Case StudyProduct Team: Creating Stream Teams - Autonomous Teams

Spotify was working great for their "Lean In" listeners but the "Lean back" listeners found music curation too time consuming. They needed to increase engagement with these users to continue their growth.

Autonomous Teams

The Solution

Rather than asking users to manually curate their music Spotify could create an automatic playlist for each user. However, the CEO, Daniel Ek, wasn't sure if people would like having a playlist automatically added to their accounts. Apple had just received a lot of backlash when they put U2's album into every user's iTunes library.

In a traditional company, when your CEO starts pushing back on your idea the best thing is to let it go. There was a genuine risk with this new feature and if it backfired the team could be fired.

But Spotify is famous for embracing "The Spotify Model" which empowers autonomous teams to make decisions. The team really believed strongly in the potential of this new feature, and since they were autonomous they decided to press ahead.

Outcomes achieved

Customers absolutely loved the new Discovery Weekly playlists. This increased engagement among the "Lean Back" listeners and the playlists achieved 1 billion streams within 10 weeks of launch.

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Teams, processes, practices, artifacts and more...

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