Press Play: How Brands Are Using Spotify Playlists For Marketing

    How do you listen to your music? On the radio? In your car? Still, rocking that ’90s CD booklet that’s in your glovebox (we don’t judge)? For most of us, streaming is the way we consume our tunes. Over 400 million people worldwide pay for a music subscription service like Spotify or Apple Music, and major brands are taking notice. Where there’s an audience, there’s a way, and these brands have found a way to use Spotify playlists to reach new customers and accomplish their marketing goals.

    Kentucky Fried Chicken

    KFC Spotify Playlist

    It seems like every major fast-food company is throwing their hat into the chicken sandwich game these last couple of years. But one brand that has stood the test of time is none other than Kentucky Fried Chicken. KFC has remained so much of a staple that it’s solidified itself in pop culture – particularly references in music. KFC France put together a Spotify playlist appropriately dubbed “Bucket Bangers” featuring songs from Kanye West, Madonna, The Beastie Boys, and more, all of which reference the fried chicken legend.


    Barilla Spotify Playlist

    If you’re a pasta perfectionist like we are, odds are you don’t mess around with how long you cook your noodles to get that ideal al dente texture. Some use the oven timer, others still throw it at the wall, but there’s now a better way. Barilla created a series of playlists that last exactly how long it takes to cook your desired pasta to perfection. Barillas playlists span all sorts of pasta shapes and genres, from “Boom Bap Fusilli” to “Pleasant Melancholy Penne”.


    McDonald's Spotify Playlist

    Another fast-food giant with a Spotify presence is McDonald’s. Since the brand’s inception in the early 1950s, McDonald’s has tried almost any and every form of digital and traditional marketing, and public Spotify playlists are no different. Among their playlists is “Perfect Harmony” – a collection of mashups that go together like a fresh Big Mac and an ice-cold Coca-Cola.

    Nike Run Club

    Nike's Spotify Playlist

    Odds are if you’ve listened to the above playlists one too many times, you might find yourself interested in Nike Run Club’s workout playlists. With a solid core of their target customer being interested in fitness, Nike saw an opportunity to curate their own series of playlists for their customers to work out to. In conjunction with their Nike Run app, Nike continuously updates their public workout playlists with plenty of new energetic tracks to kickstart a good workout.

    So, why bother?

    While people might not run to your business with fist fulls of cash just because your playlist slaps, it’s an easy, free way to increase brand awareness, reinforce brand identity, and increase customer engagement by continuously keeping your brand in mind whenever they listen to your playlists.

    3 Ways to Use Spotify for Marketing

    Now that you’ve added plenty of songs to your queue, you might be thinking: “How can I use this to bring in more customers?” Here are a few ideas to get you started:

    1. Curate and share your storefront playlist. If you’re a bar, restaurant, or coffee shop that likes to spice up the ambiance with a killer playlist, share it! Create a public Spotify playlist and update the cover art with your company’s branding and promote it on your socials.
    2. Create an event playlist. If there’s an event or holiday coming up, your audience might appreciate a custom-made playlist to host their family and friends.
    3. Create a themed playlist. You may have seen Spotify playlists spell out a message using song titles in a meme or two before. Brands can do this too! Just look at how Wendy’s used this technique.

    Spotify playlists are just one tool in your integrated marketing toolbox. Want to learn more ways you can organically grow your brand awareness, increase your reach, and convert more customers? Let’s connect!

    Author Details

    Brandon Fiege, MBA

    Hudson Valley local with a love for all things inventive. European sports car enthusiast. Views social media as a tool that must constantly be sharpened. Always creating.