It’s been an eventful week for Spotify. As reported by our partner newsletter The Hustle, the company announced a round of layoffs just days after the launch of its annual campaign Spotify Wrapped.
While The Hustle talked about the business and employee implications of Spotify’s recent layoffs shortly after the wrap, I’d like to take a look at this series of events from a marketing perspective.
The Marketing Power of Spotify Wrapped
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has been rapped to Spotify – a sure bet for engagement at the end of each year.
Since launching in 2016, Spotify Wrapped has given users a detailed analysis of their listening habits every year. While Wrapped was initially distributed in email format, its popularity increased when social media sharing was added to the mix.
The idea of turning wrapped results into shareable social media stories was introduced by former Spotify intern Jewel Ham in 2019. Since then, Spotify users can view their year-end data within the platform’s app and easily share listening stats directly to their Instagram Stories.
According to Time, 156 million users engaged with Wrapped in 2022, and it’s estimated that half of Spotify Wrapped users share their results on their Instagram stories. That’s a lot of positive engagement that Spotify can count on each year.
Not only has the campaign provided content opportunities for Spotify users, but many brands have joined in by creating their own versions of wrapped and meme posts parodying Spotify’s branding.
Spotify released the 2023 Wrapped results on Wednesday, November 29. As usual, social media feeds were filled with rapped graphics and parody memes. However, just days later, the company made major announcements that eclipsed the positive buzz generated by Wrapped.
On December 4, Spotify announced it was laying off 17% of its workforce, about 1.5k people.
It was the platform’s third round of layoffs in 2023, following cuts in January and June. Following the announcement of layoffs, Spotify was commonly mentioned on social media. negative emotion,
While the tech industry has seen a wave of job cuts this year, the timing of this round of layoffs did not reflect positively on Spotify for the following reasons:
- The company recorded profit for the first time in a year in the third quarter. €32M in operating income (about $34.6M)
- Employees were let go immediately after completing work on a major campaign, which had a positive impact on the company
- Workers are laid off during the holiday season when people have more financial obligations
While we know that Spotify, like any business, is trying to cut costs and boost profitability, this series of events was not a good look in public opinion where most people care more about the needs of the employees than the companies. Have more sympathy towards.
If Spotify creates its own Wrapped chronicling company event in 2023, it would yield interesting results.