Spotify advertising – music to our ears

19 minutes read
Adam - 26.01.2016

If you've not heard of Spotify, climb out from under that rock, unfurrow your brow and clean off your knuckles. It's time to learn about something awesome. Even better, we'll introduce you to the concept of Spotify advertising.

Spotify is a digital music service that gives users access to millions of songs instantly. The model has been so effective that the big players (Apple, Amazon, Google) have tried to copy (and Undercut) Spotify success. 

AM/FM radio was hailed as a game changer… but that was in 1922. Radio still remains a favourite for SMEs and corporations alike, but the model is changing. We know a thing or two about biddable media, and Spotify is a valuable medium.


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Why advertising on Spotify is such a big deal

Spotify's offering addresses some of traditional radio's major flaws. Radio is notorious for the inability to track its affects:

“Hey Jim is that radio ad playing again? We just had another 2 calls in”

In an increasingly monetised marketing arena, this approach isn’t feasible. Without proof of ROI, it's impossible to optimise marketing without unhelpful amounts of guestimation. Advertising on Spotify is far more effective than traditional radio advertising in its targeting, delivery and tracking.

Since its launch in 2006, Spotify has grown to have more than 6 million paying subscribers and 24 million active users globally. It also has more than 20 million songs available and has users across 55 countries. It's a very big player.


Advertising on Spotify is a very intriguing concept - because everyone loves a freebie.


The average listener will spend 148 minutes on Spotify across devices and all areas of their life every day. Commuting, relaxing, working, they have access to it. On average that’s more time than that spent on Facebook, twitter and Snapchat combined. Healthy engagement.

While you can pay for a Spotify account with unlimited listening and no advertising, predominantly listeners will use the free version in exchange for the odd audio ad, periodically played while listening. In fact, many users have shown they don’t actually mind exchanging ads for free music.

Spotify advertising has shown to be far more responsive than traditional commercial radio ads, and it works particularly well for reaching Millennials who actively use the service.

Advertising on Spotify allows you to reach the right people, as it’s possible to target individuals based on age, sex, postcode/region/country and even time of day. It's targeted and it's trackable.

There are many different ways of advertising with Spotify. However, with a minimum entry of £5,000 these may not all be suitable for smaller marketing budgets.


The benefits of Spotify advertising

Audio ads appear every fifteen minutes on the free service, exposing users to frequent ads that cannot be skipped.

These ads play your audio commercial between songs and can be up to 30 seconds long, giving you more than enough time to get your personality and proposition across.

For desktop listeners, an ad image is displayed in the cover art area as well as scrolling text along the bottom for users to click on. Users are then directed straight to your website or landing page.

This trumps traditional radio advertising because users don't have to remember a phone number or URL.

Display ads

Like most display ads, these are shown through a leaderboard format, located along the bottom of the music player. These ads are clickable and take users to your website.

The cost for Spotify ads are charged on a CPM basis (cost per thousand impressions). They are also available on mobile, allowing your ads to reach more people on the go.

Branded playlists

As Henry Longfellow said, music is the universal language of mankind. So what better way to connect with your consumers than a branded playlist?

These are custom user-generated playlists that can be branded with a logo, some custom text and optional link to a landing page of your choice. Playlists can be a great way of getting your audience to engage with your brand, as you're providing something to them for free.

Think of what your customers are most aligned with, and build a soundtrack for their interests. This is a great way to connect, engage and interact with a dedicated following. All playlists must have a minimum of 40 tracks.

Sponsored sessions

These are video ads that offer audiences 30 minutes of ad-free listening in exchange for a video view. You even can attach a card to the end of the video to invite further engagement with your brand. Currently, these sessions are only available on mobile.

Video takeovers

Takeovers are video ads that are served to users during the commercial ad breaks between songs. A video takeover also includes a companion display unit which is fully clickable to accompany the video ad; these can also create further engagement with your brand. Currently, video takeovers are only available on desktop.

Homepage takeover

A homepage takeover offers brands the opportunity to take over the Spotify homepage for 24 hours. This is a combination of a branded background area and an interactive area; both of which are fully clickable and create engagement. But as you can imagine, this isn’t possible on normal ad budgets.

The outro

For most people, music is a necessity, an escape and an accompaniment for life’s ups and downs. Radio and music streaming is therefore a fantastic medium to advertise with. However, it needs to be done correctly to truly benefit a business.

Spotify advertising offers the tools allowing you to tap into radio in a way previously un-imaginable, and with a bit of know how, you can benefit from this greatly.


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