Believe's Marketers Talk European Success, Driving Streams on New Releases

December 2, 2021

Believe’s Esther Pov and Julie Emberger explain how they’ve used Marquee to re-engage and retain targeted, global audiences for their artists.

Believe, a leading record label and artist distributor based in Paris, France, helps artists build their careers around the world. As media buyers at Believe, Esther Pov (DSP Media Buyer) and Julie Emberger (Head of Media Buying) work with artists at every stage of their careers, spanning all genres, multiple countries, and working through both single and album release cycles – often having to work quickly at a moment’s notice.

“In the music industry, usually, the artists decide what they want to do with the budget quite last-minute,” says Emberger. To move quickly, her team focuses on having strong guidelines and learnings that they can share across campaigns, artist teams, and regions.

“At Believe, everything is about technology – music and technology – so we test all media-buying solutions on the market to find the best one,” says Emberger. “Then we scale the learnings to most of our artists to make sure that, if it is something new, artists [use] it.” If they get interesting learnings, Emberger explains, they will use that information for future campaigns, making sure that other artists – particularly small and mid-sized artists – can benefit from that knowledge.

Over the past year, Marquee – a full-screen, sponsored recommendation of a new release that’s displayed to Spotify listeners who have shown interest in an artist’s music – has become a crucial part of Emberger and Pov’s marketing playbook. They’ve used it to support new releases from artists like NTO, Mario Novembre, and Hämatom.

“What we think is really interesting about Marquee is the reach we can have in a few days,” explains Emberger. “We can really focus on the fanbase and have the whole budget spent in one or two days, so it’s really powerful, and we have a really high reach. I think it’s really important to make sure that the fanbase is aware of the new release in the very first few days.” They used that strategy to target Mario Novembre’s native Germany with his “Immer Wieder” and “Was Ween” singles, and it worked – Marquee listeners streamed each song more than 7 times on average.

Believe also recently ran a campaign for melodic techno artist NTO’s new album, Apnea. “We thought it would be very interesting to do a Marquee [for NTO’s new release] because it’s an album,” says Pov, explaining the thought process that went into promoting a full album and not just singles, which they’ve also tested for other artists. “So that means that, if we do a Marquee [for the] album, the listener will click on the art and have the possibility to listen [to] several [tracks].” The strategy paid off, with Marquee listeners streaming an average of 13 NTO tracks.

“Because it’s a French artist, we decided to put more budget on that territory,” continues Pov. “And thanks to the data we had on Spotify for Artists, we saw there was this potential in Germany, so it was easy for us to try a budget in that country,” adds Emberger. “It’s electronic music, so it’s easier for these artists to have an international fanbase. For them, [Marquee] is a great opportunity to grow faster.” Believe took advantage of Marquee’s global availability, where artists and labels can choose to target audiences from 12 markets around the world.

In addition to the location-specific targeting for NTO, Pov and Emberger also took advantage of Marquee’s audience segmentation, allowing them to target specific parts of the artist’s reachable audience – specifically casual and lapsed listeners. (Casual listeners have streamed the artist’s music within the last six months, while lapsed listeners have previously streamed the artist’s music, but have not actively streamed in the last six months.)

“We were so happy with the lapsed results,” explains Emberger. “For NTO, we saw that lapsed listeners was quite high. So for us, it was a really good choice to target that segment because it’s easier to re-engage somebody who already knows the artist as opposed to someone who’s never listened to the artist.” Pov adds, “We noticed we have a better intent rate and a better conversion rate [with casual and lapsed listeners].”

When measuring campaign success, Pov and Emberger agree that they review conversion rate (the percentage of people who streamed the release after seeing the Marquee) and intent rate (the percentage of listeners who saved or added a track from the release to a playlist). “It shows that the Marquee works very well,” says Pov, noting that it’s a good indicator of long-term impact on an audience. “We think intent rate is one of the key figures of Marquee.” For Believe’s NTO campaign, the intent rate was particularly high in France – 33% compared to Marquee’s already high benchmark of 29%.

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We’re excited to share more updates as we continue to expand Marquee. You can learn more in our Getting Started with Marquee guide and watch for new updates on our site.

If you're interested in using Marquee to target audiences in three dozen markets, including Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and you have an eligible new release, you can do so via the Spotify for Artists dashboard. See the complete Marquee targeting list here. Marquee is available directly in Spotify for Artists for selected markets. If you are based in one of these markets, set your billing country and head to the Campaigns tab to get started with Marquee.

Spotify for Artists helps you to develop the fanbase you need to reach your goals.

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