There is a right way to conduct research to grow your market share and a wrong way. Unless you are asking the right questions, your research will fail.
You must go beyond theory and identify the emotional drivers of your target audience and use tough-minded strategies and positioning to steal market share from the competition.
Stealing Share has developed a unique process unlike any other brand company in the world that is designed with a single purpose, to steal market share.
(This is part one in a three part series on DRM-based music service, Spotify.)
At Stealing Share, we have a deep appreciation for companies seeking to be different and better than their competition. Regardless of the category or its size, businesses always have the capacity to be unique. They have the ability to fully embrace their customers. And, perhaps over time, their particular customers may come to covet them (we do hope) thus forming a cemented brand.
This said, for our first Branding Triptych, we’ve chosen to take a critical look at the streaming music resource, Spotify. We’ve been very impressed with Spotify as they seem to be taking a wise approach to the streaming music experience. Will they be iTunes killers? Well, we’re not taking things quite that far yet. But we do believe with the right branding, Spotify could become the second best streaming music site on the web and maybe one day, the first.
What is Spotify?
Much like streaming music sites like Rhapsody, Napster or Pandora, the Swedish born “Spotify is a DRM-based music streaming service offering streaming of selected music from a range of major and independent record labels, including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group, and Universal.”
Just recently released in the United Stares, Spotify has an amazing wealth of music that users can access through a plethora of technological vehicles. For example, you can easily log into the Spotfiy system from your computer and use their internet-based interface, which is reminiscent to iTunes (you can even upload the entirety of your music catalog to the Spotify interface, thus enabling you to completely forgo iTunes, should you wish. Or, if you desire to access Spotify from a phone or tablet, Spotify has apps which can be downloaded so you can access the service anywhere.
As stated in the companies description, Spotify works hand-in-hand with both a diverse and large group of indispensable music labels, offering users a sizable database to choose from. Unlike the trendsetter iTunes, a music store where one has to pay $.99 to own a song or $7.99 and up per album, Spotify offers Premium monthly memberships of only ten dollars. With this membership based program, users can stream any and as many songs as they wish. The only downside is these songs and albums are not yours to keep. Spotify is more like a library, where as long as you pay your membership, you can keep your books for as long as you like. Additionally, full albums and user created playlists can be saved and accessed at anytime. What’s more, music can be streamed at a high bit-rate, giving users a truly vivid sonic experience.
Spotify, at a quick glance (as we will explore this scenario more deeply in part three of this series), seems more in tune to user preferences than the other music streaming giant, Pandora. Pandora, for those readers not aware, is a free, streaming, radio service. With Pandora, one can log on and select an artist or song you wish to hear. Once established, Pandora selects songs from that chosen artist, as well as other similar artists (as specifically selected and categorized by Pandora). Spotify, on the other hand, gives users complete and exacting choice.
With Spotify, users can specifically select a song or artist they wish to hear, and that very song or artist will be played, not an assortment of similar artists. Pandora is more of a crap-shoot, while Spotify gives you immediate gratification. This then is very beneficial for the avid music listener.
The Genesis of Spotify
A company with, as we see it, such a smart approach to the music experience does not simply bloom and flower overnight. As stated, Spotify was born overseas in Sweden, where it was launched in 2008.
As has been reported from the Spotify Blog:
The Spotify application was launched for public access on 7 October 2008. While free accounts still remained available by invitation only in order to manage the growth rate of the service, the launch meant that paid subscriptions were opened to everyone (We've only just begun! Spotify AB blog. 7 October 2008.)
The first step towards offering free accounts to the public without an invitation was taken on 10 February 2009, when Spotify opened for free registration in the UK (Spotify now available to everyone in the UK. Spotify blog. 10 February 2009).
Due to a surge in registrations following the release of the Spotify mobile service, Spotify closed its open registrations in the UK for part of 2009, and went back to an invitation-only policy. (https://www.spotify.com/blog/archives/2009/09/10/back-to-invites-for-a-while-in-the-uk/).
Following a series of promising years where new investors, subscription programs and awards for the program had been won, Spotify launched their US service in July, 2011. At this juncture, the company was already assessed at one billion dollars. And with the seemingly strong interest in the company, that revenue may continue to rise.
For Part II click here
Visit Spotify by clicking here