I want to help you, not steal your time.
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🎯 TL;DR’s” if you don’t have time for this 8 minutes long article! Also, bold text represents what the section is about.


Hello Spotify! 👋😃

I am thrilled that you landed on this page! My name is Jean-Marc Santolin. I’m a Belgian marketing master’s degree student, and my goal and dream is to come in Stockholm to work with you at Spotify as marketing intern, in your conversion team, during the first half of 2018.

Because I want you so bad, I couldn’t just send you my resume and cover letter and hope for the best. So I asked myself the question :

Let’s assume the dream comes true and I get an internship at Spotify’s marketing department. How would I manage to help improving it’s conversion rates?

I noticed that a big part of Spotify’s marketing is based on word of mouth. Actually, WOM helps a lot to develop trust, engagement, loyalty and eventually sales. Those two statements lead to my decision to focus on that specific aspect of Spotify’s marketing strategy, and more precisely on enhancing Spotify’s sharing experience.

To do so, I had to understand what Spotify users’ sharing experience is like in order to draw conclusions on how Spotify can improve it — and generate more word of mouth, thus attract and convert more users.

This is what I’ve been doing for the last two weeks : I ran a small market research. And here are the results.

🎯 TL;DR : I, a marketing student, dream to get an internship at Spotify thus ran a market research to show my love for the brand and abilities.

How Spotify Can Improve Its Sharing Rates

The survey was answered by 218 french people, men and women. The vast majority come from Belgium and France and most of them are aged of 18 to 24 (60%) — 75.8% are between 18 and 29 years old. More than two thirds use Spotify (70.2%).

Among Spotify users, 25.2% say they use it often and 43% use it every day. Most of them use the mobile and computer apps, and the majority (58.3%) do it through a free Spotify account — 19.2% use Premium, 17.2% use Premium for families and 5.3% use Premium for students.

🎯 TL;DR : Most answers come from young french people who regularly use Spotify on both mobile and computer apps.


SPOTIFY USERS’ SHARING EXPERIENCE — GENERAL

Among our Spotify users, 33.1% share very few music, 24.5% share sometimes and 10.6% share a lot — the others don’t share.

What Spotify users share is mostly tracks (87.2%). Playlists come next (21.1%), then artists (17.4%) and albums (12.8%) — which they just share, not specifically through Spotify.

Facebook Messenger is by far the place where most Spotify users share music (62.2%). Facebook itself comes in second place (33.3%), right before WhatsApp (25.2%). It’s interesting to note that Spotify users generally share more with specific people than to a randomer — based on the fact that private messages platforms rank higher than public posts based ones. Therefore, sharing can be qualified a “personalised” experience for most Spotify users.

🎯 TL;DR : Spotify users mostly share tracks and a third do it often. The graph below shows where they share — hover over the bars to discover the numbers :

Messenger Day : 0%

The main reason why Spotify users share music is to let people around them discover music they already know (68.5%). This might translate as a will to become some kind of small radio. The second most common reason is to share a great discovery (49.5%) — we’ll discuss how Spotify helps them discover music they like to share in a moment. In third place comes the fact that they just love that track, playlist, artist or album and thus, want to share it.

🎯 TL;DR :

The graph below summarises the reasons why Spotify users share music :

Why Spotify users share music?

So far, we were discussing about Spotify users’ sharing behaviour in general, not specifically through Spotify. However, 44.5% of them actually use Spotify to share music. A fair amount of users also share music in writing (30%) or through screenshot of their music player (25.5%), and some directly share the corresponding music file (7.3%). But still the majority of Spotify users share music through YouTube (56.4%) — although most of them use Spotify often, as we saw earlier.

How do Spotify users share music?

The reasons for Spotify users to share via Spotify or via YouTube are almost the same for both platforms : it’s fast and easy to use. However, some users say they have the feeling that YouTube is a faster way to share. They also mention that the video clip usually comes with the track when sharing through YouTube, which they like, and that the recipient can just click and listen. That being said, the 30 seconds preview of Spotify is appreciated too.

🎯 TL;DR : Spotify users mostly share through YouTube and Spotify, because it’s fast and easy. They like Youtube’s video clips and its “click and listen” experience.

SPOTIFY USERS’ SHARING EXPERIENCE — THROUGH SPOTIFY

As seen earlier, 49.5% of Spotify users say they like to share great music they discover. An interesting question to ask ourselves is : how does Spotify help its users discover music they like to share?

Almost one Spotify user out of two shares music they’ve discovered thanks to Spotify playlists (47%). Artists profiles, the Top charts and Spotify radios also help them a lot to discover music they are likely to share. However, regarding Viral charts and the Your Release Radar feature, only 8.6% of those users say it helped them discover music to share.

🎯 TL;DR : “I shared music after discovering it through these Spotify features” :

How does Spotify help its users discover music they like to share?

We also saw that 44.5% of users share music through Spotify. To dig deeper, they were asked which Spotify sharing features they use — collaborative playlists, links, direct sharing and/or Spotify codes — on a scale from 0 (never) to 3 (a lot) and why they do or don’t use it.

Note : for each feature, a screenshot illustrated what feature was discussed in addition to the name of the feature.

Collaborative playlists is the most commonly used feature. People like the fact that it’s an easy solution for music selection during events, holidays or in shared rooms. In most cases, users who don’t use collaborative playlist are not actually sharing music at all, didn’t know about that feature or the feature seems to complicated to them.

Direct sharing — the options available in the share menu — is the second most used feature. The reason is the same for everybody : it is fast and super easy to use. People who don’t make use of it say they don’t know about this feature and/or they prefer using YouTube links.

Spotify links are a very easy way to share music too, according to the people who use it. Other users though say it’s a bit complicated and not as fast to use nor efficient as YouTube links. Others say they didn’t know about that feature. Users were also wondering if their friends needed to download anything or to register in order to listen to the shared music, thus didn’t use that feature.

Spotify codes are very new. Spotify users who like to use them say it’s helpful to share music with people who sit next to them. The majority of users don’t use this Spotify feature, mostly because they don’t know about it. Others say it’s not fast enough nor fancy.

🎯 TL;DR : “I use collaborative playlists during events, before or during holidays and in shared rooms ; Spotify’s direct sharing menu and Spotify links are fast and easy to use ; Spotify codes are easy for sharing with people sitting next to me.”
Most people who don’t use those features don’t know about them or about how to use them. The graph below shows how much Spotify users use these features — pale green : never, bright green : a lot.

0 (pale green) = I never use it | 3 (bright green) = I use it a lot

ABOUT NON-SPOTIFY USERS

Less than a third of the people who answered the survey aren’t using Spotify (29.8%). Most of them are aged of 18 to 24 (48.4%) — 65.6% are between 18 and 29 years old — but this public is globally older : 10.9% are between 35 and 44, and 10.9% between 45 and 54.

They mostly listen to music on YouTube, by downloading illegally or on physical support — 18–24 use less physical support. The reasons why they don’t use Spotify involve pricing, the abilities to listen offline, to always carry music around, to choose which track they wan’t to play as of immediately, the no-ads experience and the quality of sound. Some also mentioned the support to artists. One user mentioned the fact that “YouTube allows me to create playlists” and another said “Apple Music gives me a great music library for not so much” as reasons not to use Spotify.

🎯 TL;DR : non-Spotify users are older and mostly use YouTube, illegal downloads or physical support. They don’t use Spotify because of price, mobility, choice of track, sound quality, offline and/or no-ads experience.

The chart below gives an overview of how non-Spotify users listen to music :

How do non-Spotify users listen to music?

In comparison with Spotify users, non-Spotify users share a bit less, they share artists more and more via email. On a scale from 0 (never) to 3 (a lot), here is a comparison of how much non-Spotify users share music vs. Spotify users :

🎯 TL;DR : non-Spotify users share a bit less :

Do Spotify users share more than non-Spotify users?

How can Spotify take advantage of all of this?

First of all, this work allowed me to discover one more time what a great job you guys are already doing at Spotify and should continue to do :

  • Spotify is very good at making its users discover music, which seems to be a key element in Spotify users’ sharing experience.
  • Almost everyone said that sharing should be fast and easy. And the majority of Spotify users who share music via Spotify say it is.
  • The social platforms displayed in Spotify’s direct sharing menu are the ones where Spotify users share the most — ok, that’s not a surprise.
  • With its chatbot or the 30 seconds preview, Spotify is getting better and better at Messenger, which is by far the place where its users share the most.
  • Spotify just made it even easier to share on iMessage. Amazing work!

🎯 TL;DR : Spotify is very good at music discovery, has a fast and easy sharing experience, integrates more and more with the most used platforms…

HOW CAN SPOTIFY IMPROVE ITS SHARING EXPERIENCE

Educate the user. The number 1 reason why our users don’t share through Spotify — and thus spread the word — is because they either don’t know about the features or they don’t know how to use them. Also, questions were asked about limitations for the people they share with (do they need to download anything and/or register?). Anyway, it’s not clear for them. Because of that, a fair amount of users skip Spotify as an option when they want to share music.

NB : I got an ad educating me about Spotify podcasts recently. This is great! Why not for sharing features?

Educate the user in the right context. When I say that, I’m thinking about collaborative playlists. Many people use them in specific contexts, such as events, holidays or in shared rooms. If Spotify can deduct that some users are in one of those situations, it can educate them on how to use the feature and recommend them to use it.

Better understand the user. There are plenty of ways to achieve this, more so now that AI is here to help. Essentially, what I mean here is that knowing a user and its tastes allows a better and more personalised experience. This leads to new discoveries, better recommandations, plays of music they love… And eventually, to more shares. That said, you’re probably already working on that.

A more social platform? This one is tricky. It’s maybe more product than marketing, and I guess you have already thought about it. 68.5% of Spotify users like to share music they already know to make others discover it — when I talked about becoming some kind of small radio. 49.5% of them like to share their new discoveries. And 32.5% of users discover music they want to share on artists profiles. Which makes me think about a social platform. I wish I’d asked people not only about sharing music, but also about discovering what their friends are sharing. Nevertheless, it’s too tricky for me to say whether or not this is a good idea.

🎯 TL;DR : Most people don’t share through Spotify because they “don’t know” (usage, limitation, advantages…). Context matters (e.g. for collaborative playlists) and a personalised experience should lead to more shares. This can help Spotify improve its sharing experience. Spotify as a more social platform seems interesting too but very tricky for me to say wether or not this is a good idea.


Not only am I a fan of Spotify, that I literally use everyday, but also of the culture of the company : human, passionate, innovative, unconventional, hard working.

I would love to work with you as marketing intern, in your conversion team in Stockholm — especially between February and July 2018. And I’m ready to do a lot to make this dream come true.

Hopefully does this project show my passion for Spotify and my ability to join the band. But, of course, you don’t know me very well… yet. What about an interview?

Resume | jmsantolin@mail.com | Linkedin

Whatever the outcome of this application, I wish you a fantastic day! 🎉


Written while listening to the playlist “Awwwards Conference London 2017”. If you’ve never listened to awwwards’ playlists I do recommend them, very relaxing.