What do millennials value? Spotify’s ad VP explains

And, how Bose used the platform to solve one of its biggest marketing challenges

In the three months since Spotify launched in Canada, 1.5 million Canadians have signed up for the streaming music service.

Speaking at an IPG Mediabrands event on Wednesday, Brian Benedik, vice-president of advertising and partnerships at Spotify, said adoption in Canada has “blown past” the company’s expectations for the market.

Benedik, who is based in New York, was in Toronto to meet with marketers and agencies about Spotify’s suite of ad products and to speak about marketing to millennials.

The majority of Spotify users are young, with males 18 to 34 making up 19% of its Canadian user base, giving Benedik a firm grasp on what young consumers are looking for.

Here are six things marketers should know about millennials, according to Benedik.

Millennials are independent

Millennials are fiercely independent. They want to curate music playlists and binge watch TV shows, not be told what to listen to or watch by stations. This do-it-yourself philosophy guides many of their purchase and consumption decisions. “This isn’t a group you’re going to bark at or tell what to do,” Benedik said.

They value authenticity

Young consumers have been bombarded with multi-channel messaging their entire lives. They’re inundated with communications and are looking for something of value from a brand, not a sales pitch. “They can spot a fraud from a mile away,” Benedik said.

Diversity is a key issue for young consumers

Championing differences can help brands connect with young consumers, Benedik said, listing same sex marriage and gender equality as two of the issues that matter most to millennials. (Ed: Benedik was referring to other markets, same sex marriage is legal in Canada.)

Oversharing is on its way out

Young consumers are caricatured as compulsive over sharers, but, according to Benedik, that behaviour is starting to change. He sees young consumers moving away from big networks like Facebook in favour of platforms like Snapchat. What young consumers want, Benedik said, is to share meaningful content with smaller circles of friends, rather than share publically or to their entire social graph.

Ownership isn’t as important as it used to be

While their parents’ lifestyles were defined by home and car ownership, young consumers are happy to rent rather than own, whether it’s cars (Zipcar), movies (Netflix) or music (Spotify, Rdio).

Streamers are valuable to brands

To Benedik, streamers are much more than freeloaders. They’re actually incredible valuably customers. Citing a Spotify-funded comScore study released during CES earlier this month, Benedik said consumers who regularly stream content are twice as likely to feel emotionally connected to brands when compared to those who don’t stream. They’re also more influential.  Streamers are twice as likely to be a strong brand advocate, according to the study.

How Bose used Spotify

At the IPG event, Benedik also shared a mini case study with the crowd to explain how Bose used the platform to solve on of its biggest marketing challenges.

Last year, Bose came to Spotify with a problem: Beats By Dre had usurped the brand as the dominant headphone for young consumers. It wasn’t a hardware problem – Bose was confident its technology was better and its headphones were higher quality, but it was having trouble getting young consumers to pay it any attention in the face of a luxury brand promoted by a legendary rapper.

Spotify helped the company hatch a plan to win back some of the youth demographic. Together, Bose and Spotify co-produced a series of videos (below) called “Art of Sound” that explain the finer points of sound and music production. The videos are slick, with high production values and appearances by producers and electronic musicians. They’re still true to the Bose brand, though, come off more as mini documentaries for young audiophiles than the music video style spots by the competition.

The brand then used Spotify ads to drive traffic to a microsite featuring the videos and used both companies’ social profiles to promote the content. Some of the videos were also featured within the Spotify player itself, a relatively new feature for the platform.

http://youtu.be/yhtzHXJ5GT0

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