In a Clubhouse panel we hosted recently about podcast marketing, Spotify ads were mentioned repeatedly as a great option for small budgets. With a minimum budget of $250, Spotify ads offer an affordable, super-targeted option for advertising your podcast.

Spotify has over 299 million listeners across 92 markets worldwide and is the second most popular place to listen to podcasts in the world. According to the platform, their podcast audience has nearly doubled since the start of 2019. Spotify research shows that a staggering 81% of listeners have taken action after hearing audio ads during a podcast.

Spotify Ads = Targeting Galore

The options for ad targeting on Spotify are pretty compelling. Why target by country or state when you can target by zip code?? Yes, it’s that specific!

According to Spotify Nielsen Brand Effect Studies, 2018, Spotify ads average 2.7x higher awareness and 5.3x higher intent than campaigns with basic demographic targeting.

You also have the ability to target by age, interest, and user activity-based options. What’s really cool is you can watch your estimated impressions and cost per impression in real-time as you make your selections. As you add additional targeting, your cost per impression will increase, but you’re creating an audience most likely to interact with your ad.

According to Influencer Marketing Hub, “Spotify ads, like their Facebook and Google counterparts, involve behind-the-scenes bidding, your ads will vary in price each time, depending on the competition for your audience. However, you’re likely to pay $0.015-$0.025 per ad served.”

Spotify Ad Studio

Spotify Ad Studio makes creating your 30 second (or less) ad pretty seamless and provides voiceover artists (currently for free). You have the option to write your script within the studio or upload your own audio if you have an existing ad you want to use.

The Ad Studio walks you through each detail of your ad including a destination URL (likely your show’s feed or website) and an image (likely your podcast art). They require more work, but you can also create video ads for your show. They will only show up when a user is in the app and not just listening in the background.

Spotify Ads = Insights In Real-Time

Spotify Ads insights are served to you in real-time. The detailed insights make it easier to test your messaging and targeting selections. And, once an ad is performing well, there’s an option to copy that ad and start a new campaign, streamlining your marketing efforts. Here’s a look at the insights provided by Spotify.

Your summary for each ad will include:

  • Ad delivery metrics like ads served, reach, frequency, and completion rate
  • Performance metrics like clicks, CTR, and quartile completion rates
  • Audience metrics like age, gender, genre, and platform
  • Streaming conversion results like listeners, new listeners, and average streams per listener (for music promotion campaigns only).

You’ll also have access to audience insights, including:

  • Age: How your ads within the ad set served to different age groups.
  • Gender: How your ads within the ad set served to different genders.
  • Genre: How your ads within the ad set served to users listening to different genres. Reflects the genre a user listened to before your ads were served.
  • Platform: How your ads within the ad set served to users listening on different platforms.

Coming Soon: Audio Ad Marketplace

In early 2020, Spotify announced Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI), which is still being tested, but should be rolling out throughout 2021. SAI as described by their Head of Global Ads Business and Platform Jay Richman:

Now, with the shift to streaming, we can serve ads in real-time based on who you are and what you’re interested in, and we can understand whether or not the ad was actually listened to. Soon we’ll be adding interactivity so users can directly engage with podcast ads without needing to remember, say, the coupon codes. We’re really excited about what this means not just for Spotify but the industry overall.

Spotify’s For The Record

This year, on February 22, 2021, the company announced the Spotify Audience Network, an audio advertising marketplace where advertisers can connect with listeners consuming a broad range of content. The new network will be released in the coming months, but the combination of targeting, insights, and the ability to reach listeners on and off of Spotify sound promising. Read more about the network.

You can sign up for the closed beta waitlist for the latest in podcast specific advertising.

In the end, there seems to be some exciting things in the works at Spotify for podcast marketing. And with an entry point of only $250 and lots of insights to help you tweak your messaging, it could be worth experimenting with. We plan on testing it to promote Headliner and will definitely report back on how it goes.

If you want to be notified about our next Clubhouse event, search for “Podcast Headliners” in the Clubs section of Clubhouse and give us a follow.