- Streaming audio platform Spotify unveiled its first branded camera effect on Instagram to promote a new album from rapper Headie One. The augmented reality (AR) lens lets users of the image-sharing app overlay artwork from the album "Music x Road" on sharable selfies, Campaign reported.
- The campaign relies on Facebook's Spark AR Studio, which the social network expanded to Instagram last month in a beta test. The software lets marketers create AR camera effects for Instagram filters.
- Spotify worked with marketing and tech agency Byte on the branded AR lens.
Spotify's creation of an AR lens on Instagram shows how the streaming platform seeks to reach overlapping audiences on the image-sharing app, which has more than 1 billion users worldwide. While the AR lens promotes Headie One's new album, Spotify's logo appears prominently in the overlaid filter to emphasize its branding and quickly connect users to the streaming platform.
The campaign also marks a new stage for Facebook's Spark AR Studio, whose beta test on Instagram heralds the possibility that more brands will create AR content for the app. AR lenses have become an enduring and popular feature among social media apps. Rival Snapchat said in April that its users had created more than 400,000 lenses with its self-serve software, and that people had interacted with those lenses more than 15 billion times in 16 months.
Spotify's AR filter is another sign that the streaming company is ramping up its promotional activity amid growing competition from rivals like Apple Music and Amazon Prime Music. Spotify's paid subscribers grew 32% to 108 million in Q2 from a year earlier, but the company also has 124 million users of its free, ad-supported tier. Apple Music reportedly overtook Spotify in U.S. subscribers last year, and Amazon Music Unlimited was the fastest-growing music streaming service in the past year, per the Financial Times.
Last week, Spotify partnered with Anheuser-Busch brand Michelob Ultra on a campaign that highlights its technology to reach listeners with tailored messages based on their location, time of day and weather. Earlier in the month, the streaming company updated its self-serve advertising platform to help marketers reach target audiences based on their listening habits. Samsung and 3M were the first brands to test out podcast listener targeting that Spotify introduced in July.