Since first emerging from Stockholm in the late 2000s, Spotify has revolutionised the way we listen to music. Sporting a comprehensive library and intuitive interface, Spotify provided fans with an extraordinary opportunity to stream uninterrupted music directly to their home or mobile devices; and in the process, untethered them from the overpriced CDs and generic radio output they formally relied upon.
With so many streaming platforms available, it’s often easy to overlook the ingenuity of Spotify’s business model: for a low monthly fee, its premium service (Spotify Premium) offers ad-free listening, offline playback, and higher sound quality; meanwhile, by also offering a free account option, Spotify has gifted advertisers the opportunity to market to its expanded freemium user base through audio ads.
For digital marketers and advertising agencies, an optimised Spotify advertising campaign can reach a huge audience of engaged listeners, drive awareness, and create powerful brand associations for their clients. However, competition is fierce, and effective marketing to Spotify users takes commitment, knowledge, and real expertise.
At The Bank, our agency experts have exactly what it takes to get your Spotify ads up and running. If you think Spotify might be a good advertising avenue for your business, read on to see how we can help.
Advertising on Spotify
Before we get into the hows of getting your Spotify ad campaign off the ground, let’s go into a little more depth on the whys:
Spotify is huge: a 2021 report by Statista found that the streaming service currently boasts over 381 million active users. Of these, only around 35% opt for the premium ad-free experience, leaving a massive 250 million users who are exposed to Spotify ads, and who are without the functionality to skip the ads served to them. Which brings us onto…
Unlike streaming platforms such as YouTube, which often allow users to skip an ad after five seconds, the Spotify “no-skip” approach means users have no choice but to receive audio ads. What’s more, listeners are required to hear the entirety of Spotify ad, resulting in increased consumer engagement and impressive CTR.
Although many users interact with the Spotify app daily, frequently they will do so only to launch their music or podcast; following this, they will close the app to use their device as normal.
For an advertiser, this effectively turns all the user’s apps into advertising platforms for their clients’ brands. Wherever the user goes – from Facebook to Candy Crush – for as long as they’re running Spotify for background music, they are potentially in a position to receive ads.
Radio advertising remains a tried-and-tested method for targeting audiences via audio ads. However, with a Spotify ad campaign, the options for refinement and optimisation are significantly greater.
When using Spotify ads, you can choose an audience based on myriad factors, including country, city, postal codes, gender identity, interests, and favourite music genre. The number of options for creating campaigns which advertise specifically to your audience is huge, and with a well-honed Spotify ads strategy, the opportunity to reach listeners is incredible.
Radio and Alternate Streaming Services
Spotify isn’t the only streaming platform available to you as an advertiser, and investing in an audio ad format campaign means you can synchronise your ad exposure across a number of radio, streaming, and podcast delivery channels.
At The Bank, we can offer expert advice and information on which channels can offer the best ROI when it comes to targeting the most listeners possible.
What Types of Advertising Does Spotify Use?
Although Spotify remains loyal to its primary focus of streaming music, the company have expanded their media delivery in recent years. This increase in media formats also offers increased formats through which you can advertise, including audio ads, video ads, and display ads.
One of the most interesting things about advertising through Spotify is the numerous unique advertising formats the company has managed to create. Take a look below for some of their common advertising methods:
For users of the free service, Spotify ads are played periodically throughout an active listening session. As an advertiser, you can choose to run Spotify ads throughout the day or only at specific moments.
Throughout the duration of the audio advertisement, the user’s device shows a display ad (replacing album artwork), which supplies a clickable link that leads to whichever landing page you decide.
A somewhat controversial feature of the app, Spotify offers advertisers the chance to feature in one of their popular sponsored playlists. Listeners of these playlists will be exposed to your ads (whether audio or video), with display ad content found on their devices.
The popularity of Spotify means their sponsored playlists have a zeitgeist appeal; perfect if your modern, progressive brand wants to raise awareness.
Video ads are a more recent addition to Spotify’s ad lineup. Functionally, Video Takeover works the same as Audio Everywhere – when you run Spotify ads through this method, the free account user’s listening is interrupted by an ad, only this time it’s a video rather than only audio.
One of the most promising video marketing campaign avenues offered by Spotify is through sponsored sessions. This advertising format promises users 30 minutes of uninterrupted music for each video ad they view.
These incentivised Spotify ads can be staggeringly effective when it comes to brand awareness, and generally leave a more positive brand image than more traditional forms of advertising.
Remember we talked about multitasking? Overlay is used when that user returns to the Spotify app from wherever else they’ve been.
An overlay is delivered with a clickable display unit, to not only target your audience, but also promote user engagement and drive traffic.
For users of the desktop app and web player, Spotify offers Homepage Takeover. This grants the advertiser 24 hours to display their message across Spotify’s homepage.
Whilst this method is not available on mobile devices, it supports rich media and the implementation of interactive elements, giving fantastic options to advertise in a bold and effective manner.
Since forcing its way into the podcasts arena, Spotify has overtaken Apple as the most popular app in the US. In the UK, 18% of British adults (around 10.1 million people) listen to podcasts on a weekly basis, opening up a huge avenue for streaming platform ads.
Spotify makes podcast advertising incredibly simple, and offers some of the most powerful tools for real-time reporting and performance analysis. Their Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) software can report results on ad impressions, demographic exposure, and even the activity the listener was performing when listening to your ads!
How Do I Build a Spotify Advertising Campaign?
As you can see, there are a lot of options when it comes to Spotify ads. This is where a dedicated digital marketing agency like The Bank can help. From development and strategy to implementation and optimisation, an agency can guide you through all the steps necessary to get your Spotify ad into the ears of your next customers.
The first step to developing a Spotify campaign with The Bank is to arrange a consultation with one of our account managers. They’ll want to get as much info as possible from you before you start advertising, so think about some of the questions below:
Who Is Your Target Audience?
Spotify users come in all shapes and sizes, so when it comes to advertising, targeting the right audience is key. Spotify charge on a CPM model (cost per thousand impressions), so an unfocused approach to targeting can prove costly!
Don’t be afraid to get specific here. Spotify’s ad refinement tools are there for a reason, and in a lot of cases, it’s more effective to hone in on the right audience than it is to cast a wide net.
Which Ad Format/s?
Which of the ad formats above do you think will yield the best for your brand and for your aims?
This is a tricky one. In many instances, you will not get a choice over the format for your ads; if you submit an audio ad, it could end up as an Audio Everywhere ad, or be featured in a sponsored playlist.
Your agency experts can advise you on this, but as a rule, you want to ensure your ads (whether audio, video, or display) will work across advertising avenues.
What Will Your Ad Schedule Look Like?
How long do you want your ads to run? Are you promoting a temporary sale or seasonal event, or do you picture a long-term campaign? Start dates and end dates don’t need to be too rigid here, as they can be tweaked throughout your campaign; however, you do want an idea of the kind of commitment you want to make.
Additionally, consider what times of the day you think might work best to target your audience. Are your ads going after the early birds or the night owls? Think carefully, as the wrong message at the wrong time of day can be jarring!
What Is Your Campaign Budget?
It’s extremely easy to overspend when it comes to Spotify advertising, so you want to make sure you have a rigid budget in place before you attempt to launch your ads.
The team at The Bank can manage this aspect of the campaign for you, ensuring you don’t go over budget, and providing you with the performance information you need to tell whether your Spotify ads campaign has been a success. Which brings us to the next question…
How Will You Monitor Ad Performance?
How will you monitor the efficacy of your Spotify campaign? Ad Studio does offer some useful tools for tracking performance, particularly with regards to – the notoriously trick – podcasts.
Ideally, however, you want a team who can sift through the data for you; see which metrics are performing well, and which are performing poorly, and make recommendations for going forward.
How Do I Advertise on Spotify?
Whether you decide to go with an agency or not, with a campaign plan in place, it’s time to create your ad. There are two options main options when it comes to recording your ads:
Spotify Ad Studio
Spotify Ad Studio is the company’s platform for ad scheduling and placement. It offers you the opportunity to define your campaign goals, select your target audience, select your platform of choice, define your budget and create your ad schedule.
However, it also offers advertisers the option of creating a voiceover – Simply upload your script, and Spotify will supply you with a 30-second voiceover free of charge.
While this simplifies the ad creation process for small businesses, it does have its disadvantages:
- Voice Only – This method does not allow you to add sound effects, music, or to get creative with your audio advertising.
- Spotify Only – If you want to use your ad across platforms (Radio, Pandora, etc.), this is not possible with ads recorded via the Studio.
Self-Produced Audio Ads
The alternative option is to work with a producer on your own to create an audio ad which sounds exactly the way you want.
Many businesses choose this method of ad creation as it offers significantly greater options in regards to direction, sound effects, and cross-platform suitability.
Naturally, this is a more expensive process, so you want to make sure it fits your budget. Your campaign managers can assist with this, helping with everything from studio hire to talent scouting.
Choose The Bank for Your Spotify Ads Campaign
When it comes to advertising on Spotify, you want to know you’re in the best possible hands. At The Bank, we work with clients of all sizes to ensure your Spotify media buying is effective, profitable and within your budget.
Our experts collaborate with clients to create a campaign strategy with which both sides are happy. We will never push you into anything which doesn’t feel right to you, and will be receptive to your feedback throughout the campaign.
It’s not enough to just start advertising on Spotify – you want to know up-front how much Spotify ads cost, and how their impact will be assessed. The Bank continually invest in the most efficient and informative analysis software, and our team of data experts know how to interpret the output better than anyone.
We pride ourselves on providing the best service to our clients, no matter their size or their budget. We are always available to take your calls and to share our expertise.
Contact The Bank today to get started on your new Spotify advertising campaign!