Published in Jul-Aug 2022
Music is believed to stimulate the part of the brain that produces dopamine, a pleasure-inducing hormone; therefore, whatever your state of mind, the right music will put you in a better mood. Perhaps based on this relationship between our moods and the music we listen to, Spotify launched their first nationwide campaign recently, ‘Jaisa Mood Waisi Dhun’, which translates into ‘You will always find a tune to match your mood’.
This, in fact, is Spotify’s third campaign (although their first nationwide one) since their launch in Pakistan in February 2021. Previous campaigns included ‘Spotify Wrapped’ (digital-only) and ‘Jaisay Tum Waisi Dhun’ (to mark Spotify’s first anniversary). In the beginning of 2022 Spotify also partnered with Coke Studio as their official audio streaming platform and launched the Pakistani edition of their global music programme, EQUAL, which showcased women’s musical talent and introduced the Spotify Charts feature, which generates the top 200 songs across 17 genres and categorises them based on context from user playlists.
The current ‘Jaisa Mood Waisi Dhun’ campaign includes three TVCs, each of which highlights everyday scenarios that are enriched by Spotify – a mundane university lecture, a rift between siblings and a dull qawwali function at home.
Atiya Zaidi, MD & ECD, BBDO Pakistan (Spotify Pakistan’s creative agency), explains the theme behind the campaign: “No matter how you are feeling (“jaisa mood”), you can choose what you want to listen to using Spotify’s over 82 million songs and four billion playlists (“waisi dhun”).”
She says that the creative idea was developed after studying and analysing the psyche of Gen Z Pakistanis (Spotify’s core target audience). The major insights to have emerged were a fear of stasis, of not exploring the world enough and an escape into music. “Given these insights, we felt the campaign’s theme was a perfect fit, as escapism via music is a key behaviour trait of our TG. The fear of stasis and not exploring enough is answered by Spotify’s vast catalogue of millions of songs and playlists. We now have 17-year-olds discovering opera, some are exploring Japanese tunes and a whole new generation is getting to know about Cher, ABBA, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and so many other musical talents.” The campaign encompasses a mix of media, including traditional (OOH, TV, radio) and digital (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube) platforms.
Before Spotify came to Pakistan, many music lovers used proxies to access the app and now since its launch, Spotify’s subscriber base has grown exponentially. “Our revenues saw a 24% growth during the first quarter of 2022, amounting to €2.37 billion*. Our premium subscription revenue has increased by 23% over the previous year, with the total amounting to €2.37 billion, while advertising-supported earnings stood at €282 million after growing 31% year-on-year,” says Ruthie Qadan, Head of Strategy and Operations, Spotify Pakistan.
Spotify offers a freemium model which comes with a limited ad-supported free service, while the algorithms provide users with highly personalised music recommendations based on the music they listen to. Perhaps because of this feature, Qadan is confident that, “the subscriber base in Pakistan will continue to grow.”
According to Qadan, as Spotify continues to see significant growth, “We are achieving the objectives set for us,” and she adds that they have also discovered the potential within the Pakistani market as reflected by the popularity of a new generation of musicians. “It is terrific to see that the UK, US and India are the top three countries with the highest global streams of Pakistani music.”
Elaborating on the fact that Spotify is providing Pakistan’s new-age musicians a platform, Qadan says, “Twenty years ago, the music industry was a restrictive club. You would have to struggle to get in if you did not have the resources to produce music.”
This, of course, has changed and since 2021 there has been an emergence of promising musicians such as Hasan Raheem, Taha G, and Talal Qureshi, as well as bands like Takatak, Awaz, etc. As a result, Qadan believes that the music industry is no longer an exclusive club, requiring people to know celebrities or people working with record labels and radio stations to ensure that their music reaches their audiences. Now with Spotify for Artists, anyone can upload music on the app. This access is further strengthened by Spotify’s Fresh Finds initiative, which features songs by new and independent musicians, enabling them to roll out their music to all kinds of listeners the world over. In fact, the Fresh Finds Initiative has helped several Pakistani musicians increase their fan base and according to Qadan, “Abdul Hannan saw a meteoric success with Bikhra and Iraaday and his followers increased by over 4,600% since joining the Fresh Finds Pakistan playlist in November 2021 and his average daily streams saw a whopping jump of 7,678%.” Over and above this, Qadan says “along the way, we broke the piracy barrier and restored the growth of global music through on-demand streaming and better discovery.”
Spotify has also secured several advertisers, including Coca-Cola, Samsung, PepsiCo, Unilever Pakistan and Toyota.
“The response we have received so far is truly phenomenal,” concludes Qadan. “And we are not stopping here. We have plenty of initiatives in the pipeline and we will keep on giving our listeners the best audio experience while empowering local creators to make the most out of their art and reach global heights.”
*The correct number is €2.6 billion and not €2.37 billion as stated in the article. The error is regretted.