Spotify Ad Studio: Checking In and Looking Ahead

Over the past several years, we’ve empowered iconic brands such as McDonald's, Samsung, and BMW to reach the right people in the right moment on Spotify. Still, we wanted to open this opportunity to businesses of all sizes, so they could also connect with their audience in unique, screenless moments and drive brand outcomes. The solution? Spotify Ad Studio.

And the result? A win-win for everyone. In its first year, we’ve already seen thousands of new businesses use Spotify Ad Studio to get their message heard. For our fans, this expanded pool of advertisers means there are more opportunities to hear relevant ads about nearby concerts, college programs, or new local businesses. Here’s how the first year of Spotify Ad Studio has gone — and where we’re going next.

Our fastest-growing advertising channel

We built Spotify Ad Studio with two primary goals in mind: First, to create a self-serve platform that enables businesses of all sizes (with a $250 entry point) to reach Spotify’s highly engaged audience of young, influential streamers. Second, to give advertisers simple tools to create high-quality audio ads even if they’ve never made one before. Since our September 2017 launch in the US, Spotify Ad Studio has scaled in the UK, Canada, and Australia, becoming Spotify’s fastest-growing advertising channel*.

We’ve built the foundation of this platform over the past year, releasing new features and tools to help businesses throughout the campaign lifecycle. These businesses have discovered how the power of audio on Spotify helps them reach their audience in an uncluttered and engaging environment. We’ve already seen success with a variety of advertisers — from concert promoters looking to promote new shows, to universities looking to raise awareness for their programs.

Businesses new to digital audio find value on Spotify Ad Studio

In a world filled with countless feeds and endless scrolling, many advertisers are looking for new ways to break through the clutter. Our message to them is simple: Audio ads on Spotify let you reach your audience in unique, screenless moments that visual media can’t.

You heard right. And if you don’t have an audio ad, that’s no problem at all. One of Spotify Ad Studio’s primary benefits is that it enables advertisers to create an audio ad from scratch. Many businesses are discovering the power of audio for the first time, including Carnegie Dartlet, an agency focused on helping universities and colleges with their marketing and student enrollment goals.

“Ad Studio has been a game changer for our clients in higher education,” says Erika Fields, digital marketer at Carnegie Dartlet. “Most schools don’t have in-house resources, and when we tell clients that Spotify can produce their audio ads directly, they light up. Most clients weren’t previously running audio advertising, and this has created a new, exciting opportunity for them.”

Spotify Ad Studio allows brands to easily build powerful and emotional creative

Every day, we speak with businesses about the power of audio and the unique opportunity it provides to have a contextual, 1-on-1 conversation with listeners. One campaign that took advantage of this impact was “The Big Listen,” from Samaritans in the UK. Samaritans is a nonprofit that offers a safe place for people to talk about anything at all — so they value the importance of listening. Their campaign demonstrated how listening to another person can be the first step to saving a life, with their powerful message delivered through audio. And Torchbox, the UK-based agency which represented Samaritans, also reiterated how easy it was to set up their emotionally charged message. “It’s so simple to set up," said Phil McKinn from Torchbox. "It took minutes to upload the audio and hit publish.”

Digital audio on Spotify is becoming a core part of the marketing mix

We’ve seen advertisers across various industries — from education, to nonprofits, to local events and entertainment — start tapping into the power of audio. For artists and creators, audio has already become an essential component of their marketing mix. The M Agency in Australia, focused on live event promotion with partners like Live Nation, uses Spotify Ad Studio to promote their events. They’ve taken advantage of Spotify’s clutter-free, native environment and flexible budget options.

“Spotify is the most contextually relevant environment for the promotion of concerts and content because people are already in the mindset of engaging with music, so we know they’ll likely have some willingness to engage with these sorts of ads,” says Dave Bostelman, account director at The M Agency. “And we can use [Spotify’s] first-party data to predict who we think will be even more likely to be interested, through Fan, Genre, and Playlist targeting.”

Similarly, The Pabst Theater Group (PTG) quickly understood that Spotify Ad Studio helps them reach their audience at scale and ensures their message gets heard thanks to audio’s intimate nature. They produce over 650 concerts every year across four venues in Milwaukee, and they use Spotify ads to drive awareness and attention.

“We draw a very large young professional and college population, and we know we can reach them when they are streaming Spotify,” says Laura Mueller, marketing director at PTG. ”As promoters of live entertainment, Spotify is a natural fit and is effective for us — our ads get attention.”

What’s coming next?

In today’s media landscape, marketers are facing constant pressure to drive business outcomes. That’s why our goal is to make it easier than ever for businesses to reach their target audience and measure their campaign results. In the coming months, we’ll be expanding the opportunity for advertisers to reach an even more qualified audience with additional demographic and interest-based segments informed by Spotify's first-party behavioral data. We’ll also be inviting select advertisers to reach known and prospective customers through an audience upload feature.

With screenless moments becoming more prominent than ever, we’re continuing to make it easier for advertisers to connect with listeners as they soundtrack their lives on Spotify. Here’s to more audio ad innovation in the year ahead.

*Based on quarterly revenue growth % and quarterly advertiser growth % over the past four quarters.