Spot-on Advertising: 8 Things We Learned Running Spotify Ads

Spotify Ads Blog Post Image

Written by Kyle Crooks

Kyle is a Digital Marketing Executive at GlowMetrics, working on digital marketing campaigns for a range of clients via Google Ads, Bing Ads, social media, and other platforms.
April 3, 2023

According to Spotify, around 1/3 of the global online population uses the platform, with at least 60% of users engaging daily – ranking Spotify as one of the top platforms for reach and engagement. 

Though with such impressive reach, how does Spotify perform as a marketing channel? To explore the possibilities and potential of Spotify ads, we ran an ‘in audio’ test campaign across January/February serving targeted users an ad for our Glow Analytics Academy course. In this blog, we summarise what we took away from the campaign we ran across Spotify and conclude with some of our thoughts. 

What we learned from our test campaign:

1. Demographics for the ad support tier and the premium tier are similar/the same

Spotify Audience Data

The above image is from a recent Spotify webinar displaying an overview of the general demographic of Spotify users – interestingly, these are stats from the ad-supported tier.

Spotify is aware that advertisers believe there is a significant shift in quality between premium and free users, though the demographics are similar for both sets. Unsurprisingly, the majority of users who are premium users have come from being ad-supported users.

2. Spotify’s new ‘Click’ delivery goal looks promising 

Similar to other PPC platforms (Google Ads, LinkedIn etc.), advertisers can choose from three different delivery goals for ad optimisation. Spotify’s delivery goals are designed around stages in the marketing funnel with Reach, the top funnel goal, aimed at building awareness and the Impressions goal aimed at ensuring the brand stays top of users’ minds. Though, the third and bottom-funnel option Clicks looks the most promising. 

CTA Cards on Platform

Relatively new to the platform, the Clicks delivery goal uses a CTA card which appears on the screen during an audio ad. The same CTA card is then shown across various surfaces of the Spotify music app for up to eight hours after an audio ad is first heard — creating multiple opportunities for listeners to take action and visit an advertiser-specified URL.

3. Spotify Ads are a very strong discovery/top-of-the-funnel tool

No matter what delivery goal advertisers select for their campaigns, Spotify’s reach is very impressive. Spotify state that 33% of the online global population uses Spotify (around 500+ million active weekly users with 295 million users on the ad support tier). 

Therefore, an ad has the potential to reach 295 million users with Spotify using a number of predictive metrics during ad creation, allowing advertisers to view the potential reach and engagement levels of their ad. 

4. Targeting and reporting systems are limited

There are numerous targeting options on Spotify, for example, age, gender, location, music genre and real-time context – though the interests-based targeting option does seem quite limited. In selecting interest-based targeting, advertisers can choose any of the 26 interest options – such as business, books, comedy etc. and target users based on their interests.

While the 26 categories are very loose (in the targeting sense), the campaign reporting does not factor in the interests leaving a significant feedback gap between what interests drove what results (in the scenario of selecting more than one interest). In the same breath, viewing data on what interests are common in the audience, that interacted with an ad when using more general marketing options would be very useful from an optimisation point of view.  

5. Site traffic from Spotify Ads can be tracked using UTM’s

If you work with Google Campaign Manager, you can set up verified DCM click and impression tracking, though if not, you can easily track traffic to your site by implementing UTM tracking.

6. Minimum spend of £250

This is a minimum per campaign across any time period.

7. Podcast marketing on Spotify is currently only available in the US

One of the most exciting features of Spotify’s marketing mix is the ability to market with podcasts – though thus far, the offering is very limited.

Marketing on the podcast feed over Spotify is only available in the US – though Spotify has an estimated launch in the UK and Canada later this year (there is a UK-level closed beta, though it’s gated behind a waiting list).

Spotify Podcast Reach

8. The ad creation process makes running audio ads a lot less daunting

NO ONE likes to hear a recording of their own voice – imagine the pain of driving home and hearing your voice blasting through your car speakers!

Thankfully, Spotify knows this and has created a free audio ad creation system/process. When creating ads, all advertisers need to do is write a script, select a voice actor and give some notes on performance – then one of the Spotify voice actor team will record and upload your ad. Advertisers can then go back to the audio team with further notes, and the ad can be re-recorded or edited until both parties are happy with the ad.

Spotify Ad Creation

Final Thoughts 

The Spotify ads platform is currently a very good top-of-the-funnel/discovery marketing channel with a massive potential user reach, with promising movement into lower funnel conversions with the ‘Click’ delivery goal. The platform’s targeting and reporting features are still a bit off from taking full advantage of the reach and quite a bit away from combating the services provided by big digital advertisers like Google.

While it is a work in progress, Spotify has stated they are making changes and updating the services – so I would expect big things coming from Spotify Ads in the near future.

If running ads on Spotify is something you are interested in or would like to know more information about, please feel free to reach out to one of the GlowMetrics team. 

Or if you found this blog useful and would like to read more blogs from the GlowMetrics Team, check out our Digital Marketing Blog and Digital Analytics Blog. Or if you would like updates on all things GlowMetrics, then Sign Up for our Newsletter


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