Spotify currently has 200 million active users, over half of which are free-tier subscribers. As we all well know, the real price for the free tier is enduring ads throughout your listening experience. Most users find these ads to be the bane of streaming, and a lot of artists will stray away from using them because of this. But before you completely disregard Spotify ads, consider this: would you, as a listener, rather hear an energy drink ad or catch a glimpse of a release from a new artist? As an artist, you might think using Spotify ads makes you a nuisance. But, promoting your music with Spotify ads puts before listeners what they actually came to Spotify for: new music. What’s more, Spotify’s ad targeting system allows you to tailor your audience specifically to listeners who would be most receptive to your music.

In this article we’ll explain the basics of Spotify ads and how to use them to your advantage.

The Basics

The Spotify Ad Studio is your one stop for creating and tracking your own ad campaign. The platform allows you to design and create your ad, select your audience, schedule your campaign and track its engagement. Submit a script and choose your background music. The Spotify team will record a voiceover and produce your ad. From there you can select a budget and ad package and target your audience.

Through the ad studio you will be able to choose from three basic ad types when crafting your ad: audio, video and display.  From there you can choose from different ad units such as:

  • Audio Everywhere // These are your audio ads that play in listening sessions between songs and are usually followed or accompanied by a clickable image able to take users to a URL or landing page
  • Overlay // These are your basic display ads for desktop or mobile serviced as clickable display banners
  • Video Takeover // Video ads played between songs
  • Homepage Takeover // A clickable display takeover of Spotify’s homepage for 24 hours
  • Sponsored Session Video // These are video ads where users are rewarded with 30 minutes of ad-free listening after watching
  • Sponsored Playlists // Not so much for artists, these are custom playlists serviced as clickable display ads that can be sponsored by a brand

Getting Started

2To get started in Ad Studio, first go to adstudio.spotify.com and sign up. You’ll need to create a Spotify Ad Studio account, then click the SIGN UP button and follow the steps. You’ll receive a notification when you’ve been approved then you’re all set to start creating. Spotify asks that you have a minimum budget of $250 for your campaign.

Targeting

The best part about the ad studio is that you can pinpoint the perfect audience for your ad. With ad targeting you can pick your audience based on age, gender and other demographics. Remember that creating a great ad is only half of an effective campaign. If you want it to be engaging, your ad needs to be targeted at the correct audience. A homepage takeover, for example, won’t garner much attention if it’s serviced to an audience of primarily mobile users. Use ad targeting to craft a receptive audience based on specific demographics like location, listening behavior, streaming habits, what devices they use and what genres they listen to.

Best Practices

  • When it comes to format, make sure to have variety. Try a mix of audio and display ads to keep your campaign fresh. As an artist, this could be a video takeover featuring a preview of a new music video or a homepage takeover to recognize an album release.
  • Targeting your audience based on playlist and genre can be key to earning a new fan. If your ad is promoting a new release, you can target it at a playlist with the same mood or message. If you collaborate with an artist from another genre, you can promote it with an ad targeted at fans of that genre.
  • Target across devices to reach listeners on desktop and on mobile. Different devices mean different listening settings and more opportunities for connection and engagement.

For Spotify’s tips and best practices, check out their Creative Audio Guidelines.

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Tarryn Meyers: Voracious music consumer & mac 'n' cheese connoisseur