Spotify has announced some news that will be music to the ears of brands – it’s aiming to introduce new ad formats and other areas to house brands on the platform.

The music service wants to build the profile of brands on the platform as it looks to increase advertising revenues.
Spotify is apparently looking at new ad products, more integrated apps and even brand profile pages that users can follow. There’s a new follow button, which will widen its reach – we’ll soon be seeing a lot more of Spotify.
So what can marketers do with Spotify – and what could the future hold?
Engage with Spotifyers
Spotify is an effective tool when it comes to striking up and maintaining a conversation with consumers. It’s about using music to strike a chord and build a relationship with your audience – a bit like teenagers bonding over their mutual love for death metal. So Spotify is about interacting with the public – and creating an atmosphere, a feeling, and a bond. If the person you’re wooing connects you in their mind with their favourite song, they’re likely to come back for more. In a manner of speaking. Hook them in with a mix-tape, and you’re onto a winner.
Be cutting edge
Brands can become tastemakers – people use Spotify to find out what the next big thing is and brands can point them in the right direction, piggy-backing on a super-cool new artist and absorbing some of their credibility. 
The simple stuff – audio ads, banners and branded playlists
Spotify has over 24 million active users worldwide and if they’re listening to the free version – which 80 per cent are – they will hear short audio ads in between songs. Spotify also offers conventional banner ads and full-page takeovers. You can also create branded playlists – Spotify playlists with a branded cover art image and text, which can link to your brand website, and must have a minimum of 40 tracks. This can be an interesting way of introducing your audience to your Spotify presence, by connecting a playlist to a particular campaign.
Spotify has some nifty targeting which can pinpoint potential customers – by demographics, location and music genre. So you can target a specific age group in a specific area if you want to. There’s also the reassurance that users are likely to hear what you want them to – they can’t turn the volume down! 
Use the Follow button
This month the platform has launched a new follow button – you can put this on your brand’s desktop or mobile page, and users can then follow your Spotify profile. This opens up Spotify to a whole new audience which is good for the platform and good for brands. The aim is that it will sit alongside your Facebook, Twitter and Google+ buttons on your website – and if they’re working well for you, Spotify offers another channel with which to communicate with your audience.
Spotify competitions
This is a great way to engage with consumers – Spotify is now fully integrated with Facebook and you can use apps inside the platform. So it’s a lot easier than it used to be to run competitions and to promote them across platforms. Basically Spotify contests usually work by asking people to create playlists which might match your brand or a specific campaign – similar to Pinterest contests where you ask people to create boards around a theme. You can also ask your audience to vote for winning playlists, increasing engagement. Earlier this year Carat successfully worked with Jose Cuervo and Spotify to help the tequila brand reach a younger, more student-oriented audience through music. They offered universities the chance to win the ultimate campus night out by voting for a ‘uni playlist’. 
The future
Spotify is about to launch an ad funded option on mobile phones – whereas previously mobile used to be for subscription premium members only. They are looking at a new advertiser model which means that if users watch a pre-roll, they won’t be served ads for the first 30 minutes of their listening session. This shows that they are looking at the best way to benefit both listeners and advertisers.
Spotify needs brands and advertisers – it’s massively popular but it’s still running at a loss. Last year, its revenue doubled but its losses grew due to higher licensing fees. This means it’s likely to be doing two things – chasing more subscription-paying customers (there are around 6 million at present) and making advertising on the platform more attractive to brands. So they’re likely to launch multi-screen campaigns soon and there are sure to be more innovations around the corner. Watch this space!
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