Guide to Creating Spotify Audio Ads

Chapter 4: Excellent practices for digital audio ads

Spotify has plenty of data to help drill into what works and doesn't work—we know how to get results. Here are our excellent practices for writing and producing Spotify audio ads to help save you time and get you up and running. Remember, these are recommendations from our team of creative strategists and audio experts—make sure your audio ad is your own and meets applicable legal requirements.
Keep it casual

Use short sentences that sound the way people naturally talk.

The best audio ads make listeners feel like they're learning about a product from a friend. We recommend you use relatable language and a conversational tone; read your ad copy out loud to yourself, and if it feels formal and stilted, try again.

Hear how Campbell Soup kept it casual.

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Zero in on one message

Focus on the single most important point of your ad.

Resist the temptation to stuff multiple messages into a single ad. What is the one thing you want your audience to do or think about? The most effective ads share information clearly and directly, which makes it easy to remember.

Hear how Frontline stayed on message.

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Be economical

Avoid crammed or rushed ad reads.

Aim for as few words as possible in your copy so you don’t end up with a breathless, run-on voiceover. A deliberate cadence with well-timed pauses helps listeners absorb information. For a :30 spot, we recommend about 60 to 65 words.

Learn how our brains engage with genre, tempo, and length.

  • In Rap, short ads achieve better brand breakthrough—in this fast-paced, uptempo format, brief and direct ads can be better.1
  • In Rock, long ads outperform shorter ads—these advertisements may be a better fit for the content or audience.1
  • Audio impacts our neuro-rhythm and we subconsciously sync to the tempo of both the song and typical length. Use Shorter ad formats between :5 and :15 seconds when song lengths within playlists are on the shorter side. Longer song lengths offer more flexibility for ad lengths.1

Hear how LinkedIn kept the pace.

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Tell a story with sound

Use audio to animate your ad’s message.

A combination of background music and sound effects can instantly conjure a mood and give context to your core message. Let audio do some of the heavy lifting rather than relying only on words to catch (and hold) listeners' attention.

Hear how Lucky Charms used sound effects to take listeners on a magical mission.

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Use brand cues to identify yourself

Make sure the listener knows who's talking.

A brand cue can be a range of things. It can be something as simple as a sonic logo like "Hey, BRAND here" at the top; it can be a jingle; it can be a memorable character you develop; it can be an easily recognizable voiceover artist (or celebrity—with their permission, of course). Just like a visual logo, creating an audio brand identity this way makes you instantly recognizable to listeners, even when they're not thinking too hard about it.

Use the first 5-10 seconds to set the scene for your message and establish the brand within the first half of the ad to allow for maximum breakthrough.

Check out how Aflac did it.

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Our research shows that...

as long as you say it, earlier and later brand cues both work. 2
End with a call to action

Be clear about what you want listeners to do.

CTAs are crucial to driving action. Whatever you want your audience to do—visit a website, listen to a podcast, use an offer code, head to a retail store—say it clearly and concisely.

Hear how Allbirds did it.

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CTAs that encourage people to take a specific action...

tend to see strong results.
Keep the URL simple

If you include a web address, make sure it's easy to say and remember.

If you include a URL in your script, make it one that's easy to read aloud and doesn't include too many slashes. Ideally, you'll be able to say it before spelling it out—or better yet, you won't need to spell it out at all.

Sources: 1 Sonic Science research, part one, Neuro-Insight and Spotify, June 2021 2 Measurement What We Know 2020 US

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