Podcast ad specs & best practices

Podcasts are intimate and personal—and so are podcast ads. It's easy to create compelling podcast ads that authentically tell your brand's story and make your target listeners want to learn more. Check out our creative guidelines and specs to get started.

Podcast ad specs

Our technical specs are mandatory and based on industry standards. Make sure you check these boxes when writing and producing Spotify podcast creative. Without them, the ads may not get approved to run.*

Spotify Ad Studio is able to accept any creative up to 30 seconds.

For Direct IO, the maximum length is 30 seconds for pre-roll ads and 60 seconds for mid-roll ads. If you're running both pre-rolls and mid-rolls, keep your message to within 30 seconds to hold the listener’s attention and reduce the chances of skipping.*

We recommend no more than 65 words for a 30-second ad.

Note: The recommended script length is 100 words for a 60-second ad.

File Type

  • Direct IO
    MP3 required for ad trafficking via Direct IO.

Sample Rate of 44.1kHz Required for ad trafficking. Audio with the wrong sample rate runs the risk of playing at the wrong speed.

Bit rate of 192kbps
Important for good quality audio. Think of bit rate like the resolution of a digital photograph.

If your ad has music or sound effects (SFX), it will likely sound crowded in mono. Most music tracks are stereo, and bouncing to a mono file will flatten any spatial mixing on the track. Bouncing in stereo also allows you to place different components of the ad (music, SFX, VO) in different parts of the sound field for more engaging audio.

Overall Loudness: -16 LUFS.
Integrated average loudness of -16 LUFS (+/- 1.5 LUFS) and a True Peak limit of -2.0 dBTP. This ensures the ad volume is consistent with content and throughout the ad itself. If listeners feel the need to adjust their volume for an ad, they’re more likely to skip or feel interrupted.

Note: The True Peak limit is a maximum and not a number to necessarily reach. As long as the integrated loudness averages -16 LUFS (+/- 1.5 LUFS) and the TPL is equal to or less than -2.0 dB, the ad meets our spec.

Podcast ads are served across mobile, desktop, tablet, web player, gaming consoles, smart TVs, connected speakers, in-car, and wearables.

Podcast ad creative tips

So, you're about to create your own podcast ads...we love to see it. To ensure a good experience for your listeners, we recommend following these creative best practices.

Podcast ads should be a non-disruptive listening experience, so don't kill the listeners' vibe when your ad begins to play.

Listeners should feel like they're hearing about a product from a friend. Avoid making it loud, shouty, or overly animated—like an old-school radio ad. It should sound like an extension of what they're listening to. (Sorry, old-school radio).

Make sure your call-to-action at the end of the ad is delivered clearly. It should entice the listener and end on a conclusive note.

Also make sure your script copy reflects the campaign CTA, too. For example: “Go to {url} or this episode’s page to [learn more].”

We recommend 60-90 words for a 30-second podcast ad. Be economical with your words to avoid rushed ads and a breathless, non-stop voiceover. A slow cadence and well-timed pauses can help listeners absorb more information.

Leave 0.5 sec of silence at top and tail of bounce. This allows for a pause between other spots and content so the transitions aren’t jarring for the listener.

Music and sound effects (SFX) can be used as long as it complements the message vs. interferes with it. Yes, this means avoiding music tracks with lyrics. Music/SFX can be distracting for the listener if it competes with the voiceover or disrupts the message of the ad.

No false advertising here — you're better than that. Ads shouldn’t include claims that lack credible evidence. Statistics must be backed by a source.

Remember: podcasts are a trusted listening environment. Many shows are considered journalistic, so listeners and hosts are very aware of claim language or falsehoods.

Please note that the creative recommendations above are mandatory for ads running in our Original & Exclusive podcasts, including shows from The Ringer, Gimlet, and Parcast.

Call-to-action (CTA) cards

What's a CTA card?

CTA cards are interactive companions to Spotify podcast ads and a feature of Streaming Ad Insertion. They include brand visuals, clickable buttons, and customizable text that make it easy for listeners to take action.

CTA cards only appear to listeners who hear your ad. They pop up when your ad first plays and then appear on the podcast show and episode pages–for up to 7 days after exposure unless your campaign ends earlier.

Delivery is non-guaranteed.

CTA card specs and tips

Check out the technical specs for CTA cards and creative best practices to help you get started and build a relevant experience for your audience.

Historically, podcast ads relied on vanity URLs and promo codes—because they work! CTA cards capture real-time engagement on top of the connections made with audio.

Consider leaving most of your companion display image free from text and logos to avoid duplicating your CTA or cluttering the user experience.

We recommend a single or solid background color to make your brand’s logo pop.

Clear names and descriptions can make your CTA card memorable.

You may use up to 30 characters for your brand or product name and 40 characters for your description.

Using more than one companion banner image and rotating it throughout your campaign can help to keep your message fresh and attract the listener’s attention. Companion banners appear as your podcast audio ad plays when the listener has the Spotify app in focus on their screen.

  • Direct IO: Image types & sizes
    1x Logo Image 640x640 minimum (JPEG or PNG) – optional
    File type: JPEG Max file size: 200 KB
  • Ad Studio: Image types & sizes
    1x Logo Image 112x112 minimum (JPEG or PNG) – optional
    1x Companion Image 640x640 (JPEG or PNG) Max file size: 200 KB
  • Advertiser Name Brand’s name. 30 characters maximum.
  • CTA description Description of the brand’s offering or message. 40 characters maximum.
  • Click-through URL You must provide a click-through URL for your CTA (only one URL can be used).

Mobile, Desktop, Tablet

Note: CTA cards only appear to listeners who heard your ad. They’re delivered on a non-guaranteed basis.

Ready to run podcast ads?

Sign up or log into your Ad Studio account to get started. Or reach out to work with us directly.
*To make sure our listeners get the best experience, Spotify reserves the right to review and approve any pre-produced spot before launch. Podcast ads are a skippable ad format. Legal Terms: Advertiser will provide or approve all materials for ads, including without limitation audio content and scripts ("Ad Materials") in accordance with Spotify's specifications or policies. Spotify may reject Ad Materials in its reasonable discretion, including but not limited to for unsatisfactory technical quality, objectionable or unlawful content, incorrect price or other incorrect or inaccurate information, or if the Ad Materials violate any of Spotify's policies or applicable laws, rules, regulations, or applicable self-regulatory codes of conduct ("Laws"). Advertiser represents and warrants that it has all necessary licenses, rights, consents and clearances to use the Ad Materials and to enable Spotify to display, publish, transmit, and distribute the Ad Materials on Spotify properties, including paying all applicable royalties, payments and fees (e.g. performing rights society fees), and that the Ad Materials do not violate any Laws. Advertiser will indemnify, defend, and hold Spotify and Spotify group companies harmless from and against any and all third-party claims or liabilities arising out of or relating to the Ad Materials and the products and services they advertise. In the event of a conflict between any Insertion Order or other agreement and these terms, these terms will control. By submitting Ad Materials to Spotify, you agree to these terms and guarantee that you are authorized to accept these terms on behalf of the Advertiser.

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