Remember back in the day when you would make a mixtape of your favorite songs to show your crush how much you like them? Or if you're a bit younger, maybe you remember making mixed cds. The idea is that you craft a perfect arrangement of songs to create a mood, tell a story, or to get pumped up. While the technology has evolved to be playlists instead of tapes and cds, the art of making the best mix continues. Now, with millions of songs at your fingertips, you can make your mix even more varied, yet specific, than before. And with over 50 million monthly users on Apple Music and over 75 million monthly users on Spotify, more than just your crush can be paying attention to your playlists.
But is it worth it for your brand to have playlists? It definitely makes sense to have one on a personal account you can share with friends, but does the idea of a curated playlist translate for a company. Short answer: yes. Long answer: read below.
Benefits of Having a Playlist
If your brand has a playlist, it is a great way to give your customer a sense of your brand's personality. Music is a great way for people to know the style and vibe of your company in a non-literal way. With a playlist, you can also show that you're paying attention to what's happening in the world by updating with new, trending music (as long as it fits your brand of course). Having a playlist can also create a positive association with your brand. If someone is listening to your playlist and they really like a song, there's a chance that they'll think of you when they hear that song again. For example, if you're a clothing brand and you have a song on the playlist that someone positively responds to, they could buy your latest jacket because they want clothes that makes them LOOK like how the song makes them FEEL.
Ways to Implement Playlists
So what type of playlists should you make? Well, a good place to start is a "mega-playlist" that could be your main playlist for your brand. This is the playlist that you could even have playing at your store or office throughout the day (as long as you have a Spotify Business account that is. Apple Music doesn't offer an equivalent). You can get a bit more specific with your playlists though. Make a holiday specific playlist (like we at Verge Pipe Media did) to get people in the seasonal spirit. If you're having a big event or you're participating in one, like a musical festival, create a playlist to play at the event, but also use the playlist in advance of the event to get people hyped up for it. Have a team with unique musical tastes? Create team member specific curated playlists (also like we here at Verge Pipe Media did). There's a huge range of different playlists you can have and they're all specific to different purposes. It doesn't hurt you to have a lot, so experiment and see what works!
Who's in the Playlist Game
A good way to get ideas about the playlists you should be making is by paying attention to who is doing it well. On Apple Music, they have brands serve as "curators," so subscribers can find brands they like and see what kind of music those brands are curating. While you can only be a curator if you're a huge name that has made a deal with Apple, you can still look at these playlists as inspiration.
Disney Music is one of the top curators, but what's different about them is that they're curating playlists made out of music that they create. They have a huge library of Disney music so they pull songs from that to make their selections. What you can learn from them, however, is how to jump on seasonal trends. Not only do they have a Disney Christmas Playlist, they also have a holiday playlist that only features artists on the Disney Channel as well as a holiday playlist that is specific to the theme parks. They also went wild for Halloween, with a wide range of playlists for that holiday as well. They have lists for younger kids, teens, and adults who are still into Disney. Here's one that is JUST about Mickey Mouse. You can have a variety of lists that can hit a variety of your target listeners.
Victoria's Secret is a top curator who is very good at creating specific moods. Whether it's going on vacation in a tropical location or having a girl's night out in the city, they have a playlist with songs that put you into that headspace. They have playlists for when you just want to chill out or if you have a hot date. Mood specific playlists are highly popular because that's what people are typically looking for in playlists. They want the perfect assortment of songs for a particular moment. Victoria's Secret realizes that this is what their loyal fanbase wants, so that's what they give them. They also pay attention to what's new and upcoming, as evidenced in their playlist Sexy Right This Second.
Are you pumped up and ready to start making playlists now? Good! But before you do, let's get into numbers real quick before we wrap this up. Unfortunately, neither Apple Music or Spotify tell you how many people are listening to your playlists. You can see if people add your playlists to their music libraries, but there's a good amount of people who never do that and just listen. The number you can track, however, is how many followers you garner on Apple Music and Spotify. Another way to see if your playlists are working is to share them on social media and see if people are commenting or engaging with the posts and giving you feedback on the playlists.
So get to it! Start making your perfect playlists that describe your brand musically. We'll be here, jamming to our playlists, all while paying attention to the latest trends in social media, technology, inbound marketing, higher education, and more. If you want to keep updated with what we're noticing, subscribe to our newsletter today!