Spotify Ads, Are You Listening?

Vivian Phan

16 Jan 2020

As an evolving platform, Spotify allows brands to not only tap into different music preferences but also capture them in different states of mind and experiment with the psychology of music to influence purchasing decisions. Spotify offers a giant pool of potential listeners with 232 million active monthly users across the globe by the end of June 2019, up by 29% YoY.

What You Need To Know About Spotify Ads

Photo By Yannis Papanastasopoulos | Unsplash

1. Format

Spotify advertisements exist in three general forms — as a snippet of audio (15 or 30 seconds long), a display banner or a video. Audio snippets must be accompanied with a 640×640 image, a headline and a destination URL.

2. Free Versus Paid Users

Ads are only shown to Spotify’s free trial users, they are not shown to paying premium users. As of June 2019, approximately 53.4% and 46.6% of all global users are free and paying respectively.

3. Targeting

Ads are targeted based on basic demographic first-party data selections such as gender and age. Brands can then specify the type of device, locations, and scheduled the time of when they would like the ad campaign to be shown. The ads can also be narrowed down by selecting and layering data like interests, real-time contexts and preferred genres.

Will Spotify Work For My Company?

As an advertising platform, Spotify Ads works well in developing brand awareness. Spotify ad campaigns can reap success when the target customer types are identified, well understood and matched with the targeting options. For example, you might be interested in targeting listeners of parenting podcasts with an ad about baby strollers because you can infer that they are in the market to buy one soon. For Spotify campaigns to be fruitful, consider the context that your advertisement will be playing within. For example, it might be disappointing for someone who just listened to a standup comedy performance to hear an advertisement that is serious and technical. If you have questions about how Spotify can work for your brand, please feel free to chat with us at any time.

Spotify Knows More Than You Think

If you’re curious about how Spotify profiles your listening preferences, then the Spotify Me website is a great way to start.The limitation here is that the ‘mood profile’ generated is based on the playlist which you select your music from rather than the individual song category. In a playlist called, ‘Bass Heavy Hip Hop’ within my account, the following mood profile is generated by Spotify’s algorithms to assess different qualities of the music:

‘Bass Heavy Hip Hop’ is profiled as music with high elements of dance, lyrical verses and happy beats.

What sort of information does this provide us? It means that we can start to ascertain the type of mood someone is in whilst listening to a particular playlist. It would be interesting to see if there is a strong correlation between the type of music you listen to and your personality type, mood or future behaviour.

Looking forward, being able to categorise listeners with specific music mood profiles will allow us to make inferences surrounding listeners’ personalities and target ads at them correspondingly. When we worked with The Australian Ballet, we made the assumption that potential Australian Ballet viewers were not interested in modern music genres such as hip hop or Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and so we targeted people who listened to genres such as classical, country and jazz music. Surprisingly, our advertisements were served predominantly to country music listeners. Our week-long campaigns for the Australian Ballet all achieved an ad listen rate in excess of 85% with exposure to over 12,000 listeners on average. We were able to run a Melbourne-based seasonal campaign which achieved a standout listen rate of 99%.

Small Budgets Can Stretch Just As Far

Photo By Tom Pottiger | Unsplash

$250 is all you need to set up and test the effectiveness of your first Spotify campaign. Spotify offers the option to have your 30-second audio advertisement recorded by a professional voice actor for free. Yes, free! Choose between female and male voice actors and choose their age category varying from children to seniors. There’s even the option to write a message to the voice actor summarising the emotion, tone and or speed of your desired audio recording. Offering this service for free is a pretty amazing gesture on Spotify’s part considering you would be paying for it elsewhere.

Innovating Using Dynamic Audio And Branded Playlists

Photo By Alejandro Ortiz | Unsplash

Spotify offers innovative marketing options that enable dynamic audio advertisements using information such as the listener’s current location and outdoor weather conditions. For example, in Sydney, listeners might hear, “Looking for something to do this weekend Sydney?” The same ad would be played to Melbourne listeners with the location adjusted.

Brands also have the option to create a licensed sponsored playlist dedicated to different themes such as, ‘Music I listen to when I’m running,’ or the ‘Tunes of the 1970s’ which can be used to promote sports watches or vintage calculator watches respectively.

GrowthOps uses Spotify to enable clients to reach audiences contextually through different emotional states, interests and music genre preferences. Spotify allows for the delivery of audio and visual ads. At GrowthOps we use Spotify to help our clients increase brand visibility by reaching listeners at just the right beat or moment. GrowthOps also offers services in Search Engine Marketing (SEM), affiliate marketing and social media marketing. If you are interested in learning more about Spotify as an advertising platform or engaging our marketing services please feel free to get in touch.

By Vivian Trinh Phan, Media Executive at GrowthOps

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