Spotify uses Google Optimize 360 to increase premium subscriptions
Case Study

Spotify uses Google Optimize 360 to increase premium subscriptions

Meeting the music tastes of listeners everywhere

If you’re a music fan, chances are you’ve heard of Spotify. This audio streaming service gives users around the world access to millions of songs from just about every music genre — on any device. Spotify is available for free, but the company also offers a premium subscription, where users can access music without ads, listen to music offline, and skip as many songs as they want.

As a global company that competes with local and global providers in each market, Spotify aspires to be relevant and lead with audio content that meets the diverse tastes of users everywhere it operates.

Drawing on local insights at global scale

In recent years, as Spotify gained listeners around the world, the company wanted to increase the number of subscriptions for its premium product. And it wanted to remain locally relevant by tapping into the knowledge of Spotify employees in specific regions to understand what was popular.

But Joost de Schepper, Spotify’s head of conversion optimization, found that obtaining the resources for local teams to build tailored landing pages for each market was challenging. As a result, all the landing pages in every region looked the same. “Our employees all wanted localization for their specific markets,” says Joost. “But typically, with these requests, smaller markets have trouble getting the resources they need from our Research and Development team.”

Increasing the effectiveness of Google Ads campaigns

Spotify needed a tool to create custom experiences for each market, without depending on R&D resources. Fortunately, Spotify was already using Google Analytics 360 as its digital analytics solution. So the company turned to another product in the Google family, Google Optimize 360.

“Optimize 360 offered us direct integration with Analytics 360, so it’s extremely easy to use and see the test results,” says Joost.

Optimize 360 has several advanced capabilities that benefited Spotify, but one in particular, an integration between Optimize 360 and Google Ads, was especially valuable for the company. This integration allowed Spotify to deliver a custom landing page to users who had reached its site through one of its Ads campaigns. For example, Spotify could create a specific landing page for 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 type of content in Germany is, surprisingly, not songs but audiobooks. “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 Ads to create an experiment to improve the effectiveness of its Ads campaigns for the German market, with the goal of increasing premium subscriptions. The team created a custom landing page dedicated to audiobooks, then targeted the keyword "audiobook" from an Ads 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 (test group) or to the original page (control group).

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

Joost de Schepper, Head of Conversion Optimization, Spotify

Gaining valuable customer insights

The result of Spotify’s experiment far exceeded expectations. Users who saw the custom page for audiobooks were more likely to purchase a Spotify premium subscription. And that custom page increased premium subscriptions by 24%.

The ability to set up tests quickly and easily proved to be a difference maker. “If we’d run this experiment without Optimize 360, it would have taken us much longer and it might never be prioritized,” 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 tests done. Now, with Optimize, we could have 20 or more tests running at the same time in different countries, different landing pages, or different places on the Spotify.com domain.”

For Spotify, it’s critical that the company keeps learning about what its customers prefer. “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,” says Joost. “It’s a very competitive industry, so we always need to innovate.”

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