Spotify inches into the enterprise

I was pleasantly surprised to see an announcement, involving Spotify for Work. Basically, Spotify is launching an initiative in which corporations buy Spotify premium memberships for its employees and offer it as a perk. I’m really bullish on the idea that most companies are well-served by moving into the enterprise; I’d previously written about Headspace doing the same, by establishing itself as a digital therapeutic and trying to get insurance coverage for its product. 

The business case is simple: one enterprise deal can equate to thousands of customers (with room to grow in the largest enterprises!), and corporations tend to stick around longer than consumers. 

That said, I have reservations on the way Spotify for Work is currently packaged. For starters, Headspace is taking on mental health and wellness, which is definitely a key pain point for employees. Gyms and fitness are also a great pain point. Is access to commercial-free music the Spotify for Work value proposition would be for its clients, and customers? How many of these people find it a pain, and don’t already pay for Spotify? 

I think that shows in the fact that Accenture is the only launch partner for this product. It might be clever for Spotify if Accenture also starts selling it to clients, but I don’t know that it’ll actually move the needle much as it is right now. 

If I were on the project, I’d probably suggest something more like AxiosHQ, and tying Spotify for Work into a business case like internal communications. Shopify (not to be confused with Spotify!) has started a couple of internal podcasts (Employees Only and Context, amongst others). I’ve also recently come across Gitlab Unfiltered, which I really liked. It might involve more demos, or a corporate version of Spotify (with SSO and everything!), which is costly from a resourcing perspective, but I think that’s where the value is.

When I worked at WorkOS, I discovered that getting enterprise ready sounds simple, but it’s certainly not easy. It’s not just a matter of doing bulk sales for a platform. There are a lot of technical considerations, as well as an entire new go-to-market strategy; companies are even hiring VPs of Enterprise specifically for purposes like this. 

It also requires a good sense of timing; too soon and you end up building stuff only for enterprises, which often have very specific needs. Too late and someone else eats your lunch. In this case, I don’t know if any other DSPs offers itself as a work perk—and if they don’t, I don’t know whether that’s because the pain isn’t really there, or because they wanted to focus on consumers. 

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