How Spotify Wrapped 2020 Marketing Campaign Boosted Mobile App Downloads And Engagement

  • UPDATED: 27 July 2023
  • 5 min read

Reading Time: 5 minutes

  • Spotify Wrapped induces competition amongst its users organically.
  • Spotify’s mobile app downloads increased by 21% in the first week of December.
  • Learn how Spotify introduced a cascading Flywheel effect by enticing new users to download and use their app for longer.

In 2017, Spotify launched Wrapped as a successor of the ‘Year in Music’ campaign, intending to create FOMO (fear of missing out). This helped Spotify introduce a cascading Flywheel effect by enticing new users to download and use their app for longer. Since then, every year, Spotify users look forward to their Spotify Wrapped stories, while non-Spotify users (like me) feel excluded.

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For those who are out of the loop, Spotify, an audio-streaming platform, lets you relive all the musical discoveries you’ve had and all the tracks you loved in the past year. You can check the total time you’ve spent listening to songs, the number of different songs you’ve played, the artists you’ve listened to, and your top genres. Spotify also tells what top percentile of listeners you were in for specific artists.

The impact of Spotify Wrapped 2020

In 2020, Spotify Wrapped was responsible for increasing Spotify’s mobile app downloads by 21% in the first week of December.

Spotify app downloads reached a peak on December 5th, 2020 (after Spotify Wrapped)
Spotify app downloads reached a peak in the first week of December, after Spotify Wrapped (Data source: Apptopia)

Users from the United States and India make up about 33% of global Spotify mobile app users, contributing to the highest growth in both app downloads and DAUs.

Here’s a list of countries where app downloads grew by the most in the first week of December 2020:

Country (in order of total downloads) Increase in app downloads
United States 20%
India 19%
Russia 16%
France 21%

Earlier, users could check their Wrapped data on Spotify’s website only. This year, however, Spotify Wrapped was made exclusively available on mobile for Spotify users, while Wrapped’s web experience was built for non-Spotify users. Spotify also added a few new features like in-app quizzes (to guess top podcasts, top artists, and which decade’s songs a user streamed the most), a ‘Story of Your 2020’, new Wrapped badges, personalized playlists, and customization options for social sharing.

All of these helped increase user activity on Spotify’s mobile app.

Spotify DAUs peaked in the first week of December, after Spotify Wrapped
Spotify DAUs peaked in the first week of December, after Spotify Wrapped (Data source: Apptopia)

So, what makes Spotify Wrapped arguably the best Marketing campaign to acquire more users?

Spotify Wrapped is Influencer Marketing at its finest

After Artist Wrapped is launched, multiple musicians and podcasters thank their Spotify listeners on social media platforms. Here are a few tweets highlighting this gesture:

Musicians massively dominate the list of accounts with the most social media followers. 10 out of the top 20 most-followed accounts on Twitter (source) and 9 out of the top 20 most-followed accounts on Instagram (source) belong to musicians.

By mentioning Spotify and adding screenshots in their posts, the brand’s reach amplifies to hundreds of millions of users organically.

💡 Takeaways for audio and video streaming services:

  1. It isn’t easy to get millions of organic engagements on social media on your own. Think of ways to incentivize your own users to share your app. Leveraging your app’s content creators to spread the word about your brand organically is a good start. You can convert them into your brand’s influencers.
  2. Spotify took something unique to every contributor and used that as an incentive. Take a closer look at what you can provide to your content creators that they can brag about.

Due to the overwhelming traction on these posts, you’ll notice #spotifywrapped trending on all social platforms. If something is trending on the internet, can memes be far behind?

User-generated content builds FOMO on social media

“Who controls the memes,

controls the Universe”

– Elon Musk, circa 2020 (source)

Multiple memes flooded social media during the first week of December 2020. If you do not use Spotify for listening to music or podcasts, then you will find the following memes relatable:

Similar to how memes played a key role in the growth of the viral game Among Us, user-generated content is a big reason behind Spotify Wrapped’s success – the memes make you want to switch your go-to audio streaming platform to Spotify! A large number of memes involve Spotify’s competitor, Apple Music. Users jumping ship from competitors like Apple Music to Spotify also contribute to the growth in app downloads.

Spotify Wrapped induces competition organically

It is human nature to want to compare yourself with others. Thanks to the Wrapped campaign, Spotify created a sense of competition and achievement without using monetary incentives.

To encourage Spotify users to share their listening data on social media, the brand used a combination of personalized data and jazzy graphics with bold colors. By launching Spotify Wrapped on mobile apps, Spotify also made it easier for its users to share their Wrapped stories on social media. These images rapidly made their way to Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Facebook.

Spotify’s Top Fans feature is a great way to introduce competition. By looking at how many minutes your friend has listened to and what their top albums/artists were, you tend to compete with them.

New users acquired by Spotify this way will stick for longer. This is because these users want their own Wrapped story, making them more likely to use Spotify for the entire year.

💡 Takeaways for audio and video streaming services:

  1. Find ways to gamify your mobile app’s experience. You can do this by identifying what actions define your most loyal users and creating an achievement ladder to include all these actions. Push Notifications and emails are a great medium to let your users know about their achievements. A leaderboard can then be used to induce competition by giving users an option to share milestones directly on social media.
  2. Remove all friction for your users. Accessing information and sharing it should be a seamless experience that your users can do in a few taps and swipes.


Spotify allows its users to support their favorite artists and discover new music at the same time. For an audio streaming platform like Spotify, maintaining a healthy DAU/MAU ratio is important.

Spotify Wrapped has proven to be a great way to acquire new users, get them to use the app more, and make them stick around for longer. By making it easier to share Wrapped stories on social media through mobile devices, Spotify showcased a perfect example of Product-led Growth as well.

For more resources on improving User Engagement and Retention on your audio streaming platform, check out our A-Z guide on Mobile Marketing:

A-Z Guide On Media & Entertainment Mobile Marketing- Your Go-To Resource For Acquisition, Engagement, And Retention

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