Spotify has expanded its ads capabilities with podcast listener targeting. Advertisers can reach Spotify Free podcast listeners, and in select markets, they’ll also be able to narrow their campaigns to certain podcast categories, such as “Comedy,” “Lifestyle & Health” and “Business & Technology.”
Spotify is investing heavily in podcasts. Earlier this year, Spotify spent a total of $400 million to acquire podcast companies Parcast, Gimlet and Anchor. On top of bringing those firms under its wing, the music streaming service has built up a respectable repertoire of exclusive series, including a multiyear deal with the Obamas.
Spotify has also begun rolling out a refreshed UI for paid subscribers. The update divides a user’s library into two main categories (music and podcasts) that reflects Spotify’s emphasis on podcasting as a potential revenue stream.
Why we should care. U.S. podcast ad revenue grew 53% in 2018, according to the IAB, and with 32% of Americans (age 12+) having listened to a podcast in the past month, according to Edison Research, marketers and platforms are seeing untapped potential. Spotify is looking to entrench itself early to become a leading platform in the sector.
Insufficient campaign conversion data has been a barrier to growth for podcast advertising. Marketers have attempted to overcome this by using direct response calls to action (such giving listeners a unique code or URL) or by launching campaigns aimed at awareness. Targeting at scale has also been limited. Spotify’s newest capabilities help begin to address those limitations.