Massive digital platforms like Google and Facebook have made the self-serve ads option available to marketers for several years now, with relatively “smaller” players like Snapchat and Twitter incorporating a similar advertising portal to its service in recent years.
But while self-serve ads have proven to be a preferred option for smaller advertisers, the feature has eluded the audio platform — until now.
With Spotify Ad Studio — the music streaming giant is looking to target small to mid-sized businesses looking for an easy to use, more affordable, albeit fully functional advertising platform.
Spotify Ad Studio is incredibly straightforward and easier to use for smaller businesses strapped for advertising resources.
To get started, you could either upload your own ad, or let Spotify do it for you just by providing them with a script. Spotify Ad Studio will then record the voiceover for you, and mix the background music. It’s that simple!
And as is the MO with other self-serve ad platforms, you have a breadth of option to target your audience with. With Ad Studio, you can target them based on age, gender, location, activity, and music taste. You can also select whether you want to target mobile or desktop users. From there, you just need to set your budget (a minimum of $250 is required to use the service) and campaign timeline, and off you go.
Of course, there are also tracking options to get an understanding of how listeners are engaging with your ad, allowing you to make the necessary changes to the campaign.
“Over the last few years, we’ve established Spotify as a trusted space for brands and marketers to reach a hyper-engaged, verified audience. Spotify Ad Studio opens that door to everyone — it’s an amazing opportunity for even more advertisers to build one-on-one relationships with our listeners.”
— Spotify Global Head of Sales, Brian Benedik
According to Spotify, one advantage of its Ad Studio is that audio stays with people all day long, and reaches them in places where visual media normally can’t (like when they’re jogging, driving, or are in the shower).
Spotify also claims that multi-device users stream over two hours of content a day — an incredible number for a service that has 140 million listeners.
As well, citing a Nielsen Media Lab study, Spotify notes that there is a 24 percent lift in ad recall for audio ads.
Spotify partnered with University College at the University of Denver, and National Shows 2 to test the advertising platform (still currently on beta). The University of Denver looked to reach younger audiences who could be interested in online education, and used Spotify ads to drive brand awareness.
“We’ve been on traditional radio for years, but wanted to reach Millennials and tech early-adopters,” said University director of marketing Victoria O’Malley.
According to O’Malley, they found that those who clicked on ads were coming from the rock and pop genre.
“By adjusting our targeting based on that data, we improved our numbers,” she said. “How cool is that, to have a better sense of your more qualified audience?”
For its part, National Shows 2 used the platform to promote concert dates in select local markets. According to National Shows 2’s Sarah Madalinski, what they liked about Ad Studio is that it’s an all-inclusive platform, with the ad creation included in the buy.
“When we’re promoting these small shows with limited budgets, it’s so convenient to have the ad created for us.”
It’s also amazing to note that Spotify might have just come up with an ad platform that has the potential to increase its revenue exponentially — just a few months after its marketing chief Seth Farbman said that the company was still in the midst of convincing marketers about the tuned-in users, reams of data, and scale to target listeners.
“We want to have a stand-alone, high-quality, ad-supported service that allows people to engage with Spotify, with the music, at a much higher rate… to be able to have a free consumer service that we can monetize and continue to invest in is enormous,” Farbman said at the time. “So for the growth, to have that as a viable business model on its own is tremendous.”
Spotify Ad Studio is certainly a promising platform for smaller advertisers, with everything they can want in an ad service — affordability, ease of use, targeting, and tracking — all readily available. The point about Spotify users being hyper-engaged is an excellent one as well, considering the amount of mindless scrolling that normally comes with the typical newsfeed.
For businesses that don’t have the marketing resources to create their own ad, what they have in Spotify Ad Studio is an appealing alternative — and one that has an innately engaged audience.