Guide to Creating Spotify Audio Ads

Chapter 6: Minimum requirements for podcast ads

So you're about to create your own podcast ads...

That's great! To ensure a good experience for our listeners, there are minimum requirements that must be met for all Spotify Podcast Ads. From tech specs to creative rules, we’ve outlined the boxes that need to be checked when writing and producing Spotify podcast creative. Without these, the ads may not get approved to run.

Audio Specs

Here are the mandatory technical specs for your podcast ad, based on industry standards.

Max length is 30 seconds for pre-rolls and 60 seconds for mid-rolls
If you're running both pre-rolls and mid-rolls, keep your message within 30 seconds to hold listeners’ attention and to avoid skipping.

.mp3 format
Required for ad trafficking.

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 Depth of 192kbps
Important for good quality audio. Think of bit depth as the resolution of a digital photograph.

If your ad has music or 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. This means an integrated average loudness of -16 LUFS (+/- 1.5 LUFS) and a True Peak limit of -2.0 dBTP.
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.

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 are not jarring for the listener.

Creative Recommendations

Podcast ads should be a non-disruptive listening experience, so don't kill the listeners' vibe when your ad begins to play. Here are some creative recommendations to consider when creating ads for the podcast environment. Please note that these recommendations become mandatory for ads running on our Original & Exclusive podcasts, including Ringer, Gimlet, and Parcast titles.

Your script should be conversational.
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.

The recommended word count for a 30-second ad is 60-90 words.
A slow cadence and well-timed pauses help listeners absorb more information. Be economical with words to avoid rushed ads and breathless, non-stop voiceover.

Music and SFX can be used sparingly as long as it complements the message vs. interferes with it; avoid music tracks with lyrics.
Music/SFX can be distracting for the listener if it competes with the VO or disrupts the message of the ad.

Ads should not include claims that lack credible evidence; statistics must be backed by a source.
Podcasts are a trusted listening environment. Keep in mind that many shows are considered journalistic, so listeners and hosts are very aware of claim language or falsehoods.

Use a clear CTA
Make sure your call-to-action at the end of the ad is delivered clearly. It should be enticing to the listener and end on a conclusive note. Podcast ads don’t have banners, so your CTA shouldn't include any reference to these.

To make sure our listeners get the best experience, Spotify reserves the right to review and approve any pre-produced spot before launch. Please note: this is a skippable ad format.

Read more recommendations and techniques for producing ads that convert

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