Spotify's In-Stream Advertising: An Untapped Marketing Opportunity

Spotify is a giant that cannot be ignored. According to Statista, as of June 2020 Spotify had 345 million users, and the platform’s growth shows no signs of slowing down. Their user base is diverse and ripe enough to be segmented and targeted at a granular level.

The streaming giant states they have more than 170 million active ad-supported listeners per month across 90 countries, giving advertisers a thriving platform to promote their businesses. Spotify also has a wealth of listening data about its users to ensure your brand message is delivered to the right people at the right time. Spotify's ad platform is indeed surprising yet effective.

Let’s now look at the Spotify Advertising strategies you can use to promote your business on the platform.

Video ads

While other platforms present video ads when they are muted, the Spotify experience is designed for sound on and volume up. This presents advertisers with a valuable opportunity to have their messages seen and heard.

You will not have to restrict your message to static visuals or depend on subtitles to get users to understand your message. Instead, you can use Spotify video ads to spark imagination through sight and sound. The ads are also delivered when the users are looking at the app "in-focus," meaning that you can be sure that your message will be seen and heard by your target audience.

Figure 1: Video Takeover Ads. Source: Spotify

Spotify provides two video ad content formats you can use in your Spotify advertising strategy. They include video takeover ads and sponsored sessions. Video takeover ads are presented during listening sessions when users are browsing through the catalogs to discover music and podcasts. They are accompanied by a banner and customized CTA to help you drive engagement.

Figure 2: Sponsored Sessions. Source: Spotify

Sponsored sessions allow you to boost brand awareness with an impactful video experience. When you sponsor a session on Spotify, your ad becomes the only commercial message delivered on the platform for 30 minutes, with quality brand placement at the start of the session. When users view your ad, a clickable display unit appears on the page to encourage engagement.

Audio ads

Audio advertising on Spotify lets you target users when they are least distracted. Spotify delivers the ads when listeners are most receptive on the app, thus guaranteeing your message will be heard to help you build a personal connection with your target audience.

Figure 3: Audio ads. Source: Spotify

When you use audio ads for your Spotify advertising campaign, reaching your target users with personalized messaging will not be a problem. This is because Spotify has a deep understanding of its listeners and an intimate connection with users to help advertisers craft appealing messages that enhance rather than interrupt the listening experience.

The Spotify ads are served between songs when there are no distractions and listeners are focused on what you have to say. As a result, you can reach highly engaged listeners anywhere, across all devices and platforms. Compliment your ad with a clickable link that takes listeners to your site, mobile app, or online store.

Podcast ads

The Spotify ad platform was recently expanded to include podcast advertising. With podcasts becoming one of the preferred ways to consume information, podcast ads are an effective channel to push your products to communities around your niche.

People have a strong connection with their favorite podcasts. This connection presents a unique opportunity for brands to connect with users in a friendly and engaging media environment. With data from Spotify showing that 41 percent of podcast listeners saying they trust ads more when they come across them in a podcast, podcast advertising is an effective way to reach your audience. Plus, Spotify’s podcast listeners are a valuable audience of young, influential people who know what’s next.

Figure 4: Podcast Advertising. Source: Spotify

With Spotify working to bring the most influential voices on its podcast platform, advertising on podcasts allows you to share your brand message along with these voices. Over the past few years, Spotify has brought the best studios, content creators, and hosts on the platform, and in the process created a library of more than 2 million titles, including 400+ Exclusive and Originals.

Work with a growth marketing agency to create a Spotify advertising strategy that will ensure your ads appear on the podcasts that matter.

Spotify has free creative services

Are you struggling to create the perfect ad? Worry no more. Spotify has a range of free creative services to help you create audio ads that appeal to your listeners. These services include voiceover actors, script guidance, and background music to help you create the perfect ad in minutes.

These features are music to an advertiser’s ears as it greatly reduces your ad creation cost. You will not have to pay professionals to voice your ads since Spotify has many voice actor profiles for you to choose from for your ads. It also offers tips and suggestions to keep the words flowing if you're struggling to prepare a script for your ad. For the background music, Spotify has a catalog of licensed, free tracks recorded by independent artists that vibe with your message. Next, you have to provide directions for the voice actor to ensure they get the tone just right.

Finally, add a companion image, link, and call to action details, so listeners know what to do after hearing the ad. After 24 – 48 hours, you will receive the ad to review. Once you give it the green light, your audio ad is ready to be heard.

Spotify Custom Experiences

Spotify targeting is way more diverse than many businesses realize, and it's only becoming bigger. The app allows advertisers to create custom experiences on the platform that positively influence your target audience.

Figure 5: Sponsored Playlists. Source: Spotify

One way to create a custom experience is with a sponsored playlist. Spotify allows brands to sponsor the most popular playlists on the platform. This allows marketers to align their brands with culture and maximize awareness by connecting with listeners across their favorite playlists.

Figure 6: Overlay ads. Source: Spotify

You can also opt for the Overlay experience that delivers ads when a listener opens the Spotify app. These ads are designed for viewability, thus ensuring maximum brand awareness and impact. The immersive ads are clickable to direct targeted traffic to your site or app. Overlay ads work for the desktop and mobile app.

Figure 7: Homepage Takeover. Source - Spotify

Lastly, we have the homepage makeover experience that lets you showcase your brand message on Spotify’s Desktop Homepage. The takeover runs for 24 hours and allows you to include rich media elements to attract more views.

Spotify marketing best practices

Before you run a marketing campaign on Spotify, there are certain best practices you need to bear in mind to ensure your ads perform well. First, you need to pick an objective for your campaigns. What do you hope to achieve with your ads? Do you want to build brand awareness, drive sales, or encourage users to download your app? Picking an objective will help you define the action and the brand messaging you want to convey through Spotify.

Next, you will have to choose a format for your ad. Spotify allows marketers to create audio or video ads. You could be wondering which of these formats is ideal for your objectives and messaging.

Well, each of these ad formats has unique advantages to make them perfect for your business. Audio ads provide users with an immersive listening experience that guarantees proper ad consumption. They are also ideal for storytelling, thus allowing you to engage your listeners and fill their imagination.

On the other hand, video ads support product visualization. Video is an incredible way to drive product understanding as you indulge multiple senses. The added visual component lets viewers see what you are promoting as they learn how to use your product. And since Spotify plays video ads with the sound on, you can still tell your brand stories as you merge the immersive nature of audio with the visual cues of video.

It isn’t easy choosing between these two formats considering their impressive features. That's why you're better off combining them to maximize ad efficiency. You can run audio ads to connect with listeners when they aren't looking at the app and video ads to reach users when the app is in focus.


While Spotify is good, other competitors are coming up fast, like Amazon music ads. Amazon audio ads help you drive awareness on Amazon music by delivering your message to listeners even when they aren’t watching their screens.

Spotify advertising is effective as a customer engagement tool because it allows you to be present where the consumers are. With people turning to audio for entertainment and to learn new things, Spotify ads will help you generate valuable leads for your business.

Get in touch for expert ad services for better ROI.

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