“Several years ago the business acquired it's first 1,000 customers within months and now has acquired over 40,000 brands/customers,” Ola Sars, CEO, and Chairman of Soundtrack Your Brand, told Startup Savant.
Challenges During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Over 97,000 small businesses went out of business in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At first, it looked like the startup company would suffer significant losses. “Soundtrack’s customers are in industries significantly affected by the pandemic, like restaurants, bars, cafes, and retail. As a supplier to those companies, we were equally affected as our customer groups. We were hearing about our legacy competitors losing 30% to 50% of their revenues during 2020,” Sars added.
Growing In 2020 Despite the Pandemic
The reality turned out to be far better than Sars imagined. “We worked our way through these challenging times and achieved growth in our business,” said Sars.
Short Term “Pause” Retains More Customers
“As many brands saw declining sales in revenue in April-June 2020, we took the unprecedented move of offering our customers a “pause” on their monthly subscription, rather than outright canceling the service. 80% of companies that had to shut down their business paused their subscriptions temporarily instead of totally canceling. We’ve had a 75% return rate on all pauses and are back to our steady growth,” Sars commented.
Soundtrack’s success in offering various options to customers beyond outright account cancellation is a crucial lesson for other startup companies.
Nostalgia Is a Key Trend for Soundtrack Customers
“In January 2021, our five most popular premade playlists included Hits of the ’80s, Feelgood Oldies (i.e., Rock, soul, and pop from the ‘60s and ‘70s), and Hits of the ’90s,” the CEO shared during the interview. Furthermore, the startup company’s pop music playlists have been extremely popular in January 2021.
Spotify Isn’t the Only Investor
The startup company has raised over $50 million in funding from investors. According to Sars, investors include Fuel Venture Capital, Spotify, Balderton Capital, Northzone, Creandum The Industrial Fund, and Telia.
While Spotify is best known as a music streaming service, it is becoming known as an investor in startup businesses. In September 2020, TechCrunch reported that Daniel Ek, founder of Spotify, plans to invest over $1 billion into European startup companies in several fields such as AI (artificial intelligence).
About the Author
Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.