- Spotify introduced a podcast advertising technology to give marketers and podcasters more information about their listening audiences. The audio platform's Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) tech for the first time provides data on ad impressions, frequency and reach, along with anonymized data about age, gender and listeners' device type.
- The technology provides much more information than static RSS feeds that are the most popular way to podcast. RSS feeds don't allow advertisers and podcasters to capture data about their audiences.
- Athletic brand Puma was among the sponsors to test the technology and saw a 180% gain in ad recall from host-read ads in the podcast "Jemele Hill Is Unbothered," which is produced by Spotify Studios.
Spotify's SAI tech is an important step in helping marketers gain insights into the podcast audience, which is forecast to grow substantially as more smartphone users tune into spoken word content. The growth will only be feasible, though, if podcasters can monetize their content by demonstrating to advertisers that they can deliver a measurable audience. One of the biggest hindrances to measurement is the reliance on RSS feeds that don't give advertisers and podcasters much insight into audience demographics.
By providing the tools to support podcast monetization, Spotify can support a healthier, self-sustaining market for podcasting and differentiate itself from rivals like Apple Music, Amazon Prime Music and Pandora. Podcast listenership on Spotify jumped 39% in Q3 from the prior quarter, as adoption reached almost 14% of total monthly average users, the company disclosed. The global podcast market will make up 4.5% of all audio ad spend by 2022, hitting $1.6 billion, researcher WARC forecasts.
Spotify's podcast growth is a sign of how the company looks to expand beyond music while also promoting content it produces in-house. Its acquisitions of Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast have provided greater expertise to support its ad business. Spotify needs the original content to ease its dependence on the four major music labels that control more than 90% of the music that streams on its platform.
Previously, Spotify updated its self-serve advertising platform to help marketers reach target audiences based on their listening habits. Spotify Ad Studio's interest-based targeting lets brands reach Spotify Free users tailored to their individual podcast, playlist and audio preferences, boosting its value proposition for marketers.