Best of the Decade: Data fuels Spotify through years of standout campaigns

Brand made stats relatable and fun in surprising ways

Published On
Dec 07, 2015
Spotify: Year in Music 2015

Editor's Pick

Creativity looks back on the brand ideas and campaigns that made the last decade. See the full lineup here

Best of the Decade


Data was a big buzzword in the latter half of the decade. It inspired head-turning ideas such as “The Next Rembrandt” from ING, which created a “new” painting in the Old Master’s hand by using data gleaned from his classic works. But perhaps the most relatable and enduring use of data in advertising came from Spotify. Over more than five years, the brand has incorporated user data in playful ways in its various campaigns, such as its annual “Year in Music,” which has highlighted each year’s most popular artists and tunes, along with users’ own listening faves and habits. This year, Spotify applied data from the entire decade in its “Wrapped” campaign. The idea also lived in out-of-the-box experiential ideas like “Rap Caviar Pantheon,” which immortalized artists who broke through on the platform’s popular playlist as statues in an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. 

Original Story

Last week, Spotify announced its annual list of the artists and albums that "won" on the streaming service. Drake rose to the top as 2015's most streamed artist, Rihanna was the most streamed female musician, while Justin Bieber landed the most streams in a single day. The Weeknd's "Beauty Behind the Madness" also earned the nod for the year's most streamed album, while "Lean On" by Major Lazer and featuring MO and DJ Snake was 2015's most streamed song.

Today, Spotify puts the spotlight on its users with "Your Year in Music," an interactive experience that showcases what its individual patrons favored over the last twelve months. Users just need to go to, select "Get Your Year in Music" and sign into their accounts. Spotify will then provide them with their 2015 listening data, including their top songs, artists and genres, how much time they spent listening to Spotify and the total number of songs and artists they played.

Alongside the effort Spotify has also debuted a location-minded outdoor campaign In New York City and Lost Angeles featuring fun and slightly startling data bits from 2015. One ad, for example tells Soho denizens that they loved their legends this year, given that Stevie Wonder and Janet Jackson trended there in 2015, while another tells Williamsburg, Brooklyn "Sorry, Not Sorry . . . Bieber's hit trended highest in this zip code."

For the campaign, Spotify once again teamed with Stinkdigital, which served as both agency and production company on the campaign, steering strategy, creative and the build on both the interactive and traditional work. More assets will roll out in the coming month, including video and cinema spots. Colossal Media was behind production on the hand-painted outdoor ads.