To Attract More Subscribers, Spotify Is Giving Away Google Home Mini Smart Speakers

Spotify is offering Premium for Family subscribers a ‘gift’ — and an easy win for Google.

Last month, Spotify scared a substantial amount of its Premium for Family into signing up for an individual account.  With losses mounting and Apple Music gaining more subscribers in key markets, executives put a controversial plan into effect.

Dubbing the plan a feature, Spotify e-mailed family plan users with an e-mail asking them to verify their address.  Should they fail to comply, they could lose access to Premium for Family.

Users didn’t react too kindly to Spotify’s threat.  So, after receiving significant backlash on social media, the company quietly dismissed the feature as a ‘test.’

Yet, the ‘test’ feature seems to have worked.  Frightened users readily switched to individual Premium subscriptions, leaving behind their discounted Family plans.

Now, with its stock reaching record lows, and a day before the company will reveal its dreaded Q3 2018 report, executives have a new plan.

How to inflate your subscriber numbers with a carrot instead of a stick, by Spotify.

Ahead of the important holiday 2018 season, executives have found a way to quickly grow the company’s total subscription numbers.

Announcing a key partnership to take on Amazon, Spotify will give away a Google Home Mini smart speaker.  The giveaway starts on November 1st and ends on December 31st.  New and existing Premium for Family subscribers can sign up to receive their free smart speaker.

Plugging the company’s Family plan ahead of the upcoming holiday season, Alex Norström, Spotify’s Chief Premium Business Officer, explained,

We’re excited to be partnering with Google Home to bring the magic of voice to our Spotify Premium Family subscribers.  After all, what’s more fun than sharing the music you love with the people you love.  For Family Plan subscribers, enjoying those moments will only get better.  Now anytime their favorite artists comes up, they can simply say ‘Hey Google, turn it up!’

The move makes sense for both companies — sort of.

Spotify needs a way to take on the rapid growth of Apple in the global smart speaker market.  As it hasn’t unveiled its own smart speaker, the company needs a way to grow its subscription numbers in the US.

With a sizable foothold in the global smart speaker market, Google hopes to continue stealing more users away from Amazon.  Users can also play tracks from YouTube Music and Google Play Music on its smart speaker (and Google will undoubtedly lure them at a later point).  But for now, both services are lagging far behind Spotify (though that can change down the road).

In the long run, Google gains a little lift in its smart speaker customer base.  For Spotify, that lessens the possibility of matching subscribers to its own hardware solution down the road, if that’s indeed on the strategic roadmap.  The major hardware gap in Spotify’s business model only gets bigger with this giveaway, assuming it’s even feasible for the streaming service to compete in this arena.

But hey: nobody said marriages of convenience were perfect.


Featured image by Spotify.