps of the year. [TechCrunch]
👻 Giphy released its most viewed gifs of 2020. And it’s a delight. Happy procrastination. [Giphy blog]
🎧 Audiblogs will turn any web article into a podcast you can listen to in your podcast player. A new Chrome extension uses text-to-speech, then produces a personal RSS feed which you can subscribe to and listen to articles in your podcast player. [Audiblogs]
⏩ Super Listeners 2020 study coming on December 8. Mark your calendars, Edison Research will release data regarding listeners who consume more than five hours of podcasts a week. [Edison Research]
🎤 Podcast marketing tips for sports podcasts. [LimeLink]
💰 Podcast advertising market set to be worth nearly $3.5 billion globally by 2025. A new study by Omdia global research agency suggests. Global podcast advertising revenue is set to reach $1.4bn by the end of 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic hitting some budgets. [Omdia]
📊 Chartable released Podcast-to-Podcast Advertising Benchmarks. You can also filter by genre. [Chartable]
📈 The best podcasts in the world according to Apple Podcasts 2020. [Podnews]
🎬 Amazon is in talks to buy podcast production company Wondery. Wondery has been successful in developing podcasts that turned into movies and TV shows. Amazon is investing in audio and Wondery’s podcasts would provide valuable IP. [Wall Street Journal]
🎛️ IAB Europe released a buyer’s guide to digital audio. [IAB Europe]