Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Amazon Music, YouTube Music, Deezer… It seems like new music and podcast streaming services are everywhere.
In October 2020, Spotify reported that the platform has 320 million monthly users worldwide, with 144 million of those being paid monthly users. In June 2020, Spotify moved its Ad Studio out of beta and released the advertising option worldwide.
While you may think that Spotify doesn’t meet what you’re looking for in an advertising channel, the targeting opportunities might make you think again. Music-related ads are not the only options for promotion on Spotify.
Let’s hop into what Spotify Ad Studio offers to advertisers.
Spotify Promotion (Campaign) Objectives
It’s not just music-related campaigns on Spotify.
Here are the promotion (campaign) types that are available:
- Non-music related: A brand, product or organization
- Music-related: An artist’s music, a concert or artist merch
Now that you know what objectives are available, let’s look at the ad types.
Spotify Ad Types
Spotify offers 30-second audio or video ads that are seen and heard by the ad-supported Spotify app. These ads are served to Spotify Free users during breaks between songs on both desktop and mobile. Only one ad format can be selected for each ad set.
For audio ads, if you have an existing audio ad, you can upload it directly to Ad Studio. You can also utilize free creative tools and services through Spotify if you need help to produce an audio ad.
In addition to the audio clip, you will also need a square, 640×640 pixel image that accompanies the audio portion. More information about specs for audio files, image information, etc., is listed on Spotify’s website.
These video ads are served on either mobile or desktop but only when the Spotify app is in view. According to Spotify, “your video message is served to listeners during commercial ad breaks, and includes a clickable companion image and the call-to-action of your choice.”
On desktops, a companion image is shown with your video image. On mobile devices, the companion image will be displayed on the lock screen if a listener locks the device while the video is playing.
Video ads are not currently available in Australia and New Zealand as of the publication of this article.
Similar to the audio ads, the video ads can be up to 30 seconds. The files must include sound, as silent videos are not accepted.
Now that you know more about the ad types, let’s jump into targeting options. I bet there are more options than you would expect!
Spotify Ad Targeting
The platforms available are targeting are iOS (iPhone/iPad), Android, and desktop. Spotify recommends targeting all platforms unless the ad is platform-specific.
Age, gender, location, and platform can be selected.
Location targeting leverages IP addresses to determine users eligible for targeting.
The following countries can be targeted in the following ways:
- United States: Target by country, state, city, postal code, or DMA
- United Kingdom: Target by country, city, postal code
- Canada: Target by country, city, postal code
- Australia: Target by country, state, city, postal code
- New Zealand: Target by country, region, city
- Mexico: Target by country, region, city, postal code
- Spain: Target by country, region, city, postal code
Advertisers outside of Australia are not able to target the country of Australia or its regions.
Interest targeting on Spotify Ad Studio is comprised of categories “informed by users’ recent streaming behavior, including their podcast, playlist and platform preferences.” Multiple interest categories can be used to expand the audience.
Here are the available interest categories:
- Books: People who listen to books & literature podcasts
- Business: People who listen to business podcasts
- Comedy: People who listen to comedy-related content (including albums and podcasts)
- Commuting: People who listen to commute-related playlists
- Cooking: People who listen to cooking-related playlists
- Culture & Society: People who listen to culture & society podcasts
- DIY Hobbies & Crafts: People who listen to hobbies & crafts podcasts
- Education: People who listen to education podcasts on Spotify
- Health & Lifestyle: People who listen to lifestyle & health podcasts
- History: People who listen to history podcasts
- Fitness: People who listen to fitness-related playlists in categories such as workout, running, biking, and weightlifting
- Gaming: People who listen to Spotify on gaming consoles or listening to gaming-related playlists
- In-car listening: People who listen to Spotify in the car (Ads are targeted to users who recently listened to Spotify in the car, but they aren’t served while users stream in the car)
- Love & Dating: People who listen to love, dating, & relationship podcasts
- News: People who listen to news & politics podcasts
- Parenting: People who listen to kids’ playlists, children’s music, and kids & family podcasts
- Partying: People who listen to party-related playlists
- Podcasts: People who listen to podcasts (Ads are targeted to users who recently listened to podcasts, but they aren’t served during podcasts)
- Running: People who listen to running-related playlists
- Science & Medicine: People who listen to life sciences & medicine podcasts
- Sports & Recreation: People who listen to sports, sports news, & recreation podcasts
- Studying or focusing: People who listen to study or focus-related playlists
- Tech: People who listen to technology podcasts or stream via emerging platforms like smart TVs, gaming consoles, and streaming sticks
- Theater: People who listen to Broadway-related playlists
- Travel: People who listen to travel-related playlists
- TV & Film: People who listen to TV & film podcasts
Real-time Context Targeting
Real-time context targeting option “allows you to reach people who are listening to music tailored to specific activities, moments and moods.”
How does Spotify do this? It identifies user-created and Spotify-created playlists aligned with popular activities and moments. Targeted messages are delivered to users listening to these playlists. Multiple real-time contexts can be selected to expand an audience.
Available real-time contexts:
Genre targeting allows advertisers to deliver a message immediately after a user has listened to a song of a specific genre. Multiple genres can be used to expand audience sizes.
- Easy Listening
- Hip Hop
- Indie Rock
- New Age
- Spoken Audio
Fan Base Targeting
Fan targeting users Spotify’s proprietary streaming data to target known fans of an artist you’re promoting or fans of other artists.
To identify fans of an artist, Spotify analyzes recent listening behavior along with other identifiers like playlist adds and follows.
If you’re a music advertiser promoting an artist or event, you can target fans of your specific artist or fans of other artists.
More information for fan targeting is available on Spotify’s site.
A Few Things to Know About Spotify Ads
To get started in Ad Studio, you will need to commit to spending $250. For larger budgets, Spotify says there are custom programs and solutions. Pricing models for larger budgets depend on if you use Ad Studio, programmatic or are working with an ads specialist.
Cost is per impression. When setting up your campaign, after you set a campaign budget, you can get an estimated cost per impression, estimated number of total impressions, estimated reach and estimated lifetime frequency (which is the number of times each user will be served your ad).
For example, I created a campaign with targeting 25-50 year olds in Florida who are interested in health & lifestyle, fitness, and running. The estimates for my campaign are below.
Creating campaigns in Spotify is very easy! With the tools available to help you create ads and reasonably priced campaigns, I definitely recommend giving this channel a shot!