Product / ServiceSPOTIFY
CategoryA07. Use of Music Technology or Innovation


Name Company Position
Rajdeepak Das Leo Burnett India Chief Creative Officer and Managing Director
Saurabh Varma Publicis Communications South Asia Chief Executive Officer
Dheeraj Sinha Leo Burnett India Chief Strategy Officer & Managing Director
Vikram Pandey Leo Burnett India National Creative Director
Vikram Pandey Leo Burnett India Creative Director
Geo Joseph Leo Burnett Creative Director
Alisha Sharma Leo Burnett Associate Creative Director
Kiran Talegaonkar Leo Burnett Associate Creative Director
Aakanksha Saxena Leo Burnett Copywriter
Sanjeev Dal Chand Kumar Leo Burnett Copywriter
Dileep Dharampuri Leo Burnett Editor
Rakesh Hinduja Leo Burnett Mumbai Chief Operating Officer
Niharika Talwar Leo Burnett Business Director
Ajeeta Bharadwaj Leo Burnett Planner
Amrita Varma Leo Burnett Planner
Amarjit Singh Batra Spotify Managing Director
Neha Ahuja Spotify Marketing Director
Raylin Valles Prodigious India Director
Mickey McCleary Prodigious Music Artist

Why is this work relevant for for Music?

Spotify was launching in India, a nation of over 1.35 billion. Known for its ability to decode music listening patterns, Spotify was under pressure to be seen as a brand that knows what India listens to - a task made all the more difficult given the odds it takes to impress a nation with such diverse music listening behavior. Rather than rely on classic hits, we created our own music. With the help of experts, we used data to identify that one crucial beat that resonated with Indians as the foundation of the soundtrack featured in the launch video.


Spotify, the world’s favourite music streaming app was launching in India. But unlike other markets, India posed a tough challenge. This is a nation that is home to over a billion people who come from varied socio-economic backgrounds, speak multiple languages, and subscribe to different ideologies and customs. In essence, it is teaming with a diversity that bleeds into their everyday way of life, including their music listening habits. Given the sheer range of music that they listen to - from Bollywood to regional hip-hop, rap and love ballads – the question was whether Spotify, a global brand could understand the music taste of India.

Describe the creative idea

Spotify’s launch in India was to kick-off with a music video. Needless to say, the soundtrack had to make every Indian groove to the beat. Instead of playing it safe and relying on ever-green hits, we decided to use the brand’s expertise in decoding music consumption patterns to create a soundtrack that was loved by billions. Presenting, The Beat of a Billion We recruited Indians across age-groups, socio-economic backgrounds and music preferences, and played them a compilation of top, trending hits across the ages. We then used different data techniques to identify that one musical beat that resonated across the board, using that to build our launch soundtrack.

Describe the strategy

At the time of launch, the music streaming market in India was inundated with various players. Each claimed to offer a vast collection of Bollywood and regional music, with other personalized and exclusive content. We wanted to prove that despite Spotify being a global brand, it had the capacity to understand the music listening behavior of over 1.35 billion Indians. Which is why, when it came to finding the right track for the launch video, we didn’t want to take any chances. India releases over 100,000 music videos each year of which only 2,500 are hits. That’s a 0.025% chance of a hit. Why rely on those odds when we can craft our own unique soundtrack for the launch video? Once the video was ready, we targeted two sets of audiences – young music streamers who had been eagerly awaiting Spotify’s launch; and urban streamers who were into mainstream music.

Describe the execution

We invited a group of Indians across age-groups and socio-economic backgrounds. Most importantly, they had to have different music listening preferences. We hooked them up to a system and played them a compilation of India’s favourite, trendy hits, As the music played, we analyzed their brain reward system. By monitoring dopamine levels, we were able to pick out those parts that gave them a high. Our team of sound engineers then fed those select music samples into an algorithm, breaking them down in terms of instruments, beat progressions, and chord patterns. The highlighted commonalities were ‘rehumanized’ from raw data form and analyzed for that one distinct beat, which was given to our music director who built the soundtrack. Once the music was ready, we integrated it with our video and released it on various social media platforms.

Describe the outcome

The ‘Beat of a Billion’ soundtrack was a resounding success, and was played over 10 million times on social media. It was a part of the online conversation, spawning Spotify memes and memes about memes, resulting in over 155000 engagements. The track found its way to its very own playlist titled ‘The Beat of a Billion’, with other tracks sharing the same beat. Following the launch, Spotify’s app downloads rose to a record breaking one million within the first week. The response also had an effect on Spotify’s global stock value, kicking it up by 4%.

Video URL