Spotify creates soundtracks for the city

The music streaming site's new Canadian campaign focuses on localized playlists for areas of Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
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Spotify Canada is trying to create a true soundtrack for Canadians’ lives with its new “Music for Your World” campaign.

The campaign, launching today, includes special playlists centred around particular spots of Toronto (King St.), Vancouver (Stanley Park), Montreal (Plateau), and Calgary (17th Avenue).

“We want to make sure that the service we provide to Canadians is tailored and customized to the Canadian audience,” says James Herbert, Spotify’s head of marketing in Canada. “One way we thought we could do that is to soundtrack some of those iconic neighbourhoods, moments and places in Canada.”

Each playlist has an average of 100 songs, pulled together mainly through the service’s data insights team. “First and foremost, it is data driven,” Herbert says. “We’ve quite meticulously looked through the most popular songs that are streamed in those areas.”

Spotify’s internal editorial team and certain pop culture influencers, such as Urbanology magazine co-founder Priya Ramanujam, Calgary’s The Style Guys and Montreal’s Westmount Fashionista, have also helped curate the lists.

The service will be promoting the new “Music for Your World” campaign with eight weeks of OOH placements, digital display and banner ads. Media was done by UM with creative led by Anomaly. The OOH placements will be tailored to the particular neighbourhood to drive people to the playlists and to Spotify’s site. For instance, ads along Toronto’s heavily-used 504 King streetcar route will be focused on that particular playlist. That hyper-local approach will also apply to the digital buy, which will be focused on brands like BlogTO in Toronto, VanCityBuzz in the Vancouver, and Avenue in Calgary, along with a programmatic buy working with publishers relevant to Spotify’s users.

The brand is also using a reactive social campaign to connect people with the “Music for Your World” content, which Herbert says provides an opportunity “to create meaningful, personal and relevant playlisting in response to social messaging.” When certain people that Spotify will be monitoring, such as music editors and other pop culture influencers, or other people engaging in a unique way with the brand post on social media, it will respond by posting its playlists. For example, when someone tweets about being stuck in traffic or going out with friends, Spotify will respond with its curated playlists related to those everyday occurrences. That component of the campaign will include some paid support, focused on promoting posts the brand sees as already performing well organically.

Spotify, which launched in Canada last September, also recently expanded its in-service ad options, allowing brands to target customer segments through 16 curated playlists like “girls night” and “working out.” Those options will extend to the new playlists, although Spotify says this initiative is less sales-driven and more about increasing awareness and giving Canadians a reason to use the service.

As of mid-April, the music streaming service had 60 million users worldwide, with 45 million on the free service and 15 million on the ad-free paid version.

With files from Val Maloney