Acceleration: In-Car Streaming Opportunities are Revving Up

When was the last time you were sitting in traffic and flipped through your CD case to pick out the perfect one? Does your car even have a CD player? Many new vehicles coming off the line don’t include them. But the car has always been a mecca for music listening, and that’s not going to change. In fact, coming off this year’s CES, we saw even more advancements with the connected car trend. That’s because, whether you’re using the time to belt out your favorite anthem or catch-up on your go-to podcast, there’s no better place to really enjoy the sounds you love. And unlike radio, streaming in the car means you always have your music catalogue, including your favorite playlists and podcasts, along for the ride.

In-car streaming on the rise

Today, more and more people are using streaming services to play their favorite jams while they’re on the road, and they’ve become accustomed to more personalized listening experiences in the car. According to a recent study published by The Infinite Dial, the number of people who have used online streaming services at least once in the car has grown over the last five years, from 26% to 44%. (1) The industry is changing, and here at Spotify we’ve taken action by making sure that Spotify is accessible everywhere people listen. In fact, today, 34% of Spotify fans listen in the car. (2)

New contexts, new opportunities

This shift in behavior offers digital advertisers a unique opportunity to reach audiences in new contexts. Spotify’s logged-in audience and extensive first-party data allows brands to confidently connect with users through audio when they’re streaming in the car and re-engage this audience across other devices (i.e. mobile and desktop), using a variety of audio, video, and display formats. They can also contextualize their ads to match the audience’s experience in the moment, creating upbeat messages to kick off the day for morning commuters or matching the music in the ad to the genre a user is listening to in real-time through genre targeting. And advertisers can compare the efficacy of reaching audiences in this environment over others by applying Spotify’s foot traffic and offline sales measurement solutions. This allows them to make data-driven decisions about how to best drive impact across a wide range of devices and contexts.

In-car streaming ads in action

Brick-and-mortar stores and restaurants can also benefit from this boost in on-the-go streaming by partnering with Spotify to serve in-car audio ads to users in relevant locations. Using Spotify’s persistent understanding of users’ cross-device streaming behavior, brands can also re-message in-car listeners as they stream throughout the day. For example: one brick-and-mortar brand used Spotify's in-car targeting to reach people in the car with audio messaging about a new product. Spotify’s cross-device re-messaging capabilities allowed them to then continue the conversation with the in-car audience across desktop and mobile devices. They ultimately drove 74% lift in ad recall and a 41% lift in association with the campaign tagline from their efforts.(3)

The upside to all this change is that users are rapidly improving the way they soundtrack the in-car experience. By partnering with Spotify and using the sophisticated tools that marketers have come to expect from digital media in-car, brands can craft unique messaging for this on-the-go audience and follow up with them as they stream across devices.

(1) Infinite Dial, Edison Research, 2018, US
(2) Spotify First Party Data, Free Users, 2018
(3) Nielsen Brand Effect, 2017