Brand: Spotify USA
Award: Graphite Pencil / Digital Design / Websites / 2016
Now approaching its tenth anniversary, Spotify’s Year In Music has established itself as an annual highlight for music lovers. It aggregates a user’s music listening habits for the year, and provides them with a bespoke web experience showcasing their most listened to artists, genres and songs. But with such expectations comes more potential for failure, and more pressure on the design teams to deliver.
Spotify’s Senior Brand Manager, Candice Greenberg traces the growth of Year In Music, “It’s evolved from a very simple blog post on our website in 2007 when it was just called ‘The Retrospective’. We wanted to tell the story about the top charts of the year and create a pause to reflect back on the soundtrack of that year.”
Having introduced personalisation in 2013, Spotify wanted to increase the project’s relevance for 2015, building in what Candice calls, “A story around how our music fans’ listening reflects back to the world at large.” Given the learnings witnessed over nine years they knew the behaviours they could expect. “It was almost like your own Grammy awards. We’ve actually seen a ton of motivation where people have tried to beat their records from previous years. That was where we wanted to evolve it towards.”
For Spotify, finding the right agency to work with to deliver the 2015 project would be make-or-break. In 2014 they had worked with full service agency Razorfish, and prior to that with Layerframe. But having most recently worked with Stinkdigital on personalised projects ‘Taste Rewind’ and ‘Found First’, they knew they were the best match for this complex build.
The goal of Year In Music is to encourage brand affinity, as Candice explains, “We really see ourselves as a music service that’s for music fans, by music fans. We wanted to create an experience where people could learn more about themselves… It isn’t anything more than a wonderful reward to celebrate our fans and their listening.” A project with such noble objectives sounds like a dream project, and for Stinkdigital’s Mark Pytlik, it was, “We were thrilled. We knew the Year In Music campaign, it’s something anybody would love to work on.”