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My favourite audio: Spotify’s top 10 innovations in audio

May 28, 2020 | 5 min read

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The Drum is launching a series looking at audio excellence, sonic innovation and voice storytelling - ideas that show the breadth of what can be done with audio. This week Spotify chooses its top 10 ideas - from creative 30 second audio spots to immersive voice games using connected devices.


Spotify share their top 10 innovations in audio

1. The Maze Alexa skill: Westworld

An immersive gaming skill allowing Westworld fans to go on their own quest for consciousness. Created by Dentsu Aegis Network’s 360i and conversation design studio, was developed as an Amazon Alexa skill that lead users on an interactive story. The choices the players made determined what happens next, and how the story turns out.

2. DB Export: The paperless newspaper ad

The DB Export beer brand’s mission to save the world resulted in the launch of paperless newspaper ads “printed” on radio. The campaign created by Colenso BBDO and Franklin Rd consisted of three 'full-page radio' executions, each describing a traditional newspaper ad scene in tongue-in-cheek detail.

3. Spotify x BBC - 7 Worlds One Planet

In conjunction with David Attenborough's Seven Worlds, One Planet, BBC Studios and Spotify launched 7 soundscapes to transport you to the continent last year. The campaign gave Spotify Free and Premium users access to seven exclusive videos, each dedicated to different wildlife stories and endangered species from around the world. The collaboration also saw the BBC Earth podcast made available for listeners, giving them behind-the-scenes access to accounts from show producers and camera crew.

4. National Geographic - Sounds of the Future Ocean

Last year, in recognition of World Water Day Friday, National Geographic ran a campaign based on an audio experience called Sounds of Future Ocean. The initiative included the release of an album with four tracks with ocean sounds, but created with plastic collected from the ocean. You can hear it via Spotify.

5. Q – The First Genderless Voice

With an obvious gender imbalance in technology and voice assistants, is technology hardwiring sexism into our future? To counter just that, a genderless voice was added to voice assistants, voiced by people who don’t identify with either gender. Created by a group of linguists, technologists, and sound designers, Q hopes to end gender bias and encourage more inclusivity in voice technology.

6. City Lodge Hotel Group

Just great, well-done audio ads. Created by TBWA\Hunt\Lascaris Johannesburg, the beautifully written ads talked about the real experiences about travel and about making memories. These radio ads by the budget travel brand are a reminder that if you have a pen, a paper and an idea and a voice to change the world, then there are no boundaries to compelling storytelling.

7. RXBar & Ice-T audio ad

Protein bar brand RXBar wanted to up its brand awareness among a broad swath of music fans and fitness enthusiasts. It paired great creative and the perfect spokesperson, Ice-T with Spotify’s dynamic ad formats to expand their audience and make clear that they are the “No B.S.” brand. Brilliant writing and great celebrity use.

8. BK Bot campaign

How do you use AI to create audios ads? This famous campaign for Burger King created by David agency, mocks machine learning and takes a lighthearted jab at AI-generated media.

9. Spotify x Michelob Ultra

A dynamic, personalised ad for Michelob’s low-calorie beer brand Michelob Ultra was delivered to runners based on their location, local time, and the weather before beginning their workout. Follow-up messages then reinforced this messaging during exercise and recovery.

10. MGM Lion

Sonic branding is not quite the new concept as sometimes the industry makes it out to be. In fact, branding is not just something visual, but also has very much to do with its sound. Who doesn’t recognise the classic MGM film intro, featuring a lion's roar? It was originally created in 1916, as a piece of silent film, by ad executive Howard Dietz. The lion gave its first audible roar on July 31, 1928 for the debut of the movie White Shadows in the South Seas.

Our new audio collection on Creative Works celebrates the most creative audio ads. The user submitted work will be judged weekly by Spotify and the winner will be featured in our Creative Works newsletter. If you would like your work to be considered, submit it here or contact if you're new to Creative Works.

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