How Spotify Increased Premium Subscriptions using Google Optimize 360

Spotify is an audio streaming music service that gives users access to millions of songs from just about every music genre in the world on any device. It’s available for free, but the company also offers premium subscriptions, where users can access music without ads, listen offline and skip as many songs as they want. Streaming services are very competitive, as they deal with worldwide audiences possessing diverse tastes. As a global company that has to compete with local and global providers in each market, Spotify was finding it challenging to be relevant and localised everywhere.

About Spotify
Music, video and podcast streaming service
Currently available in 65 countries
Headquarters: Stockholm, Sweden
www.Spotify.com
Goals
Increase number of premium subscribers
Create locally relevant experiences in different regions
Approach
Used the Optimize 360 and AdWords integration
Created custom landing page for users in Germany interested in audiobooks
Results
24% increase in premium subscriptions for people searching for audiobooks on Google
Launching more A/B tests globally

Spotify wanted to increase the number of subscriptions for their premium product, and they wanted to remain locally relevant by tapping into the knowledge of Spotify employees in specific regions to understand what’s currently popular.

Joost de Schepper, Spotify’s Head of Conversion Optimisation, was finding it difficult to obtain the resources for local teams to build local landing pages for their website. As a result, all the landing pages in every region looked the same. “Our employees all wanted localisation for their specific markets”, he says. “But typically with these requests, smaller markets in specific countries had more trouble getting the resources they needed from our research and development team.” 

“Optimize 360 gave us new possibilities and opportunities. We’ve improved how we localise and personalise our site, and we’re tapping into new audiences that we wouldn’t have reached before.”

– Joost de Schepper, Head of Conversion Optimisation, Spotify

Benefitting from the Optimize 360 and AdWords integration

Spotify needed a tool to create custom experiences for each market without utilising development resources. Fortunately, the company was already using Google Analytics 360, so they were able to turn to another product in the Google family – Google Optimize 360.  

“Optimize 360 offered us direct integration with Analytics 360, making it extremely easy to use and see the test results”, Joost says. The integration allowed Spotify to deliver a custom landing page for users who had reached their site through one of their AdWords ads. For example, Spotify could show custom site content to users who had searched for and clicked on a Spotify ad for “music streaming subscription”.

In their research, the team discovered that the most streamed piece of content in Germany was, surprisingly, an audiobook rather than a song. “Our goal was to show interested users that we have a wide selection of audiobooks, and the experience of listening to them on Spotify is even better when subscribing to premium”, says Maxime Nivet, Spotify’s Subscription Specialist for the European market.

The team used the Optimize 360 integration with AdWords to improve the effectiveness of their AdWords campaigns for the German market and increase premium subscriptions. They created a custom landing page dedicated to audiobooks, then targeted the keyword “audiobook” from an AdWords campaign that was focused on Germany. When users in Germany searched for “audiobook” and clicked on one of Spotify’s ads, they were either brought to the custom page or to the original page.

Gaining valuable customer insights

The results far exceeded expectations, increasing premium subscriptions by 24%. The ability to set up tests quickly and easily made a huge difference. “If we’d run this experiment without Optimize 360, it would have taken us much longer and it might never be prioritised”, says Maxime. “This experiment has changed how Spotify can be more locally relevant across all markets.”

Joost appreciates this increased velocity of testing from Optimize 360. “Before, it was a fairly slow process to get all these tests done. Now, with Optimize, we could have 20 or more tests running at the same time in different countries, on different landing pages or on different places on the Spotify.com domain.”

Going forward, he says it’s critical that Spotify keeps gaining new insights about their customers. “It’s important that we test a lot, so it doesn’t matter if we fail as long as we keep on testing, doing a lot of different things all the time and never sitting still. It’s a very competitive industry, so we always need to innovate.”

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