Earlier this semester, we had the opportunity to meet with Melissa Finney, Director of East Coast Sales at Spotify. Melissa discussed the evolution of the streaming service, the growth they have seen over the years and the customer segments they focus on. In addition, she provided information about how Spotify uses customer data to better understand their user needs in order to provide they best possible experience.
One thing that I found most interesting was how discovery at Spotify informs data and data informs personlaization, which is used it to speak back to their users. They spend a lot of time analyzing customer data and past behaviors to understand them, predict what they’d be interested in and provide intelligent guesses on their current, future and past preferences. A new feature of Spotify that Melissa highlighted was the ” My High School Playlist”. The feature takes the information that Spotify knows about the user including age and past streaming history to guess what music they listened to when they were in high school. Users are taken on a personalized journey back to those 4 years of high school through music. According to Spotify’s data intelligence team, “When it’s personalized, our fans stream more. Those who listen to Discover Weekly stream 2.1x longer than those who don’t.” This feature including the many others Spotify has released to personalize each user’s experience is the reason that they are leading the Music streaming industry.
As a user of Spotify and one of their top competitors Apple Music, I can say that I see a large difference in the discoverability and personlaization of the apps. Wile they both allow users to select specific music or discover new music via playlists, Spotify does a better job at curating their music in to endless collections of like categories. When I’m in the mood to listen to specific songs or artists, I gravitate to Apple Music. However, when I want I have no specific preference but want to listen to a certain genre for an extended period of time,I listen to Spotify. If Spotify keeps up their efforts to learn as much about their users as possible to provide an unmatched streaming experience, they will remain the top music streaming app.