A recent study from Harvard Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation showed that voter participation efforts are “not only good for democracy, but also good for business,” with benefits ranging from positive brand awareness and meeting consumer expectations to increasing employee satisfaction. As a part of our broader Equity & Impact function, social and civic engagement are an essential part of our values and our mission, and we believe that using our platform to encourage civic engagement, not only for our employees but also for consumers and creators, is critical to ensuring healthy democracies globally. Since 2016, we’ve created initiatives for US presidential and midterm elections, as well as the European Parliament, reaching millions of listeners globally with resources on getting to the polls. We’ve also built programs to help our employees get to the polls — most notably, 2020’s first-of-its-kind civic ambassador program that trained US employees to support their colleagues in registering and voting. This month, we’ve expanded our commitment to civic engagement through two new initiatives: our first US campaign during an off-year election, and our first national-level campaign outside the US for the German Bundestag election.
The US: National Voter Registration Day
Though off-year elections never get huge media attention, they’re still critical to ensure our democratic process runs smoothly with the input of as many eligible voters as possible. And currently, that’s just not the case: only about 15-27% of voters show up in local races, and those voters are both much older and far less diverse than the general population.
The first step to getting voters engaged in local elections is making sure they’re registered and informed. Accordingly, we’re activating across its platform starting today — National Voter Registration Day — to encourage listeners and employees, especially young people, to get registered and ready to vote, whether they show up to the polls this year, next year, or beyond.
The campaign includes:
- A close partnership with HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that uses the power of music to register voters and promote participation in democracy. All original campaign content drives to headcount.org/spotify, where listeners can quickly and easily get registered to vote.
- In-app notifications across some of our biggest playlists and podcasts as well to users generally, reminding fans to get registered
- A “Register to Vote” playlist featuring song titles reminding listeners to get registered
- “Rights and Representation,” a new version of the Play Your Part podcast hub featuring episodes on topics like constitutional rights, the history of voter suppression, and perspectives from historically marginalized communities, as well as a guest-curated podcast playlist from Alicia Garza
- Support for artists in getting registered via Spotify for Artists messaging
- Editorial coverage on The Get Up
- An original PSA in partnership with HeadCount running across our platform, as well as a second year of partnership with Anchor Sponsorships to help Anchor creators get the word out via pro bono ads
- Messaging for employees and prospective employees around our groundbreaking Work from Anywhere program and reminding folks who do relocate to change their registration.
Germany: Bundestag Election
The 2021 German election marked a significant moment of change that may reset the country’s political course for the next decade. Given the critical nature of this election, we decided to activate tactics from our 2020 US presidential election to support our German listeners, especially young people, in being prepared to vote. Similar to our other global efforts, the non-partisan campaign included:
- A collaboration with the Federal Agency for Civic Education; campaign content links to their Wahl-O-Mat tool which provides voter education
- In-app notifications to listeners encouraging them to get informed on the election and linking to Wahl-O-Mat
- A podcast hub with information and analysis on the election
- A playlist cover takeover reminding listeners of the impending election
In 2022, we look forward to continuing to expand our civic engagement efforts globally and leveraging the power of our platform.