The Consumer Neuroscience Company
28. August 2019

The Beat of a Billion — finding the right tune for a product launch


When Spotify were about to launch their solution to a billion potential customers in India, they wanted to do so with a splash. What better than finding a beat that everybody would jam and dance to? But finding the right tune. Neurons used neuroscience solutions to help Spotify identify the tune that the population would respond the most to.

When reaching billions relies on music

Launching a new product is a daunting task. Launching your product in an entirely new part of the world is equally challenging. So when Spotify wanted to launch their service in India, they needed to make an impact. Being a music provider, the obvious choice was to make a music hit video.

But making a music hit is not a small order. In fact, only 0.025% of new music videos in India become a hit…

The solution Spotify turned to was consumer neuroscience and machine learning.

Testing music responses to find the beat

In the study, Neurons was commissioned to test participants while they listened to a playlist of India’s most recent top hits across languages and genres. During the time that they listened, we sampled their emotional responses using EEG brain monitoring headsets, using emotional arousal (“intensity”) and motivation (“valence”) to classify each music response.

From this, we used the data to characterize the sounds and pieces of music that consistently tended to be the most engaging. This was then used in dialogue with the music creators that put the pieces together to make the tune that would be Spotify’s release music.

The result: the beat of a billion

What the music creators were able to do, was to use the neuroscience data to identify the rhythm and theme that would be the bearing element for the release video. The result was what Spotify named “the beat of a billion” #thebeatofabillion.

Spotify made a stunning video of the process, as you can see below:

The end result was an impressive ad campaign that is now rumored to have significantly boosted Spotify sales in India.

Neuro testing for music and more

The Spotify project demonstrates the many uses of neuroscience in boosting or launching a product. While this study focused on finding the right music beat, additional approaches could be to find the optimal mix of sound and visuals and then to bring this to the initial product experience for the segment. At any time, neuro provides a new and powerful type of access to customers’ responses that you cannot get through traditional means.