Late last year, music-streaming service Spotify introduced apps from industry publishers, including Rolling Stone, Billboard and Pitchfork,
allowing outside partners to offer their own custom playlists built on the company’s catalog of over 18 million songs. This spring, Spotify followed up by adding apps from brands such AT&T,
Intel and McDonald’s.
Now the company is launching its first in-house-created app to help users discover new music based on trending data like social buzz, playlists and what people are listening to and sharing. On board as launch partner for the new Emerge app is Chevy, which is using the app to promote the Sonic.
The centerpiece of Emerge is a monthly competition in which Spotify posts a list of 10 up-and-coming acts that get pared down each week until one is left as the winner. During each cycle, the company tracks the same data for each artist, but adds a layer of human curation by incorporating milestones happening offline -- like a big sold-out show or a TV appearance.
“By listening and sharing, users push their favorite artists to the top of the Emerge charts, we don’t have a voting feature in the traditional sense,” said Maureen Traynor, head of brand partnerships for Spotify. Winning or “Recently Emerged” artists are archived in a new tab in the app. Increased exposure is the reward via Spotify.
Branding for the Sonic is integrated throughout the app and the sponsorship extends the campaign kicked off last year to associate the car with discovering firsts in one’s life.
That theme is linked to new music discovery through the Emerge app. In a section called “Sonic Firsts,” for example, the brand asks several of the artists spotlighted in the app to discuss their first concert memories. Another page highlights the car’s connection to music and “firsts” in prior ads, including the spot that debuted during the Super Bowl showing a Sonic being parachuted out the back of a C-130 cargo plane at 20,000 feet.
“No adventure should go without music. That’s why Sonic is teaming up with Spotify to launch Emerge. Sonic and Emerge want to help new artists get discovered, get to the top and experience their very own first,” states ad copy within the app.
Working with Chevy on the Emerge execution were Commonwealth Advertising, handling creative, Carat for media planning, and Fleishman as social media agency.
As the first internally developed app for Spotify, Traynor said the company built, “what we think will be a great fit not only for our users, but also a great opportunity for brands to get involved.” The Chevy sponsorship of Emerge runs through at least the end of the year, but the opportunity to advertise in the app going forward will be open to other Spotify ad partners as well.
Spotify has about 15 million users overall, 4 million of whom are paid monthly subscribers. The fee is $9.99 a month in the U.S. The free version of Spotify is supported by display and audio advertising.