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spotify advertising guide

Spotify Advertising Guide

Spotify is a Swedish audio streaming platform, established back in 2006, that pioneered the subscriptions-based music and podcast streaming model. As of March 2022, Spotify is supported by over 422 million monthly users, including a whopping 182 million paying subscribers. Keep reading our Spotify advertising guide to discover the platform and how to advertise on it.

Spotify Ad Studio is where to start advertising for Spotify and how you can get your brand and its offerings in front of millions of people’s eyes (and ears). If you’re wondering how Spotify advertising works, you’re reading the right brand guide for Spotify. Below we’re unpacking a bit about the platform, how businesses can connect with their audiences, and the four types of Spotify advertising you can run as part of a paid social media strategy:


Spotify is based on a freemium
model—where all users can have
unlimited, free access supported by
15 and 30-second ad breaks.

A bit about Spotify

No Spotify advertising guide would be complete without a bit of history. The average Spotify users spends over 25 hours a month streaming music on Spotify. This presents savvy digital advertisers with an opportunity to reach engaged audiences in new, unique ways. And if you have concerns about whether or not businesses are in fact advertising on Spotify, here’s a stat that proves they are: Spotify’s 2019 financials, for example, revealed over R3.6 billion in advertising revenue – in Q4 alone (up 27% from the previous quarter). Here are six things every business should know about advertising for Spotify:

Audio adverts increase ad recall by up to 24%
29% of Spotify users are millennials (24 – 35)
With 84% engagement, Instagram is the second-most used platform
Over 60,000 songs are added to Spotify
On average, users listen to songs on Spotify for 148 minutes daily

How to reach Spotify audiences

Our Spotify advertising guide reveals that advertising on the platform is a bit different to the more ‘traditional’ digital advertising approaches. This is evident in the choices you are given when deciding how to reach your audiences. With Spotify being focused on audio content primarily, targeting criteria have to do with a user’s music and podcast listening habits – other than the standard geo-location and demographic targeting.

Music or Non-music

The first step to advertising on Spotify is selecting the broad category of promotion. Since Spotify is where many famous musicians have been spotted (see what we did there?) and launched into stardom, the first option is to promote an artist on Spotify. You can also advertise other music-related content, like band merchandise and concert tickets. Non-music related Spotify advertising is where you can promote your brand, product, or service to listeners of Spotify. It’s a good idea to have a look at the company’s advertising policies to see what’s allowed and what isn’t. Once you’ve made your selection of music or non-music related ad content, you get to give your advertising project a name.

Location & Demographics

Reaching out to Spotify audiences in a specific country, province, or city? You can target an entire country, or specify up to 1,000 locations. Seriously, you can get quite specific. Next is setting up the audience age range and gender targeting (56% of Spotify listeners are men), followed by selecting the platforms on which you’d like your ads to show up (iOS, Android, Desktop, or all).

Scheduling & Budget

Spotify gets a pretty good idea of its users’ music tastes. This is why it can pull together such amazing auto-generated playlists. Insights regarding the listening habits of audiences give advertisers opportunities to put their painstakingly-developed customer personas to the test.

When setting up Spotify ads, you can select the genre of music you think your customers listen to. Selling heavy metal t-shirts and rock band merchandise? Genres you’ll likely want to avoid include smooth jazz, Italian opera, and baby’s bedtime nursery rhymes.

Fan Targeting

Get even more specific with your advertising by predicting the actual artists, bands, DJs and podcasters your brand’s audience listen to. Targeting by listening behaviour is a refreshing paid social advertising tool, and highly effective since the vast majority of us are fans of at least some form of music.

An example of fan targeting might be a brand that sells luminous hair dye placing adverts during Billie Eilish songs. If you’re a travelling piano teacher, you could advertise your lessons to people in your area that enjoy the likes of Chopin, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and others.

Schedules and Budget

Once you’ve established who you’re speaking to, finalise the campaign’s timeframe and lifetime budget. Select start and end dates, and get specific by switching your ads on and off at exact times (to the minute).

Spotify will then ask that a lifetime budget be selected based on the platforms suggested options. At this final stage of ad campaign setup, Spotify offers a “budget delivery likelihood” meter displaying whether your selected audience is suited to your budget or not.

Watch one of our recent Digitlab Webinars discussing Planning Summer Campaigns with Spotify

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Types of Spotify advertising

While there’s a clear focus on audio content at camp Spotify, not all adverts have to be audio. In fact, Spotify offers both image and video ad options. This means your brand guide for Spotify can include crafting multimedia-rich advertising campaigns spanning multiple customer touch points.

Audio Ads

These Spotify adverts, as the name suggests, are short audio clips of between 15 – 30 seconds played between songs (thankfully not during). Spotify plays audio ads across iOS, Android, and Desktop versions of the app. Audio ads include a graphic that listeners can click on and be taken to a website or app download page.

Video Ads

Spotify Video adverts operate similarly to Audio ads, showing up once songs end and before the next track begins. Instead of playing an audio track with an image, this ad plays a 30-second long video. These are called “Sponsored Sessions” and allow Spotify users to exchange uninterrupted listening time for watching video ads.

Display Ads

Display ads on Spotify are known as “Homepage Takeovers.” They show up on desktop/web Spotify interfaces, at the top or bottom, and can show up when users close and re-open the app on mobile devices. Select one of three Spotify display ad formats: Homepage Takeover: A Spotify user’s homepage is changed to reflect the brand being advertised for a period of time. Megabanners: These Spotify ads look like the thin horizontal banner ads you find when browsing other websites. Overlays: Overlays are display ads that cover the entire screen when they show up. These pop-up adverts can be closed by users.

Looking for a detailed Spotify advertising strategy?

78% of your target audience is likely to buy from your brand after experiencing a positive interaction on social media. The trick is to consistently publish positive, pertinent content that will add value to your followers’ social media experiences.  

We have partnered with leading social media software makers, Sprout Social, becoming the first listed agency partner in South Africa to achieve the Platinum Partner ranking.  

We’re privileged to have partnered with many respected clients and continue to add value to their social media efforts. Connect with us to discuss a detailed, results-driven social media planning strategy.