Spotify recently released a study they ran claiming Spotify Marquee delivers 10x more listeners per dollar than social ads on average. Is it true?
Spotify Marquee Study
Here’s how Spotify structured their study. They worked with eight labels and distributors over a several month period. Artists ranged from 300,000 to 16 million monthly listeners, and from a diversity of music genres. The study had the following requirements:
- Ads promoted the same release as Marquee
- Ads were all retargeting audiences with no expanded targeting
- Ads targeted mobile users only
- Ads targeted the same countries as Marquee
- Ads were optimized for driving clicks OR conversions to the Spotify mobile app, whichever the label / artist typically used to drive listening
- Ads schedule matched Marquee
- Ads minimum budget matched Marquee
- Results were counted for 14 days after the campaigns were run
As I read the setup for this study I noticed several flaws, but I was sitting on the edge of my seat ready to look at the data. The problem was, there is no data.
They didn’t show any data at all.
In my opinion, this makes their study completely useless. If they aren’t going to show the data from the study, how is it any more useful than simply taking Spotify’s word that Marquee is a good tool? I already think that Marquee is a great tool, but I wanted to learn more information about how artists may be able to use it to its full potential and this doesn’t help.
Now even if they showed the data, I already had some flaws that I noticed in this campaign:
- For the social ads they exclusively used retargeting. While retargeting is a great tool it doesn’t necessarily lead to the best possible cost per listener. For most artists most of the results they get on social ads are coming from new people.
- There is a huge difference in how traffic vs conversion campaigns perform. The fact that they casually mention ads were done as either traffic or conversion ads shows that they don’t really understand social ads for music promotion
- They didn’t include artists with less than 300,000 monthly listeners. This means they excluded the vast majority of artists (80% of artists on Spotify have less than 50 monthly listeners).
In my opinion they should have partnered with me, or someone like me, that runs social ads for artists extensively to handle the social ads. We could have ran our best conversion campaigns we possible could have run, and Spotify could do their best on Marquee. They could have tasked us with tackling ads for a set of artists in the 300k to 16 million range, and another set of artists between 10k and 300k.
Then, they should have gotten all the data from the campaigns on both sides, anonymized it and made it public for people like myself to dissect in content.
When people want to learn how to use Spotify for Artists or Spotify Marquee they don’t learn that from Spotify, they learn it from people like me. Content creators like myself and many others already educate artists on how to use their platform. Most of us would jump at the opportunity to learn more about the inner workings of their systems and pass that knowledge onto our audiences.
Not to mention it would be a big step in the right direction for the music artist community when it comes to trusting Spotify more.
If you want to learn how i’ve used Facebook ads to generate over 3 million Spotify streams and 14,000 Spotify followers on my solo artist project alone, check out this article: https://musicgrowthmachine.com/facebook-ads-how-to-run-a-conversion-campaign-for-spotify-streams-full-guide/
If you want to read the study for yourself, here it is: https://artists.spotify.com/en/blog/new-study-marquee-delivers-10x-more-listeners-per-dollar-than-social-ads