How Top Tier Artists like DJ Snake are Boosting Spotify Streams with Wavo

Wavo is a digital marketing platform and agency that specifically caters to music & culture. Wavo hosts the world’s largest remix and DJ competition platform; current clients include Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, SFX, Armada, Ultra and more. Wavo also runs — the native advertising network for arts & culture.

Labels and artists have begun to invest more into forms of digital advertising, recognizing its value as the relationship between music and technology continues to grow. Streaming sites like Spotify are becoming a top focus for artists and their labels, as the platform’s audience expands and the opportunity for significant revenue increases.

In the lead-up to the release of his debut album Encore, French electronic artist DJ Snake and his team at Interscope, partnered with Wavo to develop a series of marketing campaigns. The first of these efforts centered on increasing Spotify streams for the album’s leading single, “Middle” ft. Bipolar Sunshine.

Much of predicting the success of a track on Spotify is dependent on the mechanics of their distribution algorithms. Although Spotify doesn’t make the exact variables that factor into their algorithms public, metrics like “playlisting” and “skips” are often referenced as key determinants. Recognizing the importance of appealing to these algorithms, Wavo developed a campaign for Interscope that targeted a segmented list of users on our Boost Network. By advertising to high quality listeners who were more likely to include “Middle” in their playlists and less likely to skip through, Wavo was able to kickstart the track’s viral amplification.

DJ Snake’s campaign with Wavo was seen 3.2M times on some of the world’s top music publications. Within it’s first week, it had sent over 20,000 electronic music fans to DJ Snake’s Spotify page. “Middle” ft. Bipolar Sunshine eventually went on to generate almost 400,000,000 streams.


How & Why Wavo Works

Native advertising is a form of paid media in which content appears as an extension of the publication’s material, mimicking the feel and experience provided by the host-site. In the next few years, the native ad industry is expected to quadruple in size, and by 2021, native ads are estimated to take up 76% of US display ad revenue.

Wavo Boost is a native-advertising platform that’s specifically catered towards the music industry, allowing clients to promote their content on respected music & culture sites through native, below-the-fold and in-feed advertisements. Wavo Boost targets the most engaged and influential music fans as they’re actively looking to discover new music on the best music publications.

The Wavo Boost ad unit as it appears on Dancing Astronaut

The Wavo Boost ad unit as it appears on Dancing Astronaut


Wavo carefully curates its list of partner publishers in order to ensure that our clients’ advertisements are shown to only highest quality users. For our campaign with DJ Snake, “Middle” was featured millions of times on a number of influential music sites, including Fact Mag, Dancing Astronaut, and Hype Machine.

Just a few of the 100+ sites in the Wavo native advertising network.

Just a few of the 100+ sites in the Wavo native advertising network.

Where Wavo and Spotify Meet

Understanding the ways in which user behaviour effects virality on streaming platforms, is key to developing a successful marketing campaign. Spotify’s distribution algorithms — formulas that determine how many of their 100 million active users see what material — favour playlist inclusion and penalize songs based on skip count. Their “Discover Weekly” feature, for instance, provides recommendations to users by looking at the songs included in their playlists, and selecting undiscovered tracks from similar or related playlists.

“Skips, then, are streaming music’s kryptonite. Against this, getting users to save tracks to their own collections is the holy grail, as this is how new tracks end up getting multiple plays.” —Music Ally

With Spotify’s big in-house playlists (e.g. “Massive Dance Hits” or “Rap Caviar”), algorithms are employed in order to determine what stays and what goes. If users are consistently skipping a song, it will be removed; if they’re adding it to their own playlists, it might be moved up the chart. As a result, it’s important to look at the quality over quantity of users you’re advertising to when developing a digital marketing campaign. A thousand streams from people who go on to playlist the song in high ratio, for instance, may be worth more than 100,000 streams to the wrong audience, who will ultimately skip through the track and incur it damages.

How Spotify's Discover Weekly Playlist is Created 

How Spotify's Discover Weekly Playlist is Created 

Wavo has served billions of music recommendations on our Boost Network, helping us gather one of the newest and most complete sets of data on music consumption and user behaviour. We’re continuously looking into how music listeners connect to new material, and as a result, our engine is capable of predicting effective personalized recommendations on a large scale, with real-time optimization. Our system allows us to check up on CTRs and conversions within our growing pool of advertisements, while improving the editorial and brand appropriateness of content through behavioural retargeting. We look at everything from the type of music a fan likes, to the platforms they use to discover new material.

In relation to the promotion of DJ Snake’s “Middle”, Wavo advertised to a targeted pool of individuals in order to maximize potential playlist inclusion. Users on our Boost Network were preselected based on their ability to access Spotify and interest in electronic music. By the end of the campaign’s first week, we were able to send over 20,000 eager electronic music fans to DJ Snake’s newest single.

DJ Snake has cemented himself as one of the industry’s most successful newcomers. Since its release, “Middle” ft. Bipolar Sunshine has cracked a number of Billboard’s charts in a host of different countries. It has been certified Platinum in the United States and double Platinum in Australia and New Zealand. DJ Snake has played sets at a number of large-scale festivals, including Coachella, Ultra Miami, Lollapalooza, and Pemberton. He recently finished his 2016 Summer Tour, in promotion of his debut album, Encore.


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