The long-trailed partnership between Barcelona and Spotify was finally confirmed yesterday – reportedly a £235m shirt and stadium deal over four years.
Spotify’s statement talks about being in it for the thrill of bringing music and football together…
“We could not be more thrilled to be partnering with FC Barcelona to bring the worlds of Music and Football together. From July, our collaboration will offer a global stage to Artists, Players and Fans at the newly-branded Spotify Camp Nou. We have always used our marketing investment to amplify Artists and this partnership will take this approach to a new scale. We’re excited to create new opportunities to connect with FC Barcelona’s worldwide fanbase.”Alex Norström, Chief Freemium Business Officer, Spotify
…but as that last sentence hints at, there’s a more commercial imperative at play too, in terms of growth in users and paying subscribers.
Let’s have a quick look at some of the data around this
Football fans in general are more likely to use music streaming, and Spotify is by far the most popular service.
According to GWI, Barcelona has an estimated 360m people globally who support it as their main or secondary club (stretch that out to include any interest in Barca at all, and it’s over 450m).
Spotify is already used by around 50-60% of global followers of all clubs. Interestingly, Wolves fans top this chart, but in terms of sheer numbers, Barca has more fans/followers that use Spotify than any other club (around 225m of them).
Meanwhile, Spotify apparently has 180m premium and 226 non-paying subscribers.
So there is a big market of Barcelona fans for Spotify to have a go at here – up to 225m that don’t use it at all, and maybe 110m that use it but don’t directly pay for it.
How Spotify turns the partnership into more subscribers will be the challenge (assuming that is the goal – they might just be content with the general elevation in brand awareness and value that it brings…).
There was some consternation in the sports business world this week when it was discovered that Barcelona only has a fan database of 3m, so Spotify themselves will need to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to connecting with new fans, or converting some of those 110m existing users into Premium customers.
(An interesting aside: Spotify is already more popular than Barcelona in almost every market…)