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Spotify: The Journey to Total Community

Lithium Alumni (Retired)


Will the worst snowstorm Sweden has experienced in 10 years stop a community manager from attending a knowledge-sharing and networking event? The answer is no, never! Especially if this event is organised at Spotify’s (amazing) headquarters in Stockholm.


This event, aptly named Spotify: The Journey to Total Community was an opportunity for the Spotify Community team ( @PerBonomi, @Meredith, and @Rorey) to tell the story around their community. Its growth, development and the impact it has within Spotify as a whole.




During her hour-long mainstage presentation, @Meredith took us through the key highlights and initiatives they have launched throughout the past 4 years:

  • The Rock Star Program
  • The move to responsive
  • Expanding the conversation to include Music Chat
  • Idea Exchange and the impact it has on the product


The Rock Star Program

Launched in 2013, Spotify’s Rock Star Program is a cornerstone to their overall community strategy. Through the years, the program has not only grown to over 150 members, it has also expanded to include initiatives such as the Rock Star Jam as well as their points based rewards scheme. This scheme is aimed at giving the Rock Stars the opportunities to pick tangible rewards based on their contributions within the community and on Twitter. The magic of this, is that it’s still all lives within the community platform thanks to @PerBonomi custom component wizarding skills.



To discover more about some of the customisations the teams have built with this new design, as well as get some insight on how Virgin Media went responsive last year, check-out the breakout slides here.


Music Chat

At launch, the main focus of the community was support. And whereas there has always been a place for people to talk about music - it didn’t have a major share-of-voice within the discussions.


This is something that the community team decided to change alongside the new design, as they firmly believed that if people came to talk about something that they were passionate about (music), then they would be more likely to stay and support peers. And they were right, it worked.


Cherry on top? It had a positive impact on search results too!


When looking at 100 users in Music Chat

  • 55% have asked a support question in the Community (100 users sampled)
  • 38% of those 100 users have helped someone answer a question.
  • 70% of those 100 came to the Music area first.


Rock Stars and team members alike now all contribute in creating some passion-driven content on the community and its blog.


This is something that Sky has recently been doing on their support community too - despite being a support community originally, the community has been evolving to host and nurture passion-driven conversations as well: from entertainment to tech-gurus talking about more than just issues. Check out the slides from Sky’s breakout session here.


Idea Exchange

Having an idea exchange is one thing. Making sure the ideas circulate internally, get taken into account while keeping the idea’s author constantly updated is a whole other story and requires a pretty well-oiled process for it to work.




With the help of their Idea Guardians (a subset of their Rock Stars), the community team have managed to crack the code:

  • Each idea needs at least 100 votes to be considered
  • Rock Stars organise these to prevent duplicates
  • Community managers pass on ideas to product teams
  • All ideas get updated with an official status


Some ideas that were born within the idea exchange include:

  • Google Chromecast support (I voted for that one too :))
  • Ability to delete radio stations
  • Customisable playlists covers & descriptions
  • Spotify Profile Pictures


After the main-stage presentation from Spotify

After @Meredith's fascinating presentation that got a lot of engagement from community professionals in the room, the afternoon follow-up was with a series of breakout sessions on various themes, such as:

  • Value track: Proving community and social ROI - Led by  @JMcJohnston from Tesco Bank
  • Community track: Building and scaling a superuser program - Led by Luis Rodriguez from Google
  • Design track: Building a multi-screen and mutli-device experience through responsive - Led by  @JamesWoodsSM from Virgin Media
  • Social track: When Social Care and Social Marketing meet - Led by @j0hnlewis from Sky


All the slides from these breakout sessions are available to view here.


Gutted you missed out? Make sure you sign-up to our European events group, where we keep you informed of all our local hosted events 🙂


Again, a big big thank you to the whole Community Team at Spotify for their warm welcome, as well as all our guest speakers for this event.


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