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Spotify Ad Studio: The Ultimate Moment Marketing Platform?

Posted on September 28, 2020

Trying to market the right product to the right person at the right time is the holy grail of advertising known as moment marketing. Google is a really powerful platform for this as people use it to search for pretty much anything the moment they think of it.

“Music is the soundtrack of your life” - Dick Clark

Music and moments, however, also go hand-in-hand as what we’re currently doing is often accompanied by a soundtrack playing in the background. Think about the times when you’re exercising, commuting or just cleaning up around the house and how often music plays a big role in these activities (I actually explored this as part of my thesis - but no, you don’t need to read it… 😂). Spotify may have just released the perfect ads platform for moment marketing, and I’ll explain why in this article.

Spotify is the biggest music streaming platform in the world, owning a (30% market share)[] in the industry with 299 million monthly active users (MAUs), of which 138 million are paid subscribers.

Spotify Global Music Streaming Revenue by Brand Share

That leaves 161 million MAUs that are on their free tier, which means they get shown advertising whenever they use the service. With that many potential eyeballs (or more accurately, ear drums 🎧), it’s no wonder that Spotify has released their new self-serve ads platform, Ad Studio, as part of their digital home and brand offering called Spotify Advertising.

Creating an ad in their platform is very similar to the other social networks in terms of the campaign-level options such as naming your campaign, choosing an ad format/platform and setting your schedule/budget.

Spotify Ad Studio - Creating an ad

The audio ad format is unique to the Spotify platform, but it makes sense considering the nature and purpose of the service itself.

Spotify Ad Studio - Choose Ad Format and Platform

For audience targeting, there are the standard location, age and gender type plus four additional targeting options: Fans of artists, interests, contexts and music genres.

Spotify Ad Studio - Audience Targeting Options

It is with these options that the exciting ability to target audiences with moment marketing comes into play. We’ll go through each in turn.

Fans of Artists

Spotify Ad Studio - Audience Targeting Fans of Artists

This option is similar to those on Facebook/Instagram and Twitter, where you can target people who follow or are interested in a specific artist. However, this option is more powerful on Spotify because it’s based on people who actually like the music of a certain musician, for example Megan Thee Stallion.

On Twitter, people might follow her because they like her sense of style and/or views on life in general (as well as her music) and on Facebook, you don’t even have the option of targeting fans of Megan Thee Stallion (she doesn’t exist in their interest list - which is ridiculous if you consider how popular she is right now 📈). Of course, Spotify is a very specific kind of platform so it makes sense they are strong in this area.


Spotify Ad Studio - Audience Targeting Interests

This is similar to the interest-based targeting on the other social networks, however, Spotify is weaker in this area because they just don’t have the amount of interest-based data that their social-based peers do. There is only one-level of interests consisting of 26 topics, which puts it behind even TikTok in terms of the total number of topics.

Social Platforms Interest Targeting

However, just as TikTok will continue to evolve their interest-based targeting options, so too will Spotify as more advertisers use their ads platform and they gather more data. There are some really unique interests only available to Spotify such as In-Car listening, Commuting and Studying or Focusing. These are contextually-relevant interests that really only Spotify can understand based on the types of playlists that their users select at any given moment they are in. This leads us to the next type of targeting option which reveals the power of Spotify’s moment marketing capabilities.


Spotify Ad Studio - Real-time Contexts

Because Spotify is such a powerful ”in-moment” type of app, they are able to understand the context that the user is currently in based on the playlist type they are listening to. These are included as targeting options that allow your ad to play when the user is in one of these 10 different types of moments.

For example, if you were Sony and wanted to advertise your new PlayStation 5 console, you could pick “Gaming” as a real-time context and know that Spotify would play it at the relevant time to the relevant people. How will they know this? Well, Spotify will know the people that are gaming (or in the gaming mindset) as they would be listening to one of the numerous playlists dedicated to that activity 🎮.

Spotify Ad Studio - Audience Targeting Gaming Context

As I said before, moment marketing is the holy grail of the advertising industry, and Spotify definitely has a leg up on everyone else when it comes to delivering this type of ad.

Music Genres

Spotify Ad Studio - Audience Targeting Music Genres

The last option is also unique to Spotify as it allows you to target people who have just listened to the genre you input. Again, this is a very powerful moment marketing option that can be used to great effect depending on what kind of product you are advertising.

For example, if an airline had a sale for flights to the Caribbean, they could pick “reggae” as the genre to play your ad after. Thus ensuring that your target audience has the mindset of “sun and warm weather” upon hearing your ad ✈️.

As Spotify has just released this platform, we’ll know the true impact it has on moment marketing when advertisers start using it. But from going through the options above, you can already see that it has the potential to revolutionize not just what kinds of advertisements are displayed, but to whom and at exactly the right time 👌🏼🎯.

Andrew Ko

Written by Andrew Ko. Follow me on Twitter.

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