Spotify Pitch Deck: startup pitch deck design and teardown

by birtanpublished on August 24, 2020

Today we’re gonna be looking at the slides of a Swedish company, most of you have heard of, probably even used recently. This is a Spotify presentation. Today, I find it hard to imagine a world without Spotify. I use it every day to play songs on my way to the office; when I listen to music while I work; when I host people at my place. This and other streaming services are so widespread today, that it is sometimes easy to forget how different things were a couple of years ago. My generation grew up with music cassettes, which we had to rewind using a pencil; later

We were impressed with the appearance of discs, and disc players. Eventually, we saw the birth of MP3 players, and the idea that you could store a bunch of music, on such a small device was mind-blowing to me. I remember the first time I held an iPod in my hands; I couldn’t believe how cool it was! how new the experience felt! All of these innovations were game-changers in their own time. And then, came Spotify. Once again, my preconceived ideas of how we interact with music were

Drastically challenged: we were not gonna physically own music copies, and we were not gonna store them permanently on any devices. The internet era opened up a new possibility: music was going to be streamed online. I can tell you without hesitation, this is one of the biggest changes of paradigm ever to hit the music industry, and we were lucky enough to witness this first-hand. You see, Spotify is a company that’s very close to me because, like most people, music

Is a very personal thing. It relates to memories I have, to certain moments of my life, to people whom I’ve met and interacted with. And so, our relationship with music is a very close one, regardless of how we access it. So back to business, Spotify was founded in 2006 by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon as a way to bring music to everyone, everywhere. Flash forward a decade, and the company is now valued at almost 30 billion dollars. It

Has 232 million, monthly active users; including 108 million paying subscribers worldwide! The presentation we’ll be looking at today is not really an investor pitch deck per se. These slides were created by one of Spotify’s early developers, Jon Aslund, who joined the company in 2006. They were meant to recruit people for their team, pitching top talent at local universities back in Sweden. For the most part, this presentation is a regular pitch deck. At least up until the

Middle of its staggering 70 slides! After slide 35, the presentation becomes pretty technical, given the fact that this was addressed to computer software engineers. However, the first half of the deck could easily be a regular pitch deck, given a few more slides on the business model, user acquisition and go-to-market strategy. But it does a fine job in depicting the company's value proposition, the team’s technical skills and most importantly, the companies’ traction!

So, with this in mind, let’s dig into the slides, and see what we can learn here. Also, what we would change in order to make the slides more compelling. Right from the get-go, this is such a cool deck to redesign. First, look at how well the information is laid out and how little text each slide has. Reducing the amount of content on each slide is the simplest rule on the book, and yet seemingly the hardest to follow. Short ideas with bold text make up the best presentations!

I already know I’ll have a lot of room and flexibility to play around with the slide layouts and visuals! The second thing to notice here is how well these slides have “aged”. Obviously, the logo has changed a bit, and sure some of the assets are a little outdated, but the rest of the slides feel totally current. And that, I can tell you, they owe it to simplicity. A dark background with white text will hardly ever go out of fashion! That being said, this

Presentation is 70 slides long, so at some point, I need to change the formula in order to break the monotony and keep people engaged. The third, and probably the most powerful thing about this Spotify deck is the traction slides. These slides are the killer ones because they validate the company in such a convincing way. Any investor would drool to see these devastating metrics. When you have tens of millions of users, actively creating hundreds of millions of playlists in your platform,

You have an incredibly powerful story to tell. Make sure your traction slides stand out on your deck because, rest assured, they’ll be the ones to get you meetings, and dollars. So, here’s what I want to do with this presentation. The first thing I want to change is updating Spotify’s brand with the new logo, and color scheme. The new identity is much cleaner, and it will pop right from the cover slide. I want to create two different color sets for this presentation: one where I keep the

Dark background with white text, and a second one with the inverted combination. This will help bring more variety to the slides as opposed to just having a dark background for the entire deck. I also like to keep the green hue as a highlight that I can use on details, such as titles, quotes, and icons. I also want to keep the idea of having big titles on each slide. For that, I use Slidebean’s Headlines which let me cover almost the entire slide with these short lines. I also chose

A thick font, Montserrat Bold, which helps emphasize each sentence even more. The way, the way I choose images for each presentation varies a lot from one deck to the other. For Spotify, my thought process revolves around the music industry; it’s always had a rebel tone to it. It is an industry that speaks to the misfits and the trendsetters; the ones who connect with their hearts and minds. All of this is the inspiration where I want to draw from in order to choose my images. Unsplash is a great source of visuals,

And I was able to find images for all of my slides. A little side note here: try to stay away from obvious graphic choices. Let me give you an example: for slide 5, the original pitch deck has the logo of KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The obvious choice would be to upload the logo of the Institute and move one to the next slide. But to be honest, that logo seems so boring and so different from the rest of the slides, that I wanted to explore a different path. I went ahead and simply

Wrote the name of the Institute, and looked for an image that transmitted a technological or academic environment. And the result, I feel, is much more impactful. These little choices can go a long way in making your slides more interesting, so try to take these small risks. Finally, I want to play around with different layouts to create more captivating compositions. This is especially important when dealing with such a long presentation. Thinking about new layouts can sometimes be a little overwhelming, so I like to use the Slide module.

In there, I can browse for different layout proposals, and create really cool slides with a single click. After I add them, I simply replace the placeholders with my own content. This process, I do for every single slide, until I have a colorful, dynamic and stunning set of slides. I loved working with this Spotify deck because the very concept of the company evokes a lot of ideas to play with. Let me know what you think of this redesign, and stay tuned for our next presentation teardown.

If you want to give Slidebean a try look for our coupon link on the description below. The first 25 people to sign up will get 3 months free on any of our plans. Thanks for watching, and we’ll see you next week.

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