Spotify Wrapped: Neha Ahuja on revealing unexpected traits of listeners
In an exclusive conversation with Social Samosa, Spotify’s Neha Ahuja shares insights on Spotify Wrapped, how it has become an online movement that almost everyone on the internet participates in, and the digital campaign for it this year.
Last night was a Spotify Fest on Instagram. As soon as Wrapped kicked off, most Stories on Instagram showed the users their listeners’ personalities, their top songs, and more. From a friend staying the next lane to Drake from Toronto, almost everyone has been sharing their Spotify Wrapped lists. Along with users, brands such as Swiggy also participated in this topical moment.
The Digital Campaign
From the first view of the campaign, it comes across as Wrapped gives a glimpse inside the listeners’ personalities, which is not really out in the open.
For instance, Dadi grooving on Oo Antava, or a bodybuilder showing off his physique on the track Kesariya. Neha Ahuja, Director, Head Of Marketing, Spotify India shared the insights behind this concept.
Wrapped is the human truth, and the human truth is unexpected juxtaposition.Neha Ahuja
She shares, “Wrapped is purely celebrating the data, without manual intervention. We first understand what has happened through the year, and there are new artists, songs, and genres coming up in India, with Gen-Z bringing new genres in their listening consumption”.
The year was different than the last two years, wherein everyone was going through similar emotions and being filled with gratitude and resilience. The binding emotion was the new normal and new behavior. “This year, we said that we will not define the year through music. We will define wrapped, and celebrate it through a human truth”, says Ahuja.
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“Do you expect me to listen to Tamma Tamma when I go to a meeting? No, you don’t. Because there is an understanding of this personality type and you’re like, I’m sure this person who listens to this kind of music. That is what we are celebrating. There is a lot of unexpected juxtapositioning that is happening. I have jazz in my Top Songs, but I also have Kesariya and being a hardcore Punjabi, I’ve also danced and choreographed a Punjabi song for a wedding. These are all true stories”.
Your personality always does not give away what you consume.Neha Ahuja
The digital campaign was created in association with Leo Burnett, and the production house Prodigious. Describing the collaboration with the agency and production partners, she mentioned that, unlike any other campaign, there were more guardrails otherwise, the agency typically has a wider playing field where a human insight is given and what needs to be highlighted.
Data was the starting point for the collaboration journey, and the core insight was unexpected juxtaposition. Social media is the primary media platform for the distribution of the campaign.
The Online Movement
Since the past few years, Spotify Wrapped has become this online movement that most online communities wake up to during the end of the year. People are Tweeting about it, social media brands are posting topicals themed around it, and artists are sharing their stats.
Talking about the impact that Wrapped has had on 456 million users, including 195 million subscribers across 183 markets, Neha states this is about the experience of every user and the shareability of this experience.
“It’s not a content property, or a campaign, or an IP, it is a franchise that Spotify has built globally. What worked for us is the investment in this franchise that goes on for a month”, she adds.
The Visual Language
The visual language of the franchise this year is filled with poppy and bold colors with kaleidoscopic elements. Neha reckons that the visuals are designed to reflect the listeners and all that music can do. “There’s a lot of energy and they’re vibrant because listeners are consuming different kinds of music, they’re also very layered,” says Ahuja.
These elements are designed to portray a day in the life of a listener. “You will be shocked when you hear why this music is being listened to in the morning and this being listened to at night. So it’s a complex listening behavior. It was just a representation of the way we feel users are — which is energetic, vibrant, a bit complex, and a bit layered.”
Sharing her closing thoughts, Ahuja says this year, Spotify Wrapped looks very different and is confident that it will generate a lot of buzz on social media.
“We are all very excited. There are many more users in India who will experience Wrapped so we are particularly excited about that. Last year, the user base was small and the qualification was a bit different, but this year, it’s a huge number. So we expect a lot of this to come onto the social platforms”.
Meanwhile Wrapped has taken over the internet, memes, social awareness posts, funny tweets, topical posts by brands, artist stats, and listening habits, all of it has been wrapped under this umbrella theme and surfacing all over.